'Kenny, of all the people, you are the last person I would expect that behavior from!'
Walked into a gallery I respect, admire, even love, if it’s humanly possible to feel that a way about a Contemporary art establishment. I said hello to one of the directors and we exchanged pleasantries and asked what normally pops into my mind entering a commercial space: how much? It's not that I don’t look, focus or think about what is before me, rather, that info gets instantly processed and digested.
I queried about a lifelike sculpture of a pear sitting on the floor among a painting show, seemingly an ad hoc gesture but very affecting nonetheless. Another patron interrupted and blurted out loud: 'What exactly is that a metaphor for?' Which suddenly made my question much less obnoxious than on first blush. The answer was a pitch perfect: 'Nothing.'
Passing through the main exhibit I encountered two further interesting experiences. The first, I came across another director, a long (very) term acquaintance, that I have worked with in the past and always enjoyed a relationship more cordial and friendly even, than professional. Then I saw a pair of blushing red and golden apples, again plunked almost randomly in a room of formally unified abstract paintings, the same colors, scale and motif.
I was immediately drawn to my knees, reached out and lifted an apple carefully and inquisitively in my hand and was impressed with its heft, beyond its size, like kryptonite. In a flash just as swift, the second director reeled around on her heels and lashed out: 'Kenny, of all the people, you are the last person I would expect that behavior from!'
Funny, a lot of people don't expect very much of me at all. I replied, 'If you’d afford me a bit more time, I'm sure I could far exceed such an unthinkable, ghastly performance.' Ever so sheepishly, I returned the heavy little apple to its place.
I apologized profusely, in my own inimitable fashion, even offering to sterilize the damn thing if that would help, but she just shook her head unapprovingly and chided me over and over. I guess she failed to appreciate a characteristic of good art is to stir the sense of touch nor did she empathize with the potent symbolism of the lure of a juicy apple. Hope I don’t get banished from the garden for being so seduced.