Friday, June 13, 2008


I've always said that hunting is replete with analogies to so called "real" life. And after almost a week back in the "artworld" I see just how similar this world is to any hayfield or prime patch of woods upstate. First you must gear up. I've forgone the camo and rubber boots for two 3 packs of "wife beaters",sneakers and a couple of pairs of jeans. These show off the tats and let my skinny arms breathe in this heat. Bugs are not an issue, but sunscreen is a must, along with little cocktail umbrellas to keep my hair up. Firearms are optional. I did bring my pistol, but I've kept it locked up while here in the city. I can legally carry anywhere but NYC. And to be honest, if a dealer or collector catches the sun glinting off your barrel, that could be it. They can disappear back into the limo, and you'll never see them again.
So now it's time to hunt. I chose to hang my stand in Williamsburg. This area is not known for trophy size animals, but there's plenty of big bucks across the river and my plan is to lay out enough lure and call sweetly. Also I'm trying a little rattling, in order to entice the big boy in. For example critic Carlo McCormick wrote a piece on the show for I sent word out and linked to that piece and was able to draw in Walter Robinson from Artnet. At the Chris Burden piece I met Jerry Salz, but couldn't get a clear shot, just as David Ross came into the crosshairs. I swung on David but as cards were being exchanged he caught sight of Chris and scurried off into the brush. The last thing you want to do is take a quick shot and wound one. A wounded critic or dealer can be very dangerous. Patience.
Instead of spot and stalk I decided to rely on staying in the stand and concentrate on bringing one in that i know haunts these woods. Some guides will tell you to gather up your slides and hit museums and gallerys, but I've never had much luck with this approach. I feel it makes too much noise and you just end up wandering around seeing nothing. It can also be dangerous. There's a particular rattlesnake under a desk at Mary Boone that has bitten more than one poor soul, expecting Ms. Boone to look at work. Other hunters may also push something your way. Karen Finley called to say she was circling my little patch of woods and to keep my eyes peeled, but she never kicked anything out.
Then yesterday, just as i was about to pack it in the doorbell rang. It was Jim and Patricia Webber- old clients of mine. I'd moved and renovated their house in Stone Ridge and was trying to expose them to my more arty side. As it turned out I did get a job installing new pocket doors for them, but couldn't bring them in close enough to sell a painting. They are both good looking animals but not quite what I'm looking for this season. I had Shewho email David Ross and he returned it mentioning how he had always admired "MONTH'S" work. ????????? I guess he's referring to me, but who knows. I'm just sitting still on this one and calling softly. He's opening Albion Gallery on Prince St. And according to Walter they are big time. Ross would be a really good buck to get on the ground, but I may have to take a running shot. In the mean time I've done one new painting and am half way through another. Tessa Hughes-Freeland came out and saw the new work and commented that the new one looked like a seed catalog. "Flowers are problematic, aren't they Mike?" she said, gesturing to the work. I had to agree. But this time of year a big colorful flower painting can bring a big one charging out of the swamp, checkbook in hand. Wait. You hear that? I thought i heard an Italian loafer on Bedford. Steady. Don't blow it.


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