Tuesday, September 1, 2009
September 1-retro post about pig and artists
Sunday is market day and the flea market is held in the parking lot of a drive-in movie so there are lanes with little rises and gullies, where each vendor parks and sets up tables or puts it all out on the ground. In the back row is a regular, who has a big panel truck. Three weeks ago, I'd steered clear of his space because he had brought a pig, which he unloaded, dragged screaming to tie onto the truck. It was not his pet pig... Animals do get sold there-caged rabbits, birds and every now and then, a puppy.
And he does what many at the flea market do, which is to purchase the contents of a defaulted storage unit. The owner of the stuff that was being sold piecemeal is/was a realist painter calling himself Black Spit. An African-American originally from D.C. relocated to Oakland with two kids he's raising himself. Art supplies included a bag full of round-tipped brushes, commercial paintings on canvas and board, diaries and portfolios. I read through portions of his notebooks, drafts of marketing letters to Oprah, a musical group, it was clear he admired, etc.; and his unemployment form filed in 2008. I found it depressing and put me in kind of a sour mood.
I could have spent more time reading and looking through his sketchbooks and journals and contemplated buying some things but nothing would have benefited him.
I'm assuming a lot here, maybe he wanted to get rid of all this and found it easier to default payment and let someone else dispose of it. It all put me in mind of the accompanying story. And has inspired a major trashing and streamlining of my own notebooks and meanderings.