Thursday, August 30, 2007

Small worlds

It's small world. But I wouldn't want to paint it. Steven Wright

I'd had a motorcycle accident during high school. When I say motorcycle I'm being romantically generous. I was riding pillion on the back of a Honda 60 after cutting class to go hang out in Yorkville and was returning home in rush hour traffic doing a heady 10 mph when the Honda was clipped by a car making a dodgy left turn.

My friend Lynne Milgram would chauffeur my invalid self around, squeezing my ankle to thigh cast into the shotgun seat of her father's Buick and we'd hang out in Yorkville, being cool during the beginnings of the hippy folk era, sitting on stoops, watching people walk by.

If you look carefully, you can see my film debut in the NFB film Flowers on a One Way Street some of which was shot from my window overlooking Yorkville Ave.

But the insurance settlement from the accident didn't come through till after P and I were married a couple of years later.
We now had a little money and big choice: put down a down payment on a house or go to Europe for a year. We were living in my room on Yorkville and a house in the area would have cost $20-30K. (Many of them are now in the $2 Mil range).

Oh, well.

When we returned from our innocence abroad, we moved into a house that Lynne had rented near the Ontario College of Art and shared roof and expenses with a varied group of other delinquents mostly art students or actors.

Lynne soon took off for Europe and Asia and other people moved in. One or two nutty nut-bars over the next four years, but mostly a pretty good and talented bunch like Barbara Astman and David Powell and Paul Harnett.

Some years later we did buy a house a few blocks away and one of our neighbours was artist and illustrator Barbara Klunder. She threw great parties. Still does.

This afternoon we went to an opening at the David Kaye Gallery tied with a book launch and party at the Drake for Klunder's book: Other Goose: Recycled Rhymes for Our Fragile Times,

The reviews have said wickedly funny, and while she's been published before as illustrator, this is her first solo book. We were happy to be there and toast her success.
Klunder's friend, Paul Harnett dropped by. Small world.

Lynne was there too. Just back from England and LA on the red-eye from her own book launch. She's an anthropologist and OCAD prof and knows just about everybody in the entire world. Also she's married to gallery owner David Kaye. Small world.

All worlds are small worlds aren't they? Art worlds especially.

I still wouldn't want to paint them. But I know people who would.


1 comment:

Marla said...

Wright's quip is funny, but inexact as to whether he meant paint it in the cover it entirely with paint sense or the create an image of it sense; the general impression is of the former, I guess.

However, since I can't picture you in whites with the ladder, I'll say "Put on your smock and beret" Yank - my sister's friend invited me to go to the launch with her, telling me I'd love the book. Now I'm sorry I declined! We could have rubbed shoulders sooner rather than later.