DROP ME A LINE:
TO THOSE WHO QUESTION THE CASE FOR PUBLIC FUNDING OF THE ARTS:
It has been announced that on May 22 Lalla Essaydi will be awarded the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s Medal Award. (A retrospective of her work, “Lalla Essaydi: Revisions,” is currently on view at the National Museum of African Art Smithsonian in Washington.) I feel like it’s some sort of personal triumph. No, I do not know Lalla Essaydi and have obviously played no part in her phenomenal contributions to the art world. However, she is the focus of a disagreement in our household which I like to hold over my husband’s head, so she has become a bit of an obsession. I’m pretty sure I have told this story before, but to revisit, my husband and I saw a photograph by Lalla Essaydi at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s sale a number of years ago. I loved the photograph. There is some disagreement about what the actual price was at the time, but it was under $1,000. We did not buy it, much to my chagrin, because it was too expensive and too large. A few years later we saw the same photograph selling for $18,000. Oops. So there is really nothing more satisfying than proving to my husband what a horrendous mistake it was not to buy the photograph.
Essaydi was born in Marrakech, grew up initially in Morocco, and then spent a number of years living in Saudi Arabia. She creates breathtaking large scale portraits of Muslim women. The story they tell is both beautiful and chilling. To look at them is to be overcome by an incredible stillness.
Gotta love it when all of your favorite things come together in one place. At the Proof of Purchase show on Saturday I was carefully examining every postcard to find one by Rachel Perry Welty, an unbelievable contemporary artist with whom I am absolutely obsessed, and scoring that for $50 would have been a major coup. Sadly, we learned that her postcard had already sold, and that Rachel herself had in fact purchased one of the most coveted items in the show, a postcard by artist John Baldessari, and from there the conversation drifted to Perry Welty’s spread in the December issue of Vogue magazine. I had seen the spread at the time but somehow had forgotten about it (which doesn’t make much sense to me given how much I love Perry Welty’s work, but there you have it, yet more evidence of my early onset Alzheimer’s, and led to the mind-boggling realization that I had just thrown that magazine into the recycling the week before). Now I cannot stop thinking about that spread (and what an a*hole move it was that I managed to throw it away).
Rachel Perry Welty Vogue spread – December 2011
So, we went to the Proof of Purchase postcard sale for the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It’s on for one more day, there are a lot of great postcards still available, and all of the details are listed on Thursday’s post. I am particularly excited about the postcard we bought. The idea, as I have mentioned, is that you pick the postcard you like without knowing who the artist is until after you pay for it. That does not, however, preclude you from identifying an artist by recognizing his or her style. This is the postcard we bought: