Installation of artwork is a demanding and specialized skill. I’m not talking about the trendy and slightly annoying realm of Art Installation you may be familiar with, featuring tires mounted with ladies nylons hanging from the backbone of a taxidermied zebra, for instance. I’m talking about Art Handling & Moving, Art Installation, Art Placement, Art Hanging, familiarity with Picture Hanging Hardware, Temporary Adhesives, Signage, Labeling and Cleaning. Sounds like the job description on a resume, doesn’t it?
My work is currently on display at East West Cafe in Sebastopol, California, until the end of October 2017. One of my favorite restaurants in the area, it offers a great variety of American and Middle Eastern specialties. I recommend the falafel wrap instead of the falafel platter, and the turkey burger and fries instead of the regular hamburger and fries. Breakfast is served until 5:00pm for those of us who wake up a bit late, and the berry pancakes are nothing short of hooverable.
It’s not often that an artist with a mere three years of experience creating large canvases gets to show his work at a public venue, but evidently I come across as professional and my work is of a high enough quality that I have managed to book a few exhibitions over the next several months. Rather than contact galleries, who seem to have a rigid set of parameters regarding size, medium and content (and percentage of sale), I’m making my mark on local restaurants and public spaces.
The installation of my artwork was a major challenge. If you’ve ever tried to tie a knot in a length of monofilament fishing line using one hand while sitting at a desk, you may know how difficult that is. Now imagine standing on a ladder, holding up the corner of a twenty pound canvas with one hand and tying a knot in a fishing line with the other. When you look at those beautiful model seagulls hanging from the ceiling of a nature center, you really have no idea how much work such a seemingly simple thing is. It’s torture.
I only had to hang eight paintings, but can’t imagine how someone could spend a whole day installing a show with monofilament. Not only do you have to get the darn things hung from an invisible thread, you have to make sure they are even. This takes several trips up and down the ladder along with the frustration of not having enough pegs to hang the pictures from.
After three hours I was a sweaty mess and finished. The installation looks amazing. Everyone can now enjoy my incredible work while they nosh and converse, and the amount of exposure an artist gets exhibiting in a busy restaurant is quite extensive. Perhaps next blog entry I will describe how to transport a seven foot wide painting when you own a Toyota sedan.