"The only way I knew to love you, was to cut the cord and watch you float away."
--The Devil's Plea
Almost two weeks ago, on November 24, we had the opening reception of Graham Preston's art show, The Devil's Plea, which included a musical performance by John Beacher, who helped write the song with Graham: a ballad about the devil's fall retold as a sad tale of lost love. There was also a beautiful dance performance by John's sister, Ixeeya Beacher. As I explained in a previous blog post, the artwork was an expansion of the song, inspired by it. The paintings are not literal translations, but dreamlike allusions.
Graham and John have been working on this project for a couple of years, and it was a real honor to be able to participate in this collaboration by providing a space for it to see fruition.
At the end, there were several beautiful songs, and a poem. The entire audio can be found here:
Graham describes it this way: The project began as paintings of contemporary illuminations that operate almost as illustrations, telling a reinvented cultural myth of how Lucifer fell in love with Eve, that John Beacher and I developed through music. As time progressed, the imagery fell into the complexity of complete abstraction.
All of the paintings are for sale and are 14”x 17“ acrylic on paper, mounted on gilded, hand made panels by Graham. They are $425 each. Here are images of the paintings (untitled):
This is one of a set of three abstracts, some of my favorites in the show.
Here you can see these three paintings together. (These must be purchased as a set of three.) What you can't see on your screen is the gold leaf flecked over their surfaces, so come check them out in person!
Here are five more paintings that I included in my previous blog post, The Devil's Plea.
Some Personal Reflexions
So, the whole thing was so intense, so emotional, and so exhausting yet wonderful. Sitting in my studio-gallery for nine hours the next day, I became overwhelmed and I began to cry. I couldn't understand why nobody had bought a painting; I felt so emotionally and physically invested in the whole thing. But, in addition to feeling my emotions, I had a lot of time to think about why it's important to do art: to connect with people! And I was amazed how a collaboration can produce something so much greater than the sum of its parts. How we measure success is so strange, if we limit it to financial success. As far as making connections with the community and tapping into the larger spirit of cosmic creativity, and making an event which brought all those amazing paintings and people together, it was a HUGE success!
I wrote to Graham about my feelings, and he responded with his own personal thoughts, which I have found very helpful, so I'm sharing them with you:
I never in my life have made anything of value that revolved around selling it. I feel that generally when we make real art, it's never received well in the way most people traditionally measure things... especially financially. We live in a world where most people need something to be a popularized trend before they even consider trying it, none the less buy it. They need to feel like it's legitimized by someone or something. To sell those paintings we need real collectors who realize the philanthropic importance of supporting artists... and of those people, they also have to like the paintings and believe in the mission... all that doesn't really matter. What we made was truly beautiful and it's just a a starting point! We gave people an experience and a truly special one and that alone was worth every second of exhaustion and stress it took to pull it off.
Thanks for reading my blog and following my adventures as I try and figure out my place in the art world as an artist and "gallery" owner. I'm new at this, so there will be a lot of heart-felt fumbling, but also excitement and joy.
Anyway, come see these pieces in person before the show comes down. They really are amazing experienced in a group, it's like standing in a room of stained-glass windows!
Last day to see the show: Dec. 24th! I'll be open weekends through Christmas Eve, Saturdays 10-3, Sundays 12-4
Lauren Kindle Studio
7B North Bank St., Easton, PA 18042
And by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org