This past weekend my friend and I were given two wicked tickets to the 2009 Art Expo in New York. The catch: pose as two, lovely art connoisseurs and buyers. My friend was under the alias Kim and I was her artsy side kick Cecilia. Perusing the galleries like wide-eyed, art newbies, the clever cognitos did not work for long.
The first tip-off to our false identities was the name tags proudly displayed on our chest. Eagerly, we waited in line for an artist signing his free painting. He asked us who to make it out to and we reluctantly revealed our names. “Aha, I see,” he said. The lady behind us got a little chuckle from our predicament.
In the end, it was all in good fun and most of the dealers were sympathetic. Though wearing tags with the name “Buyers” on it was like flaunting red in front of a raging bull or blood in the water for a shark. I was fearful that sellers would gobble us up and negotiate prices. Occasionally, we played the part by speaking in British accents and throwing in Rembrandt and Monet. “Oh, I’m not sure if it fits my taste," sort of dialogue. The experience was priceless.
Beyond camouflage and disguises, we were blown away by the talent of these artists. Like writers, they envision beauty, darkness, and light in unique and powerful ways. It is easy to get lost in the worlds created by brushstrokes. Please check out some of the artists featured in the 2009 Art Expo. It was a mesmeric and breathtaking experience.
P.S. Michael Godard was the very kind and gracious artist who signed free paintings to the public. I’m definitely a fan.