Can I tell my story - about how I got here?
The first handshake I remember?
How I met my first friend.
I was seven, we had moved often, I had lost count how many times.
I knew this time we were staying for a while. My dad had built the house. It was stable. And I sat in our kitchen staring across the street at a kid my age playing in his yard. My mom asked “are you going to go ask him to play?” I didn’t know what to do. She insisted, “go across the street, tell him your name and ask if you could be his friend.”
I did. His name was Matt Jackson. And he was my first friend.
We eventually did move again, and again, and then again. My father was chasing the American dream. And I saw America from the backseat of our family Oldsmobile.
I played hockey.
I daydreamed of being a goalie. The goalies were the weirdos, they had strange rituals. You left the goalie alone before the game, even as a rookie - YOU LET THEM BE. They were spiritual guides, smoking weed or doing psychedelics in the woods during the off season. At this point I was old enough to understand I was different too. I was a “weirdo” - if only I had been a goalie, things would have made more sense.
Onto my process - what path did my work take? How did I get here?
While I was working nights in bars I spent my days in the studio and wandering San Francisco
First I met unexpected mentors (unknown to them & there were many!) and found refuge in a small book store, later I began my first curatorial efforts in a storefront across the street. I began organizing, I began collaborating, I began teaching - I made an effort to invest time into my community.
The storefront across from the book store closed and I shifted the gallery programing to my residence…
I made my first call:
“Yes, the gallery closed. It’s true. I have an idea. If you don’t like it, I respect your decision to decline.”
“I have a split bath, you know, where the toilet has its own room? I want to do exhibits there.”
“In the bathroom?”
“Yeah, Gracie Mansion did the same thing in the East Village in 1985. I called her, she gave her blessing, said it’s about time”
Ten seconds of silence felt like ten minutes
I made eleven similar phone calls that day. They all said ok. For the next five years, my hallway bathroom and the surrounding architecture supported an intimate art program including exhibitions, happenings, performance and a single-day artist residency. From this residential platform – my work supporting artists began. And in return the same community lifted my art practice.
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