My friend Emiko found be-kyoto gallery. We went together to see it back in October. I liked the space immediately - a lovely old machiya house converted to a gallery and event space - but I wasn't sure exactly how my paintings would work there. First of all, in October I was only just finding my groove again as a painter having been off the brush for more than nine months. As much as I wanted to have an exhibition in Japan, I wasn't sure if these new pieces I had completed were really good enough to show. The other obstacle for me, as an ex-New Yorker, was that be-kyoto did not look or feel like a gallery (i.e. "white cube"). This place looked like somewhere I wanted to live. It was warm, friendly, somehow almost residential. Could I have an exhibition in such a place?
Well, the dialogue between the director Okamoto-san and I, with Emiko translating, began. After several weeks the exhibition was confirmed. The paintings meanwhile were piling up in my Uji atelier. After a long holiday in Los Angeles I was ready to hang the show.
As soon as Emiko and I began placing the paintings I knew that be-kyoto was absolutely the right gallery for this exhibition. All my misgivings were allayed when I saw how the paintings and the space complemented each other. For me it was as if they belonged together, one was created for the other. It worked.
Be-kyoto is unlike any gallery I've ever been in on any continent. I feel terribly lucky that my first show in Japan is in such a wonderfuly unique and charming space.