Friday, July 22, 2005

last saturday night

It had been a long time since there was a party at the penthouse. This past Saturday was nowhere near the size of the shindigs we used to host, but it was nice having people over again.

Saturday was the Create:Fixate 2nd Annual All-Photography Show and Craig Havens was the featured photographer. This wasn't Craig's first show. In 2004 he was the only American honored with a solo exhibition at the Grand Hall Artists Union in St. Petersburg, Russia. This was, however, Craig's first featured exhibit in a group show, premiering Soundings, a series of large format black and white silver gelatin prints, and Opal, a large format C-print, a stunning centerpiece to the seven-piece exhibit. There are 30 images in the series, and while I had seen thumbnails of all the images, Saturday was the first time I saw these beautiful prints on such a large and impressive scale.

You've probably heard a lot about Craig lately, in the past two weeks he's received some media attention and action. And by action I mean he's been selling (three of the prints were pre-sold at the framer and printer)and landing some cool gigs. The venue was not air-conditioned and the really hot, amateurish lighting didn't help matters. One light burned so hot that it cracked the glass on one of the prints. Either that or the work was so powerful that it cracked - oh forget it, that's just cheesy. But despite the heat and the woeful inadequacies of the less than professional staff, Craig's portion of the exhibit was very well attended.

After the Gallery Previews ended Saturday night, we had a reception at the penthouse for a few friends, collectors, and artists who are fans of Craig's work. I made a couple pitchers of sangria, resisted falling face first into the homemade leche flan, and chilled several bottles of wine and champagne. We spent a good amount of time on the roof because of the oppressive heat (only our bedrooms are air-conditioned in the penthouse), but the downtown skyline and our views of it made it very enjoyable. What made the evening so enjoyable for me was the great mix of people in the room. Thanks to everyone who attended Craig's show and joined us afterwards, I had a blast having such a fun, interesting and varied group of poeple in my home. Before the summer ends, I may have to do it again.


Dave Bullock / eecue said...

I remember sneaking up to the roof of the Alexandria at raves in the nineties. Security never let us hang out up there for too long. Did you ever to to any of the raves at the Alex?

celia said...

The roof you were on is in the new wing of the Alexandria, which houses the haunted Charlie Chaplin and Rudolf Valentino suites. My roof is part of a private residence in the old wing and thankfully, there's no sneaking up to my roof unless you climb up the fire escape. Then there's the motion sensor, the alarm system, the security guards and me, a seething cauldron of anger with an arsenal of weapons, to contend with.

I never went to the raves, but I certainly remember having to fight through lines and crowds of kids to get home at night. Every now and then I meet someone who tells me about how they've partied at the Alexandria. When I look unimpressed, they add that it wasn't one of the raves but a private party at the penthouse. It's pretty funny when they find out they were in my home.