Friday, August 15, 2008

The Best Kind of Art Show

I had dinner last week with my pal, the amazing singer-songwriter Tricia Mitchell and she was telling me about her son's upcoming art show. Ben is... wait is he four or five? Anyway, he's a little guy, really smart and funny, and he came up with this idea for an art show, and he planned it out, including some great online marketing-- talk about 2.0 savvy. Sunday is the big day.

Unlike some artists, who once they pass the age of, say, fifteen, sometimes succumb to an irritating self-importance, or at least get overly attached to their work, Ben hasn't succumbed to any of that. His price of admission is a bargain at 50c. And, once patrons purchase works, they are invited by the artist himself to head out to the garage and, if they want, "Make the art more beautiful."

Ben works in a number of mediums, including photography and drawing. He keeps a blog, along with a couple of samples, right here.

I loved hearing about this because it recalled for me the days when Henry was very little. Being an only child with a lot of adult friends, he often had two parties per birthday. One was kid-centric. The other was packed with big people. I'd make homemade pizza and dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and fresh whipped cream on top. Good times. In 1998, on the occasion of his eighth birthday, he decided he wanted to sell his art. So we hung it on the walls, and on a string hung across the living room. His prices were reasonable. Until...

There was this one mixed-media piece-- wax paper, autumn leaves and crayon shavings-- that two people wanted. They insisted on bidding. This made me uncomfortable but I was shushed and sent to the other room. Soon, everyone was bidding on numerous works. In the end, I think he netted $67, most of which he bestowed upon me as a surprise Christmas gift.

The tradition carried on for years, until he got to that one birthday where he woke up, and sort of like the Saturday Night Live skit about Picasso, decided it was fine to hastily dash off a number of super quick works. I believe they were ball point pen on typing paper. No matter-- his fans gathered as ever and ate it up.

Anyway, I hope you'll check out Ben's blog and, if you're in the neighborhood, maybe you'll swing by and pick up a piece of his art.

No comments: