Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Mystery of the Last Painting and the Magic of a Small Gallery

It was a quiet, beautiful day for a change in the streets of downtown Freddie Beach, and something wonderful was happening at 116 York Street in a little gallery with a huge heart. The gallery was Ingrid Mueller’s Art+Concepts and the occasion was the launch of the Marion McCain 2007 Artists (it runs till October 30).

As soon as I walked through the door, it was obvious who’s art dominated the show. Phillip Iverson … and his parents, Elizabeth and Nelson were there to talk to people about their son and his work.

I’d met Elizabeth a few times over the years, most notably when she and her son came to my table at a flea market and bought half the art books I had for sale. The sale of those books allowed me to take my kids to the movies at a time when things were tough financially.

What impressed me most, though, was the dynamic between these two wonderful people as they lifted this art book and that art book and talked about them and weighed the pluses and minuses of buying any of them. Fortunately for me and my kids, the pluses out-weighed the minuses on half of them.

I talked to her about that day at the launch. I’m not sure if she really remembered it or if she was just trying to be polite, but we had a wonderful conversation about her son and his art … and she talked about something that I’d never heard of before.

Apparently, Phillip told her once that his best painting would be his last. I asked what painting that was and she told me that she didn’t know. He’d moved to Montreal and the last time she and Nelson had visited him, his studio was full of paintings all over the place, and it was impossible to tell which was first and which was last.

A mystery that will linger, possibly forever, over the work of one of our greatest artists.

This is Nelson and Elizabeth with their son, Phillip.

This is JC (Bartender Extaordinaire and Friend Without Equal … and the most flamboyant pourer of wine on Earth), Ingrid and Elizabeth.

This is Deanna Musgrave (framed by Phillip’s greatness and her own budding greatness just behind JC’s shoulder) … and JC.

This is Ingrid, her husband Peter (the final authority on how a culture crawl should be performed) and Jennifer Pazienza (still another rising star on the Art+Concepts horizon).

Too moved to be humorous. I’ll let this one ride as is.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Philip meant that once he had completed what he felt was his greatest painting he would stop painting and therefore his best painting would be his last. Since Philip died so early in life, perhaps he never did paint his "last" painting...

3:41 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home