Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Confluence City kicks local artist 24 bones

It's often said there is nothing worse than a reformed anything - addict, sinner, whatever. I'd add that there is nothing more irritating than a newly converted anything - in my case, blogger.

For years I have quietly deleted countless invitations to have online experiences of various kinds, preferring flesh and blood, the print medium, physical spaces populated by actual people and objects. I still prefer the real, live, 3-D thing. But I am quickly getting the hang of reading and listening to music, and even looking at art, online.

Witness: I have just made my first art purchase based solely on looking at something online. St. Louis musician and artist Tony Renner, one of the hardest-working chaps in the me-o-sphere, announced on his blog yesterday that he had made four paintings in homage to Willem de Kooning and was selling them for $23.50 each, which he said was the weekly sum the 1935 Works Progress Administration's Art Project paid de Kooning, among others, to deliver a small painting every month.

My eye was drawn to "$23.50 Club #4," posted above, which I purchased today for $24. Tony came over to the St. Louis American's offices, and I offered (nobly) to let him keep the change. "Good," he said. "I don't have any change." He said he was going to use the modest amount of cash to buy more materials to keep painting, which seemed like WWDKWD (that is, what Willem de Kooning would do).

He comp'd me a CD (Anagrams: A Tribute to Derek Bailey) and some hot purple peppers inspired by my recipe for jolof rice. That's quite a lot of schwag for 24 bones. This evening I will curate "$23.50 Club #4" into the Honest to God Art collection of The Skuntry Museum, Library, Beer Cellar, Prop Shop & Studio.

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