Last year I had a show of CTA drawings at Stan Klein’s Firecat Projects. It was without doubt the best gallery experience I’ve ever had. Not that it had much competition. Most galleries I’ve dealt with have been run by incompetent narcissists in need of a therapeutic hobby. They don’t know much about art, much less how to sell it. I’m often no help either. I figure that if they’re taking a 50% cut, they should actually do some of the work. I’ve been proven wrong almost every time.
Firecat depends on sponsorship and donations to keep the doors open. Meaning that Stan doesn’t take a cut of the sales. It means the artist is largely responsible for making those sales, but that’s a lot easier to accept knowing you’ll make any profit. The place is obviously a labor of love. I doubt very much that Stan’s making much. His mission is to give artists a place to do their thing. It’s a rare situation in a business which is mostly about self-aggrandizement.
I texted Stan a couple months to ask if he had any slots open in 2020 and he told me to come over to talk it out. That night I had trouble going to sleep, thinking of what would be in the show. I got up and started looking through my flatfiles. Without trying very hard, I picked out a hundred portraits. Some were famous people done as illustrations, others portraits of friends. A lot of self-portraits too. I got a vision of Firecat hung floor to ceiling, salon-style with faces.
Stan was into it. We agreed on August 28th for the opening. Now I’ve got a show to put together. I expect to draw on work from as far back as thirty-five to forty years ago, but also hope to crank out a bunch of new ones. The total I have in mind is two hundred pictures. Each will be titled by first name only. That way they’ll all just be people, rather than known and unknown, dead or living. We’ll see how I do. If you wanna help by posing for a portrait, drop me a line.