Fall Waxing Harvest Moon
Spent much of the day with stars in my eyes. Literally. After those damned dilating drops at the ophthalmologist. However, my pressures are still below glaucoma level and the photographs of my retina show insignificant change. The technician photographing my retinas kept saying, “Watch the green dot. Your eye’s moving. Watch the green dot.” Well, geez. I thought I was doing a damned good job of keeping my eye from doing its normal task, checking out those flashing lights to the left. Apparently not good enough. Anyhow.
Over to Cafe Ena, a Latin fusion restaurant, at the intersection of 46th and Grand for lunch with the docent outing crew. I had mofongoed Yucca. This involves pounding and cooking it in some way according to our waiter.
After lunch I walked with Allison and Jane MacKenzie from the Cafe to the Weinstein gallery. Martin Weinstein, the gallery owner, introduced the current show of Robert Mapplethorpe, Alec Sloth and August Sanders portraits. He represents Alec, a local boy now part of Magnum, and Robert Mapplethorpe’s estate.
Curious about the business side of gallery work, I asked Martin how representing an artist worked. Turns out he ships art, packing and insuring it, both incoming and outgoing. He frames all the pieces or arranges for them to be mounted. He manages the three buildings that constitute his modest, spare gallery space, pays a woman to assist in the complex logistics of the business. He also collaborates with museums to mount shows of his artists, mostly on his nickel. In addition he mounts several shows a year with all the attendant costs, including a reception with wine and cheese, plus boarding and expenses for the artist. This is all sunk cost, paid out long before any commissions come in from sales.
It is, he emphasized, “A very stressful business. Always this coming, that going.” Martin is a tall, slightly stooped man with a shock of white hair and round architect type glasses, thick ones.
The photographs were elegant, Martin was entertaining and there was a good turn out. A fine afternoon. Thanks, Allison.