The Blue Raccoon

Friday, January 04, 2008

Post-Nativity Celebration: "Les Filles de Premier Vendredi"

Yes, billion-eyed audience, les filles des Premier Vendredi are ba-ack in their fine form because it's that time of the month here in Richmond, Vee-ay, for the High Art Hike Up and Down and Around Broad and Main streets. The girls here need to cover those up with a heavy wrap as the temps are frosty man, frosty, as Webb Wilder sang in his great ballad, "There's A Cold Front Movin' In."

If you are a long-time listener but a first-time caller, you probably already know that these deux filles were attending an opening at the long passed Three Miles Gallery, now the bustling Tarrant's restaurant.


But before I get into any of the art stuff, I wanted to tell you that Amie, that loving sneak, arranged for me a very fine Nativity Anniversary Celebration. Dinner at home, lamb and salad and wine, and a digestive walk that I she led me to believe proved too chilly for her and I said, well, if D is there let's go to the Deli and have a drink and we'll go home. And I was content with that arrangement.

She had arranged instead to have the bar crowded with friends! And I got presents and stuff! Even Raynor Scheine was there, and my big and best pals Joe and Beth, and the NYD crew, and Charlene the Empress Herself called from her sickbed in Fluvanna to wish me well and say she owed me lunch. Wow. I was just kind of overwhelmed.

Further, Amie got a call from her, our, friend Goxwa, the Maltese artist living in Paris, to give her annual nativity greeting, and tell that she and writer Robert Wernick will soon be stateside. Bob was a Time-Life writer for many years and I read a few of his books when I was teenager haunting aisles of the Chesterfield Public Library branch on Lori Road: The Standing Stones of Europe, and the Blitzkrieg and Liberation of Europe volumes in the Time-Life series on World War II. I probably read articles of his in Smithsonian and elsewhere, long before I ever made his acquaintance in Goxwa's skylight-roof, fifth floor Parisian studio. He lives next door.

This is Bob in his fifth-floor walk up studio apartment, from his blog. Both of he and Goxwa are fascinating people for numerous reasons.

Bob has lived an incredible span and his stories are amazing, about the people whose acquaintance he's made and the places he's traveled. On his site you can read about some of Bob's transits with people like Marilyn Monroe (on a Ferris wheel), Joseph Pilates (at his New York gym), Ernest Hemingway, Salvador DalĂ­, and the Giacometti brothers. He's getting a slender volume of reminisces published in French about his friendship with Alberto and Diego.

Amie suggested that we try and organize some kind of reading for him here, but as his text is in French, could be a challenge, unless he read in French and perhaps somebody else in English? Have to cogitate on this.

At any rate, the gathering the New York Deli with good friends was quite enjoyable and one must never forget that the best blessings in life are the rewards of fellowship with people who've known you in your best and worst phases, and still like you, regardless.


As for First Friday tonight, the two places we're for certain visiting is the 1708 Gallery where Kai Richter, Kathy Snow Stratton and Merrill Shatzman. The exhibtion, Constructing Form, was curated by Brad Birchett, Vaughn Garland and Allison Andrews. Should be a varied and texturous exhibition.

Then, to Art6 where a former student of Amie's, Marsden Williams, is showing.

And a Annual Nativity Celebration foot note. The birthday calendar at my office here had me down for a commemoration not yesterday So I'm getting chocolate cake. So much for my girlish figure.

Finally, while at the Annual Nativity gathering, a few of my friends were using their hand held devices to monitor contests of both the gridiron and Idaho caucus variety. I don't know the outcome of the athletic contests, but I am now acknowledging that Dennis Kucinich, the real candidate with a difference and a stunning willowy red-headed wife named Elizabeth, did not win.

Instead, another somewhat surprising candidate got the approval of Iowans and gave an unsurprising speech that was supposed to be, I guess, inspiring. But this "new day" stuff is shopworn.

As for the candidate who is making the press get all weak-kneed with his "straight talk" and folksy aphorisms and appreciation for rock and roll, all I can say is with Naomi Watts, here dressed as the kind of Handmaid women could be turned into if affairs procede as they are in this gray-uht nation:

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At 8:41 AM, Anonymous amieo said...

Alas - Goxwa will not be accompanying Bob on his annual "spend the winter in Georgia" trip. She is preparing for her NYC show that is supposed to open in early December of 2008.

In the photo depicted on your blog Bob is sitting in his own atelier - one he has lived in for more than forty years in Montparnasse. Goxwa is living and working in what was at one time Bob's wife's atelier - directly across the hall at the top of five flight of stairs. Life is short, art is long... but in Bob's case we are all blessed that he happens to be an example of both creative and healthy longevity.

I think the five flights are one of the key ingredients of his success.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger HEK said...

I stand corrected.


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