Today is “The Mean Reds.”
Date: June 7, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 110
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Today I will dedicate this Crane to Gabriel B.
She’s a costume designer. She works in New York City and all over the country. She’s established.
I feel like I’ve been circling her designs and productions for the past year. Two months ago, I was asked to shop for an Opera she was designing in town.
She’s got a fun aesthetic. Watching the Opera, I thought the costumes really added to the experience. The “tackiness” and specificity of the clothes made the humor in the piece so much more fun.
Working for her was great; working for the company itself was a learning experience. I learned always get a contract or something in writing that says “YES, I am working for you on this production in this position and agree to this payment.”
Without that, you have no recourse when a company insists they never saw you or worked with you or approved an additional hire.
Gabriel, for her part, did stick up for me. Because of her, I did get my paycheck. It’s a small blessing and really humbling that a designer stood up for me. I only worked for her for 2 long weeks, but she has thanked me. She recognized I was a part of her team. And she took a stand.
Getting my check yesterday was kind of emotional… if only because I’ve recently had the exact opposite experience with a different designer.
Small blessings to be thankful for.
Music I listened to while sewing: Grey Gardens, the Broadway musical.
I actually regret deeply that I didn’t make it a point to see this show when it was playing in town. Christine Ebersole’s performance as Little Edie is now the stuff of legends…
I only saw the documentary (and the HBO film) about three years ago, so I’m not a big fan. I ended up working on a documentary for PBS back in 2011 as an assistant designer; it turns out the director worked on Grey Gardens (as a PA, maybe) when she was just starting out. It’s amazing how small this world is, isn’t it?
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Today, I leave you with a quote.
“Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. That solves a lot of problems: we don’t have to argue whether photographs are art, or whether performances are art, or whether Carl Andre’s bricks or Andrew Serrano’s piss or Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ are art, because we say, ‘Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality, and all sorts of things can make it happen.’ … What makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you – so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art.” – Brian Eno
This begs the question, from me, of course: “What experience is ‘art?'”
I like this quote because, suddenly, life itself is art. If Art is an actual experience- a rush of feelings, a catharsis, a moment where you’re moved to a different state of mind- everything we do in our day to day lives can be seen as Art.
It’s not just going to a museum and strolling through galleries, taking moments to pause in front of paintings.
Art can now be experienced walking down a New York sidewalk. Art can suddenly be an experience on your way to work, the sight of a homeless man’s outfit, an advertisement, a man banging on drum in the subway. It can be the graffiti on the sidewalk.
Anything that makes you more aware of the world around you, that brings you into the present life that you’re experiencing… THAT can be Art.
I know I need more Art in my life. I think we all do.