Sunday, October 4, 2009

Visiting "Dougieland" In Northeast Minneapolis...

After Thursday's fundraiser for Don Samuels, click here, the numerous movers, shakers and ordinary citizens gathered at the Mill City Cafe were invited to check out the art gallery next door. The gallery--which said "Dougieland" on the exterior--featured the recent work of Douglas Padilla, age 60 but he hardly looks a day over 45.

Above, I am pictured with some of Padilla's art which really speaks to me.

It features...nails.

Lots and lots of nails. Baby.

I like this photo so much that I made it my Johnny Northside Dot Com profile picture.

Here's what Padilla and his collaborator, Deborah Jinza Thayer, have to say about his recent art exhibit...

(Text from exhibit flyer)

I started working on a new exhibit when I was 59 or so. It had been a few years since my last solo show at Gallery Co and the work was piling up: paintings, huge and small, both abstractions and my more typical symbolic narratives; drawings of mariposas and diablitos; sculptures made of thousands of nails; photos of my mother's passing; Dia de los Muertos prints and other works on paper...

I was beginning to feel like I had to get my art some air out in the world. And, I wanted to celebrate my 60th year on this planet. But, well, turning 40 had been easy, turning 50 had been fun, but turning 60, my god, it was getting difficult.

I'd been waffling along for a while when my old friend dancer/choreographer Deborah Jinza Thayer walked back into my life. She started creating dances based on my art, dances referencing a dougieland sense of funk and color and corazon. Originally inspired by my series of fashion deconstructions, "La Mode," the immediate inspiration for the dances was the interface between costume and soul.

Next, she brought me to rehearsals and got my input on everything from dance to costumes to lights. Eventually, she and her team began helping me with the production end of my exhibit. Every step of the way she has been an angelic force to me; disciplined, adamant, and inspirational--although, on occasion, I've had to stop and get my breath as I've endeavored to keep pace with her in this creative process.

If only all collaborators were as blessed as I.

Deborah Jinza Thayer responds:

Doug is portraying me as some angelic collaborator. That's really nice of him. Actually, I would say that I am a little obsessive and poor Dougie just got caught in the OCD tempest.

I initially connected with his "La Mode" series--a strange world of both mysticism and fashion. An odd coupling, I thought, with its disjoined and distorted, out-of-scale body parts. So, of course, I had to make me some modern dance.

Through creating and producing these works, I had many conversations with El Dougie. Inevitably, I listed to him opine about the art world, the lack of funds, and the spiritual and physical exhaustion that ensues. It requires a special kind of stamina to keep creating under those conditions after decades. So I offer these dances as rites of passage, and as transitions into ever great prosperity, vitality and creativity.

Lots of things get thrown into these dances: a bit of funk, color, playfulness; tensions between the spiritual and the material; the phenomena of the "celebrity artist" and all that is required to maintain a persona and a balanced (or not) ego; and some art & fashion world antics.

So I hope you come, play, and laugh. I know I have.

1 comment:

Ranty said...

His wife Susan is also my colleague at C21 Luger. Good peeps.