Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

I/XV Retool America P.E. (Preferred Edition, this means it is on better paper, in this case Rives BFK grey) is now safely in the hands of Manifest Hope. Specifically, it is to be hung by a man named Richard who works at Smithsonian Exhibitions who has taken the week off to help at the gallery. The Smithsonian ought to be paying this man since this show is such a huge cultural phenom; the Smithsonian now owns, for $75K, the large Shepard Fairey Hope piece from Manifest Hope: Denver. I tried to be helpful today but all bases were covered, so I ended up chatting with my friend Tariq Rafiq who was sanding plywood for Mike Murphy's medical cross piece. The plywood sanding never ends. Everyone who helped with the piece has their face in it, which is just awesome. I would love to show you the piece with my face but I have sworn an oath of loyalty to Yosi Sergeant not to share images from the show and it is an oath I vow never to break. So go to the show.

Today I think they were going to raise the giant fist art piece, which would have been a thing to see from a symbolic perspective. Being in the space is an amazing experiece. People are working seamlessly as if controlled by chemical signals from a mother ant. There is no one person who appears to be directing everything, though if you had to guess it would likely be a combination of Yosi Sergeant, obsessively responding to messages on his phone, and Michael Murphy, who even when at the hardware store like he was tonight, had his 13 students and their Transportation Coordinator and his Mentor all operating in a symphony of plywood cutting, sanding and painting. To have the art being made there now, before the show, gives the whole place a primordial feeling of possibility. And you can feel the intense buzz in there though the atmosphere is also very calm...

I also talked to Tom Horne, who owns the gallery "andenken" that Manifest Hope: Denver was in. He told me that at one point planning that show his blood pressure got so high that he got nosebleeds. He is very excited not to be in charge of this one. Oh how I wish I could have been at that show. A lot of the posters I have collected are of artists from that show. Of course these same artists will be in DC from the 17th-19th at 3333 M St. NW in Georgetown.

I am also very excited that I got to meet Ken Hashimoto today in person from the Obama Art Report. Reading his blog has been a favorite pasttime of mine ever since I got into Obama Art. His site is really the best central repository of information on the topic. I gave him a glitter A/P (Artist's Print- a master that the printmaker models the rest of the edition after) of Retool America. It is part of a small glitter edition that is a second edition of the first non-glitter, so it's noted as Retool America II. Ken was kind enough to give me a Zoltron poster AND a signed red zoltron sticker. Just because I said I wanted one and he happened to have it. Can I tell you how happy this made me? Ken and I also watched some people hanging a big multipart CRO piece; CRO is Ray Noland. He is one of my very favorite Obama artists. His new piece is up at Manifest Hope and is also available at his store in an edition of a mere 44. I also have some of his work hanging right now at Heineman Myers. Zoe has decided to leave 44: Obama art up until January 31 and will be updating her website with the info this week.

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