December 8, 2010

Gala As Art Talk: The Making Of

gala_gift_bag_pic.jpg

I was nervous, I admit, but I really had a blast last week giving my Gala As Art presentation last week at #rank. The crowd was great; the other #rank folks I met were nice, with interesting projects and conversations; SEVEN looked fantastic, a really smart, low-key way to show a fair's worth of work [I hope all the participating galleries made a bundle of money.]

It seemed obvious that the talk required gift bags, so I decided to do them as an edition. The artist-licensed perfume I hoped to include didn't pan out, though. I'd toyed with the idea, no pun intended, of making a version of Marina Abramovic's party favor/dessert for the The Artist is Present gala, where the dessert art foundry Kreemart cast her lips in Belgian chocolate covered with gold leaf.

Then I priced edible gold leaf, and opted for silver leaf on edible wax lips, which really set the gift bag's entire color scheme. [Actually, Diet Coke probably set the color scheme without me being aware of it.] Applying silver leaf was a pain in the butt, but there were only a couple of rejects. They traveled amazingly well, thanks to Jean's careful wrapping. The certificate is designed like an invite, with a bajillion artists and collectors and curators on the committee, everyone I mentioned [or planned to, anyway.]

And at the last minute, I decided that burning and printing 50 DVDs full of the gala-related video and pdf files I'd assembled would be not so interesting. [A friend pointed out that no one ever opens the jewelcases in their gift bags, and I realized, in 20 years, I never had either.]

So I hustled to find a cool USB drive I could load. Maybe get my logo or url on it. Or maybe find anything at all in stock. Finally, I found exactly what I was looking for, and I ended up loading, signing and numbering the silicone bracelet flash drives the morning I left.

I'm discussing them at length here because they're apparently so stealth, several people didn't realize they were anything more than a wristband. So now you know. I saved a couple for the archive. And because I didn't want to leave the lips melting in the trunk, I ended up not going to Art Basel at all. Crazy.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to find the best/easiest way to release the slideshow and audio together, either as a screencast or a podcast or something. Watch this space.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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first published: December 8, 2010.

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