So I was in Chicago last weekend for a show at the Morpho Gallery. It looked great and was well-attended (considering the gallery's size and location), and, considering it was my first show ever in Chicago, it went pretty much as well as I could have expected. The night was actually kind of a surreal experience, as I wound up feeling weirdly nostalgic for those first few times I began showing the Miscreants of Tiny Town series. See, here I was in a small group show, showing brand new work no one has ever seen before to an unfamiliar crowd. I found myself in essentially the same position I was in 5 years ago, with no expectations, no assumption of sales, just being interested in people's reactions and stray observations.
It's what happened the day before that was a new experience: my good friend and client (who curated the Morpho show, incidentally) stuck her neck out and set up an appointment to meet with Anita Jerman, the owner and director of Curly Tale Fine Art, in downtown Chicago. I had read their email correspondences leading up to the meeting, and Anita was clearly skeptical that my work would be a fit with her gallery, on the grounds that my stuff might be too "illustrative." Come on. This, coming from the owner of a gallery called Curly Tale Fine Art? I was pretty skeptical too.
Anyway, the gallery wound up being in a great location, Anita is very professional and clearly sales-oriented, her other artists are well recognized, and she's continuing to develop a strong reputation in the area. And within a few minutes of looking at a couple of the pieces we brought along, she changed her mind and offered to represent me. The meeting lasted less than a 1/2 hour. So as we left, I think my friend and I were a both a little stunned. I remember saying something like, "hm, so that's something." And she said something along the lines of, "huh. Yeah."
I don't mean to brag, but my reptile brain remains in mint condition, like a sweet Pontiac Firebird from the '70's. It's got cool flames painted on the side and all that shit. So of course my fight or flight response immediately kicked in, as it always does when I've been offered a new opportunity I didn't see coming. I spent the rest of the weekend assuming she offered to sign me on just get us out of her gallery and I'll never hear from her again, but then I received the contract in the mail yesterday.
So that happened. Thank you, Shayne.