Monday, November 05, 2007

How Not To Be Dismissed as a Fatuous Poseur

La, la. Pretty Lady had an absolutely wonderful time at the opening this weekend! Thank you especially to charming Mary Klein, who flew all the way from Minnesota with her most attractive family; Pretty Lady is of the opinion that Mary deserves a solo show in NYC, pronto. Her luminously simple hanging-egg piece was the Organizing Principle on that whole wall. Thank you also to Tracy Helgeson and her husband, who took the whole lot of us out to dinner afterward (Tracy is doing very well with her mystic barnscapes); Susan Constanse, who is not only Pragmatic and Organized, but a fabulous artist as well (such a rare combination that Pretty Lady leapt at the opportunity to discuss a collaboration); Jean McClung, light-sculptress and interviewer, who not only schlepped Pretty Lady's paintings to Pittsburgh, but offered her a place to crash there next month; and of course, the ever-irreverent Chris. (The painting was centered in the frame, Chris, and needed sufficient breathing-space between it and the wall sculpture below it. Pretty Lady knows best.)

(And should any of you follow the links and watch the video, Pretty Lady must explain that the reason she looks like a fatuous gawper herself is that she was waiting for the flash to go off. She didn't know that video cameras came that small.)

Pretty Lady also had a most enjoyably snarky conversation with the irrepressible Nancy Baker, wherein she discovered that she is Not Alone, by any means, in her frustrations with would-be Sophisticated Art Connoisseurs.

Which is why she must get stern with you people.

The fact is, at this point, Pretty Lady is the opposite of impressed, when friends and acquaintances try to get all buddy-buddy with her, by promising to buy her work. They earnestly pledge that as soon as their kitchen remodel is complete, as soon as they sell a screenplay, when they retire, when their Ship Comes In, buying a Pretty Lady original is Top Priority. Yes indeedy. They mean it. Uh-huh.

Meanwhile, Pretty Lady's rent is due, NOW. The electric bill, the gas bill, the car insurance bill, the student loan bill, the auto repair bill, and the grocery bill are all hanging fire. NOW.

Friends, NOW is the time. If you do not wish Pretty Lady to tune out your idle promises like so much parakeet twittering, pony up. Pretty Lady makes it easy for you; the link to her Rent Fund is right there on the sidebar. Large Works are between 2K and 3.5K; small ones are a mere two hundred. In order to seriously reserve an option on a serious work of art, a down payment of $500 on a large piece or $100 on a small one is required. NOW.

Consider; it is not accepted social etiquette to sidle up to one's lawyer and coquettishly simper, "If I ever get sued, I'm coming to you!" One does not approach one's doctor with the statement, "As soon as I scrape the cash together, I'm having you take my appendix out." One simply picks up the phone and makes the appointment, with the full understanding that doctors and lawyers require payment for services rendered. NOW.

Do not, if you please, bore Pretty Lady to tears with stories about Not Having The Money. Pretty Lady could tell you about not having the money--about the celebration she had, the day she finally had the money for coffee, after weeks of living on rice, beans and Ramen noodles. Do not mention how ridiculously high your health-insurance premiums have become; in Pretty Lady's world, health insurance is but a Distant Dream. If you have a car payment, you are a Wealthy Wastrel with no right at all to complain. Pretty Lady paid cash for her car, third-hand, seven years ago, and it's still running just fine, thank you very much.

For a person who waits until an artist is Famous or Dead, or preferably both, before putting cash on the barrelhead for one of her works is the worst kind of fatuous sheep-vulture. (That is, a grotesque gargoyle-like conglomerate creature which features the salient aspects of both, not merely a vulture with a finicky palate.) There is a very simple method of proving to an artist that you value, support and believe in her work; BUY IT. NOW.

Or else don't. But please do not burden us with your guilty excuses.


Susan Constanse said...

Oh, it was such a pleasure meeting you, PL. You were absolutely wonderful, with all that you and your Gentleman Friend did for Digging Pitt and all of the other bloggers.

Thank you seems so inadequate.

And I am looking forward to your 'burgh visit and to collaborating with you.

Much Love

Pretty Lady said...


Eva said...

Yes, thank you for all you did Pretty Lady.

Your post is great and like you, I get really tired of people telling me they want to buy my work. Do it or shut up. If you can't buy one, it is cool with me, but it's actually almost hurtful to hear, year in and year out, all the plans to buy one..... or how sorry you are that you can never make it to one of my openings but oh! Please tell me when the next one is!

Pretty Lady said...

Yes, Eva, it is actually hurtful, not almost. It is Lip Service. It is the person who can't wait to read your manuscript, can't wait can't wait can't wait, and then when you take the trouble to print it out for her, buying a new printer and using half a ream of paper, it sits on her coffee table under a pile of unpaid bills for two years, until it gets thrown out in the move.

'Good intentions,' communicated by someone who wants to express 'support,' start to look really silly and inadequate, not to mention patronizing, to the person who is taking all the genuine risks, and genuinely struggling, year after year after year.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Hi Pretty Lady, So happy to have met you in real life, as well as to have had the pleasure of feeding you and a few others. Doug and I both had a great time!

Anonymous said...

I have a Private Vision:
It is the Last Day, The Throne is set, the people are in queue.

The Almighty looks down upon the first in line, who is shifting from foot-to-foot:


(This works equally well for my trade, for the ones who promise at the show "Oh, I'll be back tomorrow for a shirt.")