The Fest for Beatles Fans was the reason for my travel to New York a few weeks ago. It was held at the Hyatt on the Hudson in Jersey City, and gave us magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. I took time out from setting up the show to sneak out and go to a taping of the Late Show with Colbert. His guests included Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, and the Flaming Lips; the show was at the historic Ed Sullivan Theater – professional research of course! I was struck by how small the theater was, and I thought about those hundreds of teens who were lucky to be in the audience to see the Beatles live in 1964. I got in trouble for being away so long, but it was worth it.
At dinner that night, my friend, Wally Podrazik, and I got into conversation with Klaus Voorman, the lynchpin in the Beatles legend. If Klaus hadn’t gone into that seedy bar in Hamburg and rushed to tell his arty friends about the driving music, the Beatles story may have turned out differently. Wally and I were picking his brain on a different matter; he was an attendee to the hedonistic party at the country home of Brian Epstein in 1967 and we were looking for historical detail for our event.
The Beatles Art Contest started on Friday and concluded with the presentation of the Awards on Sunday. Although the number of entries were few, the artists certainly pleased the fans with their creations. The Fest always ends on an upbeat note, the singing of “Hey Jude” with the entire staff joining the guest musicians on stage with the band. Our good byes were lightened because we knew we will all see each other in a few months at the next Fest.
I got to tour parts of “brownstone Brooklyn” during my visit. Collage artist Marlene Weisman and her husband Mike welcomed me and a friend into their home where they showed us treasures in their collections, including artifacts from silent movies, Beatles memorabilia, mementos from working at SNL, and of course, collage. After a lunch at a local patisserie (decorated with photos of cholla cactus from New Mexico!) we went to see “Cut and Paste” a group show at SITE: Brooklyn. Marlene’s work was among the 50 pieces displayed in the show. Once again, I was delighted by the imaginative output of my fellow collage artists.
After viewing the exhibit, we took a Lyft to the Brooklyn Museum – my first visit of course. Our goal was the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, which featured not only her paintings, but her fashions as a reflection of her artistic vision. She sewed many of the creamy silk dresses that she wore in the 1920s when she was an icon of the arts scene in New York. Later in life she wore couture and kimonos, when she wasn’t wearing smocks and her battered black hat. She was an absolute maniac for blue denim PF Flyers!
I am now back in the land of O’Keeffe now, picking up the pieces that had fallen to the floor. I mean that literally; I picked up my paper scraps that that the cats had knocked about in my absence. I am returning to the Railyard Artisans Market on Sunday, ready to demo my current collage, now nearing completion. See you there.
Peace and Love
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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