In a word, opening night was a dream!
But let me reflect on it coming together. Earlier, if you remember (or if you missed my last post) the show was not in such a blissful state. Eventually customs was worked out and in just two days we managed to get the art on a plane from Rome to the Catania airpot in Sicily. This is where our story continues.
Coincidentally my mother was to arive on opening day, this being a Friday. And in keeping with Alitalia airlines tradition, they forgot to put her lugage on the plane, but as luck would have it her bags would end up on the same plane as the art! After hanging out at cargo pickup for some time, which by the way looked like something straight out of a mob film including some guy hanging out in a beautifully tailored suit, very dark sunglasses and smoking a cigarette, the art arrived on the platform. At this time we had three people, my mothers luggage and all the art to fit into the car (a Fiat Multipla for those of you who are interested), suddenly all those years of getting yelled at to stop playing Tetris paid off! There was now about one-and-a-half hours until opening, this could only mean one thing, it was time to drive like an Italian, and luckily we had one on board, she decided that 160 km/hr was appropriate, that it 99.42 mi/hr, or in American math, 100 mi/hr.
and in a 2002 Fiat Multipla with three abreast seating and literally ever square inch taken up in the car is in the best of terms, unnerving…..
We did arrived, unpacked and hung the work in less then 30 minuets, and my poor mother, who had been traveling for so long, now had no time to take a nap, however we did have time to clean up and change and get back to the gallery.
Back at the gallery all the stress and pain faded away. It was packed, the gallery looked great and no one the wiser to the state of the show just 40 min. earlier. Speaking of the gallery, it is called Spazio 30 (Spazio Trenta) and it is quite simply a breathtaking space. It is not a huge modern space like some galleries stateside. But rather a blend of modern minimalism, with straight clean lines and tasteful lighting, contrasted with classical arches in stone that were cold and rough on your finger tips, and large slate tiles on the floor which added weight to the lofty high ceiling. I will never forget this space, I loved it!
But this whole trip is about art, so what about the work? Well, I am happy to say that it was very well received. It is always so gratifying to have people enjoy your art, and so much better when they express it in Italian. In the United States, you might hear “Your work is nice”, or “Beautiful”, or “very nice”, all are fine, and I accept them with great gratitude. But in Italy to have people who want to meet you, and greet you with “Molti Complimenti” and “Bello”, it is wonderful (and sure, I know that a lot of this has to do with the romanticism of the language). But what happened next, is something that I will never forget and something that I wish we did over here in the U.S. A lovely and brilliant man, Salvo, gathered everyone in the front room of the gallery and gave , what I imagine, because it was all in Italian, was a colorful and quite theatrical presentation of the work, the inspiration behind the work and the artists. It is something I wish we did here, and something everyone was really into, they seemed genuinely interested and engaged. Apparently this is standard operating procedure for gallery openings in Italy, and I love it, I think it creates a connection between the artist, their work and people who are there to view it. Eventually, about 9:30pm, everyone needed dinner, so off we went.
And on that note, I am getting hungry, so off I go!