Herewith is the blow-by-blow of my first day exhibiting in Chelsea.
92 degrees, sunny and dry
2:30 Arrival. Takes a couple of minutes to situate myself on the north side of 22nd Street, under the High Line, right in front of the garage gate, re-stretch Lilah S. (Ash Wednesday).
2:35 Two proclaimed out of towners, having just toured 23rd Street, ask me where all the galleries are. I point them first to The Gallery of One (moi) and then to 21, 22, 24, and 25th streets. They like the painting.
3:05 Pigeon shits right on my shirt. I look around at the sidewalk, find pigeon shit is everywhere. They are nesting above me. I move the gallery about 20 feet west.
3:15 A woman is waiting for her friend, right under the pigeon nesting area. I warn her and she moves. She asks if the painting is for sale. I tell her it was ($9000), but that its primary purpose as as a demo of my portrait-painting skills. I give her a flyer.
3:18 Her friend shows up.
3:20 I take this photo. Look how nicely the blues in both the painting and my foldable chair pop.
3:28 I wonder if my sitting right next to the painting is inhibiting people. Kind of like the gallery person who breathes down your throat as you look at the art. I'm going to stick with this for now; continue to reflect.
3:31 Unsolicited comment: "It's pretty," a young woman says to me. I respond, "Ya think?" She laughs and keeps moving.
3:35 Long conversation with a couple from Seattle (I think). Possible interest. I give them a flyer.
3:40 Waiter from Elmo walks by with two friends. Nice chat. Lilah is one of his co-workers.
4:05 Woman on bike (no helmet) stares at the painting as whe rides by. Shouts, "That's great. That's GREAT!" This is pleasing.
4:05 It would be interesting to videotape this.
4:15 The guy from the parking garage opens the gates and displaces me.
4:15 Nice woman chats with me as I move my stuff. She's a portrait painter from Mexico.
4:20 A truly beautiful woman says, "Wow--like Jackson Pollock..." She then adds, "Almost," which takes some of the wind out of my sails.
4:25 Garage gates close again. I move my stuff back.
4:30 Asian woman, @25 years old, jogs by, staring at painting. Wearing black shorts with "NYU" written across her butt.
4:33 A tall black woman walks by, says in a very quiet voice, "very nice," but never stops.
4:47 I need a sign next time. I'm thinking: "Portraits by commission. Summer Sale on NOW!"
4:55 The NYU girl jogs back the other way. Time to close up for the day. You can see from the picture below how much the sun has moved.
Odd experience, all in all. I'd give it a c-plus if I was assigning letter grades. I think that once street traffic picks back up in a month or so it will be better. Still I did give away 5 flyers and got one person who thought she might be interested. We'll see.
One thing: I am considerably more famous now than I was yesterday. Having baited my hook for Leviathan, I must now be patient.