Too Hip

The art scene.  I think of Andy Warhol and cavernous, drafty soho lofts with floors covered in paint.  I see Basquiat paintings, large and outrageous covering the walls, with black-clad hipsters milling about holding glasses of wine, making Barnard or NYU-educated remarks about the art. I see model-tall, anorexic women, lovely, with haunted expressions, smoking cigarettes. looking intense and earnest.  The scene is hip, hip, hip.

I was at a  gallery opening here in Austin last night which is what inspired my thinking about the art-scene( as I have imagined it above).  Alas,  there were no Basquiats or Warhols on the wall, just lots of photos and paintings and drawings of nude models. The place was small, but tasteful, with high ceilings and clean concrete floors. It’s small size made it feel intimate, conducive to conversing with other people looking at the art. It was really nice to have a “waiter” come around and offer small glasses of red or white wine, and I made a note to myself of the practicality and cost-effectiveness of this strategy of providing alcohol to a lot of people.

As I watched people come into the gallery, I did see model-thin women-a few with what my daughter would call “emo makeup,”  and some black-clad men with a token tattoo here and there.  And the purple-cloaked woman who sashayed into the room certainly caught my eye, as did the young woman in black patent-leather thigh-high boots. Ah, and one young woman who I overheard to be one of the nude models in some of the photographs, showed up wearing a feathered mask.

I stood there in my own “Free-People” labeled cashmere sweater, with modest green earrings, blue- jeans (which cost a fortune) and red high-heels, marveling at the costuming-the artfulness of the people. I smiled knowing I was not hip, nor will I ever be.  It was enough for me to see my two paintings on the wall of this juried exhibit. Even more thrilling, a friend of mine bought one of those paintings. And, I was grateful to have the opportunity to show a bit of the Austin art world what calligraphers are up to these days. (or at least what this calligrapher is up to!)

I left the party early as more revelers came in. Perhaps some of the wilder belly-dancing costumes on some of the women coming into the exhibit could be explained by the fact that Studio II Gallery is next to Lucila’s Belly-Dancing studio.  This is the same Lucila who sponsors the monthly full-moon drum circle of which my husband and I are regular attendees . And the gallery is also near Plum Blossom Studio where I occasionally enjoy massages and acupuncture treatments, facials and tarot-readings. My house is a stone’s throw away from all of these places-my own “Scene” of art, home, health and community.

Leave a Reply