Friday, October 7, 2011

Who Wants Stale Legs?

Let's start with A, move on to B and keep quiet about C.

Once again, the plans went awry, but in a good way.

An old friend who's rarely in town called me up as I was getting dressed to go out, asking if I was free.

With a couple of minor modifications, I could be, I told her.

Tonight was the preview for Jeffrey Vincent's "Title Unknown" opening at Ghostprint Gallery and I didn't want to miss that.

The works immediately proclaimed themselves as contemporary folklore, using collaged faces along with acrylic paint to create visual stories of the most bizarre kind.

Angels with golden halos hovered over a group of the strangest characters;  in "Gloria"some had houses for heads and a baby looks like a mime with red-circled cheeks.

In "The Hazing," a group of black-clad frat brothers observe a pledge murder while awed (sorority?) girls look on. It's definitely weird...and folkloric.

Vincent said he starts with the heads and the rest of the work grows out organically from there.

The heads come from old yearbooks and "Life" magazines and are black and white. They populate his paintings and provide an eerie sense of reality in otherwise folksy, placid-seeming scenes.

It was a lively crowd at Ghostprint tonight and many surprising discussions ensued.

A guy wearing a "My dog hates Michael Vick" t-shirt led the charge with strong feelings about inappropriate forgiveness.

He was a former die hard Eagles fan who can no longer stomach the NFL's hypocrisy, despite his Philly roots.

I had just as heartfelt a conversation with an RTD-hater and once she learned they were the ones who'd laid me off in 2008, we were bosom buddies for life.

The artist himself provided some of the best conversation of the evening when we got off on Santa Claus (a figure who shows up repeatedly in tonight's show), Paul Bunyan and student loans.

From there it was a short walk to meet my friend at Bistro 27 for nearly a year's worth of catch-up chatter.

Except that the chef wasn't particularly busy so we had the pleasure of his company most of the evening and he didn't leave much room for girl talk (not that I'm complaining).

We started with sauteed Hawaiian blue prawns barely cooked and resting in butter with balsamic.

It was as fine a start as we could have hoped for, the prawns so incredibly fresh-tasting we could have been in Hawaii.

I followed that with escargots in Pernod, garlic and butter with button mushrooms, a dish so rich I actually left a couple on the plate.

"What, you didn't like it?" the chef asked. No, but since I can feel my left arm going numb, I thought I'd stop.

He amused us with stories of relatives overstaying their welcome (and the Brazilian method for estimating a man's, ahem, size) and I taunted him with details about my recent tongue sandwich.

I've learned a thing or two about how to get a chef going.

We got to talking about his brunch and he showed us his eggs. That's not a metaphor, but it should be.

Getting up to go to the women's room, a guy said to me, "Those are some fresh-looking legs." I don't even know what I could have said to that.

My friend used to run a local restaurant, so she gave me all the dirt on what's been going on lately, only some of which I'd heard.

God, what an incestuous business.

By the time she finished with all that, she was beat. Then again, she'd been up since 4:30, so she had every reason to be ready to pack it in.

Which was fine. I've learned how to amuse myself.

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