Monday, January 27, 2014

The exhibition

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.

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