It can change … everything
A few months ago, my friend Jeri told me that her brother was selling tons of art he’d collected over the years. Somehow his collection had gotten out of control and taken over his whole house. Finally he decided that he wanted it all gone, sold, so there’d be room to walk around.
Jeri invited me to get some friends together and go over to play “Let’s Make A Deal” with her brother.
Off we went, and we found sculptures, paintings, artifacts, funky furniture, mosaics, vases, knickknacks, Chinese fountains. Clutter! It was great fun, sort of like getting into Sotheby’s warehouse.But nothing appealed to me, not even the framed fabric picture almost hidden on the second floor landing. It was charmingly weird and I usually like charmingly weird but it was a picture of a circus and I haven’t liked circuses since I was a little kid. The clowns’ exploding car in Madison Square Garden scared the pants off me when I was about four.
So I moved on to look at giant statues, plush but uncomfortable furniture, massive mirrors, tiny mirrors and more knickknacks than you’d see in the Daytona Beach flea market.
I had to pass the circus picture to get back downstairs. Look at those tiny stitches, I thought, and all the little details. Amazing. And what an imagination. A big white horse with both eyes on the same side of its face, a fire-eater, an elephant, a human cannonball peeping out of his cannon at a tall woman peeping into it.
I noticed the artist’s name, Chris Roberts-Antieau and then it leaped off the wall and into my arms. I bought the darned thing, hung it just inside my front door, and every day I find something new in it. I love it.What I didn’t know is that Chris Roberts-Antieau is a pretty important artist. Her work is hanging in the White House and has been featured in a lot of magazines, including Oprah.
I’m as fascinated with the child-like quality of her work and her terrific sense of humor as I am with her astonishing skill, especially sewing everything so perfectly.
So Word of Mouth worked for Jeri’s brother. A lot of people, including me, showed up to take all that onerous art off his hands.
But Word of Mouth started a chain of events.
It brought me to my circus image and all of Chris Roberts-Antieau’s wonderful work. I even made a point of meeting her son, Noah, at Miami’s Art Basel exhibition.
And seeing her work was the final persuader in getting me to try my hand at mixed media. I signed up for a course at the Ft. Lauderdale Art Museum.I decided to copy one of Chris’s works, not sewing it finely as she does, but gluing it crudely. Pepper and I went to the Salvation Army to find something furry to use for the cat in the picture.
And, now I’m trying other kinds of mediums and enjoying my new artistic outlet, thanks to my friend’s Word of Mouth Marketing that, at first, just brought me in to her brother’s home to look at his art clutter.