July 27 marks the one-year anniversary of my Escapist solo show, The Platform. It also happens to be the 14-year anniversary of my Ph.D. dissertation defense (no, I’m not kidding!) and what’s really magical about it is that as I’m sitting here writing this, the dog portrait commission I painted for my dissertation advisor is in transit to the UK, currently making a stop in Chicago – the scene of many drunken conferences back when I was a very young and very confused graduate student. Things have a funny way of coming full circle. Because even though getting a PhD in a field I would eventually quit in order to pursue art full time was by all means extremely hard, I’m very glad I did it, and I feel that without a Ph.D. there would have been no Platform and no art career. The most important thing the Ph.D. program taught me was that you cannot always bullshit your way through life, you cannot open all doors and obtain all things through charm, talent, and sheer shamelessness. I must admit that as a young person I had a propensity to do that. Because I could. The first person who decidedly did not accept this type of behavior was my Ph.D. advisor. And so I learned that sometimes you have to sit down and actually do the work, then when you think you’ve pushed yourself harder than you ever thought you could, push some more. I was lucky to develop a hefty dose of self discipline and stubborn determination in grad school, so by the time my mentor John Ross Palmer entered my life, I was ready. He challenged me to paint 40 paintings for my solo show. I painted 46, because although I am formally trained as a quantitative social scientist and have the paperwork to prove it, I can’t do math to save my life. Then he challenged me to sell the paintings, and here I am a year later with only eleven of them left. I’d say I did well, and the solo show was, as I had hoped, successful in launching my art career. Also, it was fun and very well attended. Please watch this fabulous video by Buburuza Productions to see or to reminisce. If you were there, you might be in it!
Also, here’s what I’d like to do to celebrate:
First of all, if you own one of the paintings from The Platform, you own something that’s very very special to me and you have contributed to my success in a big way. I’d love to thank you with a VIP dinner for you and a guest or guest couple in my new gallery space! Please send me a picture of your Sandovici original from The Platform hanging in your home at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s start making dinner plans!
If you don’t own one of The Platform paintings, but you’d like one, here are the remaining 11 pieces, with a very sweet special anniversary offer: