. Kathy Ringgold had mentioned that she saw the three of us were constantly surrounded by people whose eyes were pinned to our faces hoping to catch our gaze, waiting for their turn to say hello or get a signature. I cannnot judge the event clearly because is was all a churning haze of faces and conversations done in fast forward. I can only hope I made genuine connections to people. I look up every now and then and get a glimpse of Enrico or Tadahiro surrounded as well.
"Would you sign my shoe?" wins the prize as the strangest request of the evening. I signed the shoe. A novelty nugget I can retell for years.The flowers, Kuro and Tess. Muses and support team. Lucky guys we are.
At the start of this weekend I was still at my desk at work. Twelve-thirty a.m. Friday was an hour and a half ago and I was rushing to ending my day's commitment: finish scenes that need to be in Editorial. I got home and caught up on my prep for the flight in the morning. Tried to sleep at around 2 a.m., the alarm we set would go off at five. I can use any shut-eye I can get and I'm tired enough to deserve it. But sleep will elude me till I get to sleep at 3 a.m. Sunday.
The flight was uneventful and the taxi ride was efficient. I will manage to leave my cel phone in the cab and not notice it missing until breakfast with Enrico and the Uesugi's. At ten-thirty we knuckle down to hanging our exhibit at Nucleus.Inhale
. The gallery is a big space and all my suspicions of not filling it dissipated as I walked in. We had a lot. Even for this space. But my mind reeled as I saw the Uesugi prints. Oh...my...lord...!
They look magnificent. I mean, looking at the jpegs is a world away from seeing the prints in all it's detail and color glories. Upstairs were the originals. I stood in front of those for good personal moments, drinking it all in. I cannot buy any of these, I had promised myself. It would be unseemly for the artists of the show to buy up the exhibit between themselves. I am going to leave this for the public who were excited to see and perhaps own an original Uesugi. I would change my mind back and forth on that dozens of times before the show opens. And a few more after that, until the one I really wanted sported a red dot.
Sigh.Tadahiro and Enrico shuffle through the frames. We even collaborated on each other's walls, discerning how to make the flow of each frame relate to the next. No planning, but just roll up our sleeves and do it. A lucky confluence of sensibilities.
At an hour before the gallery opens we were rushing through our filming (and likely will have many an uncomfortable laugh at our faces and voices), I see people gathered on the other side of the makeshift black curtain that separates the store from the gallery. There are people waiting?
I can't process this well enough, and wish I can see it from outside of myself. People came. Much thanks to Alex Chun's article in the L.A. times as well as Cartoon Brew announcing it to their public. The internet, what can I say--it, plainly rocks. The gallery floors were soon packed with people and I met so many people. It was a grand time. I still wish I can see it from outside of myself. There is no way to really take a moment to take it all in. Many will say to me today that they had fun. So much fun!
I had fun as well but I not able to process it all. Yet.Exhale
. It is now almost midnight on Monday as I write this and the day's deadlines had kept me from finding an exhale moment until I deliver my last shots in for the day. I will find a quiet moment later but this will have to do, writing this. I am so happy about the weekend and thank our lucky stars that it all went so well. Unreal. I can tell you all that I really appreciate each and every one who made it to the show. Tadahiro Uesugi was so amazed by the response. He also mentioned that the crowd was older than he's had in Japan (his magazine illustrations appear in teen mags and so his audience tends to be very young). "Families!" He comments through Kuro-chan, he said that he was pleasantly surprised that there were children. I hope we showed him just how much he is admired here and that he will come back for another show someday.I really wanted to do doodles on the nine post-its I placed on the wall alongside my prints. I also wanted to doodle on the white walls (I did eventually). Sunday morning we made it back to the gallery and I did a Peg drawing on one of the post-its. Ahhh, finally. My last piece for the show is done.
There's more to say but too much for one post. On behalf of Tadahiro and Kuro, we thank you. Enrico and I are here to run at the mouth about it all for months so you'll be hearing our raves.
Thank you, Nucleus. Ben, Thank you for inviting us and making it all happen. You and your staff should take a bow. It was a grand success.
Till next time.
Blogs reporting on the show and helping us out on details we've missed and all those photos! Thanks guys for the assist.
Ted Mathot's Current Flavor
Louie del Carmen"s Random Anomalies
Drawingboard.org's events post on the show: 3 Trees thread
And of course, Enrico's very up-to-the-minute blog can be found here