Busboys & Poets

17 Dec


Living Proof


Sure. We'll swing by. I will also run the idea by Peter. But speaking of energy. I run hot and cold. At 315 pounds, 52 years, and less time in a day than I've got ruthless desire to not only create art but to actually sell it, I am always driven to keep my nose in the paint box, honing skills, building inventory, sweating doubts, forging the vision, while foregoing the frenzied social calendar that many of my more outgoing and accomplished friends keep.

One can never measure the wealth of potential a regular group of talented and focussed artists can inspire, so I will give your planned group a fair shot. I certainly approve, and even insist upon the interdisciplinary approach you've posited, so as I shout out in the agony of the age, I also acknowledge it's high time we blaze some trails, and make them remember who were are and why we came...

Actually, I met Michael Auger briefly this past Friday night via the ArtDC gathering at Dr. Dremos in Arlington. So I look forward to our next rendezvous...

Arainia's song will be placed into a forty-hour no repeat mix. But sure, I'll give you a heads up. To paraphrase Goethe on his deathbed: More ears, more ears...

Thanks for the afternoon ears. Yeah, Wickedbounce by Arainia. Listened to it. Downloaded it. Excellent call. Expect it will slip right into the mix within a few days. And it was truly a pleasure meeting and chatting with you yesterday, Tim.

Blister the paint...


Thanks so much Gabriel. Lyana (Arainia) is ecstatic! Let us know when you get it up and we will send out a notice and get all of our peeps on your sta-shun Yo!! (biiiiig list!)

BY the WAY! Stevens said he can't make dinner Thursday, but I think we should all still meet. There's just too much cool energy to let go of. And I have a couple of people I want to invite to meet you. Michael Auger, Arainia, Corrie Allen et. al.

so...I posted a Post and you can see the other invitees there. Can you, or would you like to invite anyone from your Studio? I'm thinking Peter perhaps? or anyone else? AND...I think these meetings should be regular, monthly whatever.


"Forward the Four Modernizations! Utilize Art!"

Six years later...


Not Yet Titled

The above two rather mundane texts are trapped in a coagulating context. First, this is one of only a handful of notes I swapped with Tim Kenney until years later. Tim, whom fellow painter Marina Reiter had brought with her to the 52 O Street Studios holiday party nearly two weeks prior. This Thursday night outing at 14th & V Street's Busboy & Poet's would be my introduction to the now famous DC eatery and Leftist bookstore. Odd thing though, just a few weeks before this, I had driven Sue by the place, pointing it out to her, saying we needed to check it out someday soon. Established in 2005 by artist and entrepreneur Andy Shallal, BB&P had been a bustling hotspot for hip young urbanites since day one, and I had read of it often, but had never struck a pose long enough to seek it out.

This night would also lead to an invitation to Tim and Arainia's home for their own New Year's Eve party the next week, a spectacle of interesting people packed into their gorgeous place in southern Maryland just off Pike 355. We left rather early that night, as my physical condition was being aggravated by tight quarters, my sobriety, and too much warmth. Tim and Arainia spent most of the night hunkered down in their sunken living room Mac studio console working on their current music project. Sue and I split duties holding court on the threats of Islam gone wild—in the kitchen—and painting and writing with a newly minted friend Joellen Secondo sitting on the stairwell leading up the the bedrooms I presumed. Since I was wearing blue coveralls and a red beard, when a strange bookish-looking woman approached to ask if I were saluting Julian Schnabel when she learned my response to what I do was paint, I was hooked.

"Actually no," said I, "but thanks for the observation. Don't care much for his broken plate work, but love his movie Basquiat. This is my standard issue garb." Of course, I had to explain later as we prepared to leave on how my recent allergies to cotton were eating me alive, but at least I had enough pockets.

Marina wasn't there that night, but one of her paintings was hanging along the wall framing the staircase. Figures, I thought. Girls make pretty art. Girls sell pretty art. Pretty girls sell lots of pretty art. Then there's Matt Sesow. But I digress. Marina makes fascinating metaphorical blobs. Sells well. It's all swell.

Turns out this was the first of four consecutive visits to Busboys & Poets that I came down with that same sinus cold by the end of that night or at latest, the next morning. Sensitivity's a racket, I finally realize.
Thursday night at Busboys was a generous night. I stopped by as I drove my route home from O Street. Peter Harper couldn't make it. Propped on the stool to my immediate right was an exotic witchy woman, whose name escapes me, and I do mean witch, not the other word. Turns out she was Portuguese. Dark, smokey, slender, attractive, buxom, leggy with muscular calves, hovering around fifty I'd guess, addicted to her own airs, but not in a glibe that suggested he was comfortable with her own comportment. Cultural differences and all that mess. After some less than charming exchanges with her, she diverted her attentions to her right. In mysterious ways, she spoke, so mysterious that I have no way of recalling or reproducing her serpentine phrases here. Recall is a but fuzzy, but it seemed she was stationed somewhere in the art world that had nothing to do with painting, so our options were limited. She was quite tight with herself, a demeanor does nothing to soften the glare of my nostrils. She could have been named Esmirelda, or Carlotta. It didn't really matter. We had both moved on. A beer later, she picked herself off the stool and moved around to the end of the table where Stevens stood, beer in hand, proceeding to soak up the rest of the evening with him. He lived to tell about it, thinking she was charming but a waste of time. I agreed. She was looking for a leg up on the competition, and could quickly size up her prey. And Stevens being a painter of national merit himself, had no time for people who could not benefit his own career, and some fifty year old Portuguese woman wishing herself a career heist was baiting the wrong place at the wrong time. Stevens has a surprise visitor. He had been invited but had pleaded work, so I was glad to see him get out for the night. He loves to talk about the painting and art game with true or near peers. Didn't happy that night. The next day he told me, despite his better instincts he was still glad he got out.

I left after a couple of hours but I'd stayed long enough to catch the usual sinus cold I catch when I find myself confined in a crowded place, getting too hot, sweating in my clothes, and feeling all too useless and all. Turns out this was the first of four consecutive visits to Busboys & Poets that I came down with that same sinus cold by the end of that night or at latest, the next morning. Sensitivity's a racket, I finally realize.

Michael Auger is another, a younger artist, primarily working in a gimmick or cartoonist style. Don't quite remember how he is implicated in this story. But I think it was he who issued me the invitation to come down to Busboys & Poets that night. Also met artists Henrik Sundqvist and the delicious Corrie Allen; shook the hand and took the card of the tall but boyishly handsome John Hanshaw, who had just recently been installed as Director of the Washington Film Institute. Needless to say, the Washington art scene was a small but growing community back in 2007. But I was never to meet this group again in the same context as I began to shrink back from the pressures and finances of rolling in it while thinking I was going somewhere other than the poorhouse.

I only a couple of months ago learned that Tim and I share a neurological disorder that is crippling and causing all sort of other handicaps for us. We vow to shove on...

© 2007 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""