Extra pictures today to try to convey the very exciting collage show at Ripe Art Gallery. The opening today proved to be unusual in a number of ways.
Our friend (and guest blogger for BDG) Jesse Neuman came out from the city to give the children a master class music lesson, which was a treat for us all. Afterwards, I brought him along for artist Louise Millmann's opening in Greenlawn, NY. Millmann has been busy. This past Thursday, her work was in the group show A Book About Death, an homage to Ray Johnson. From what I hear, lines snaked out the door with gallery-goers waiting to get in.
Today Louise Millmann blew me away with her clever and incredibly executed images-- mixing nostalgia with Dada and Cindy Sherman with an incredible dose of her cunning wit. By Photoshopping herself into images from Life Magazine and integrating text, line, and color, the images had both a uniqueness and a familiarity. Whew. Although Louise and I had done an art swap recently-- an etching of mine for a collage of hers-- I simply had to have another one of her works. So did Jesse. The hardest part was choosing. In the end, I liked this one-- it reminded me of constructivist graphic geometry with the humor of a dog looking up the woman's skirt.
I am fortunate to know Louise since 1984, having grown up in the same town and traveled in the same circles. Even then she took pictures, performed impersonation acts, and made indie films. Fast forward years later and we find ourselves teaching together in Jericho High School. It wasn't until the opening that I realized how our lives have wound themselves in similar paths. Person after person who walked into Louise's show was a person I knew from my distant past in Northport all the way to my very present in Jericho. I ran into Nelson Rowe, an animation artist I haven't seen in in 23 years, and then Suzanne Valenza, who sits two desks over from me at work. It was a collage of my own life, both nostalgic and familiar.