Monday, November 10, 2008

Falling in love again- ad nauseum- Part Two

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I come from a long line of artists. Some better than others, some of them a bit on the eccentric side, especially my Great Grandmother.
Everyone in the tiny Italian hamlet she grew up in said she was quite handy with the brush and palette, they also said she was a vampire. Silly peasants, it was just an overbite. BFD...
Recently, Mazeppa and I decided to support the arts by attending the openings of several new galleries in the Bywater/Faubourg Marigny areas of New Orleans.
(There were several abandoned schools, furniture stores and warehouses had been turned into galleries and work spaces for artists, so we were itching to check it out, it was a great opportunity to see and be seen.)
We wandered up and down the street enjoying the fair weather and a fair amount of gin.
In one of the more eclectic spaces, a former school auditorium, there was an exhibit of six giant twinkling and flashing star burst thingies that one was supposed to view while lying down in massage chairs. As Mazeppa's eyes lit up, I gathered the reason for Mazeppa's enthusiasm in this piece of art was obvious as she had complained earlier about a pain in her coccyx. Or did she say uvula ? Hmm.
Anyway, I told her to appréciez the art, as I would be down the hall in the adjoining art space, "The Red Room."
The room itself was indeed red, most likely the school cafeteria in another lifetime, and contained approximately 88 black and white player pianos of varied shapes and sizes all playing different pieces of music simultaneously. Loudly.
The artist, whom I regarded as a regular Dr. Mengele with grant money, titled this piece "88 Voyeurs of absolute destruction (as le Jazz Hot)" (I gave it my own title "I had to kill him officer...")
Considering myself the 89th voyeur, I fled the room to rejoin Mazeppa before the security guard had a chance to smell the smoke, and when I returned to the auditorium, I found her peacefully snoozing in the reclining massage chair and someone had placed stands with velvet ropes surrounding her as if she was the art.
In order to rescue Mazeppa from the situation I had to tell the large crowd surrounding her that I was the artist and "My Muse" was needed on the phone- by a critic from The NY Times art section- and to many kudos and pats on the back, we made our escape.

The next gallery had much to see, a series of extra large hand tinted photos by a French gentlemen, whose name escapes me, was quite interesting, especially a 48 X 72 inch photo of a dozen or so sex toys, all with heterogeneous human expressions on there- um, face -areas... Our reverent silence was broken momentarily when Mazeppa observed, "That one looks like a young Gene Autry."
While Mazeppa was caught up in a moment of wonderment, I took the chance to look for the loo. The door I took to be the WC was in fact the entrance to yet another masterpiece.
The entire room was dimly lit save for a small illuminated spot behind a floor-to-ceiling chain link fence that ran diagonally across the space.
In order to see what was so profound in the middle of the floor, I approached the fence only to find that it was a small plaque inscribed with the title "Dupé encore", a small video camera pointed right at me and the entire back wall was a large screen displaying the image of what I would look like as a guest at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp.
First I was amused, then I felt I'd been had, so thinking the artist was probably going to view the tape later with his or her friends over Turkish coffee and clove cigarettes, I turned around and mooned the camera, rubbing my big ass all over the gleaming chain link fence.
Feeling I had the last laugh, I rejoined Mazeppa once again.
The adjoining gallery had one large piece in the middle of the room, it was a sculpture of sorts.
The artist, a Mr. A. Tom Mickbomb had titled the work "Taking Fluffysaurus for a walk", it was a rather ferocious looking Sumerian demon wearing a kind of hip-hop outfit with a gold name plate around it's neck that said "Zuul".
On closer inspection "MC Zuul" was holding a leash with the pink collar attached to an equally ferocious stuffed rabbit seemingly frozen in time, raised up half way with its fuzzy pink lined ears turgidly pulled back ready to attack - the effect was complete, even its cute little pink nose seemed sinister above the fang-bearing snarl on its face.
"Look at this!" she said, tugging on my shirt tail, "How tall do you think the bunny is, 15 feet? Wouldn't he look divine in the Hunt Room?" answering herself saying, " yes, yes, right next to the yak I had dyed hot pink to match the powder room when I lived in Barcelona!" (Mazeppas late husband was a big game hunter, so the enormous "Hunt Room" had a horrific collection of 4 full sized lions, 2 tigers, a small flock of emus and a polar bear as well as the prerequisite wall full of leering trophies.)

Mazeppa immediately slithered over to Monsieur Mickbomb complimenting the artist on his bewitching blue eyes, the genius of his creations, his large sinewy hands and inquiring if she could just buy "Fluffy" as the Sumerian demon would clash with her drapes. As the artist sniffed that "They were a set and could not possibly be separated as it would compromise the piece and quash the artistic vision", blah blah blah. Mazeppa had nimbly produced her checkbook from a rhinestone minaudier in the shape of a catfish and by the time she had finished scrawling the fifth zero, the artist had a change of heart.
(I guess its true what they say, when there is cash involved, a Zuul and its Bunny are soon parted.)
We decided that our ladies cultural awareness day was coming to a close, so we departed the building chatting away about her new purchase and possible fourth husband, only to discover that there was a large monitor facing the busy street and a live feed from the room with the chain link fence.

Here's a simple cocktail perfect for an afternoon dedicated to the arts!
The Dumb Bunny!
2 parts vanilla vodka
1 part watermelon schnapps
Put ice in a shaker. Add 2 counts vanilla vodka. Add 1 count watermelon pucker and couple splashes of 7-up. Shake.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man