I have an exhibition of my paintings at the AACI-Netanya, entitled “Portraits: Past and Present” (Aug 10- Sept 4). This is my sixth solo art show. But, this article, although it will be about the show, will also be about the mundane subject of how to move large paintings around. I have some experience of this, having taken a load of paintings to Jerusalem and back, twice. But, not everything goes smoothly.
I drove to my studio (about 5 mins drive from home and 5 mins from AACI) to load the paintings into my car (a hatchback) and as I arrived I remembered that last time I had to put the back seat down, the spring catch on one side would not release, the button was simply loose. I suddenly realized that I could not load the large paintings into the back of my car unless I could in fact turn down both back seats in order to make room for them. Suddenly I realized that I was in a predicament. I could not have a show unless I could move the paintings to AACI that day to be hung the next morning. Of course, I should have taken the car in for the catch to be repaired, but it seemed so trivial at the time and I forgot. Now it was too late. Why do these things happen to me?
I approached the car with various tools, long metal spikes, screwdrivers, a hammer (just in case) and I faced this situation like a man, I used brute force. I looked at the catch on the other side and decided that all it needed was an accurate push up to release the seat back. So I probed it with various long tools, and finally after some toiling in the hot sun I managed to get a screwdrivewr in the right location and it clicked and opened. Phew! Artists must be versatile.
I then loaded the paintings and took them to the AACI and unloaded them, and then today, Monday, I had the excellent help and advice of Gypsy Ron, the art teacher at the AACI, who curated my show (actually it was more the other way around, I helped her). With her, and the helper at AACI, Zvi, who actually hung the paintings, we set them all up and prepared the tables and chairs in 3 hours.
The show was intended to be an exhibition of the portraits I have painted in the past year or two, starting with that of my wife Naomi, and including some friends and carers. But, it was held now because I painted a portrait of my mother-in-law, Millie Silverstein, who will be 100 years old on Aug 27. I painted a portrait of her to commemorate her 100th Birthday. Some family members will be visiting from abroad, her younger daughter and my son, so I thought it would be nice to have the show now. But, I didn’t have enough paintings for the whole hall, so Gypsy helped me to choose some other of my older paintings and we called the show “Portraits: Past and Present.” We included several of my “shadow” paintings that I did ten years or so ago. I hope to put a photo exhibit of my show on my web-site http://www.jackcohenart in due course.
Well, the opening of the show was last night. About 30 hardy people attended and I can say that it was a great success. Several people, and especially Gypsy, said some very nice things about some of my paintings, and overall I was very pleasantly surprised by the outcome. To see the show, go to the AACI in Netanya until Sept 4, or wait patiently for it to appear on my website.