Recently sighted and bookmarked:
– Says Edward Winkleman:
Warhol is credited with saying (and I paraphrase): The most sincere form of art appreciation is writing a check. Of course Andy would think that–being an artist–but I’m not so sure that’s as true today as it was when Andy offered it. The “art” of collecting has evolved since then, and writing a check doesn’t seem as sincere in some ways as it had been. When I start to think about how it’s changed, the parallel that keeps coming to mind is the practice of fishing. Collectors used to spend the time getting to know the work, the artist, the movement, etc., much as a person with his/her fishing pole had to learn what weight of the line is needed, what bait is best, and what conditions are most ideal to land that big one. Collecting for some folks today is more akin to trawling. Sure, you have to toss out all that seaweed and release the occassional dolphin, but the sheer volume of your haul guarantees something in your net will be worth the effort….
I offer a corollary based on my own experience as a small-time collector: Richer isn’t (always) better.
– Mr. Anecdotal Evidence shares a lovely memory. It seems he ran into the great jazz pianist Dave McKenna on the street of a town in upstate New York the day after filing a review of his opening night at a local club:
Next morning, driving to the office, I passed McKenna walking up Erie Boulevard. He was wearing very white, unlaced sneakers, and he walked as though the sidewalk had been sprinkled with tacks. I stopped, he climbed in and asked me to take him to a nearby convenience store where he wanted to buy newspapers to check on his beloved Sox. Back in the car, four or five papers in his lap, McKenna asked if my review was in that morning’s edition. I told him where to find it, and had the uniquely uncomfortable experience of watching the subject of a review I had written read it while seated three feet away from me. He took his time reading, grunted a couple of times, cleared his throat and exploded into a laugh that I can remember immediately describing, in the writing compartment of my mind, as Rabelaisian….
(For what it’s worth, this is my favorite McKenna album.)
– Ms. Household Opera waxes ecstatic over an experience I take for granted, and shouldn’t:
The gods of seat-assignment must have been smiling, because I was in the third row of seats almost directly in front of the stage. I love watching musicians’ faces as they play. It’s a sight I don’t get to see often enough, given how many concerts and operas I’ve seen from the upper reaches of the balcony. By the end of the evening, I felt as if I knew everyone in the orchestra.
And then there was Magdalena Ko