Our Short New Orleans AdventureBy Irene Zion
November 19, 2010
I flew from Miami to New Orleans last weekend. There is a gallery there showing some of my paintings and I wanted to go to the opening. Victor came along because he really likes the food in New Orleans.
At the same time as the opening in New Orleans, there was a huge on-line auction of outsider art. We had previously sent in some bids, but you could also bid live, on-line, with the people on the floor who were actually physically at the auction. Before we left the hotel for lunch, we bid on a wax replica of Tiny Tim from the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He was around about three feet tall and wore a little suit, complete with bow tie. It appeared that we won him and we were ecstatic.
We walked to meet Ronlyn Domingue and Todd for lunch at Galatoire’s. I had Victor practice their names. By the time they came, he had it down as Toddlynn and Ron, having gone through many other permutations. (One was Scrodlynn and Dodd. You get the picture. I really can’t take him anywhere.)
When they arrived, they were just so young and happy. It lifts your spirits to be around people like them. They told us that they heard that only the hoi-polloi are given seats upstairs, so we were relieved to be seated downstairs with the hoity-toity people. Oh, and they were genuinely impressed that we now owned the three-foot wax figure of Tiny Tim in a suit!
I learned that I had been mispronouncing Ronlyn’s name forever. I was saying “Dominique” as though it were French, but it actually is Domingue which rhymes with Meringue, the dessert, (not the dance.) Victor is not the most patient photographer. Here is a picture he took of Ronlyn and me:
When we got back to the hotel we got back on the auction web site. We then won a seven-foot tall, three- foot wide wooden door painted by Molly Proctor.
We were really doing well. Then we bid on something and the bid came up green and then it said that we won the item, also in green. Then we realized that if someone else on line clicks the next bid on his computer a fraction of a second before you do, they win the item.
Tiny Tim didn’t come up green. Molly Proctor’s enormous door didn’t come up green. We hadn’t won them.
But now we knew the rules. Coming up soon was a repulsive pair of wooden carved figures: one of a crouching naked man and a matching one of a woman with three breasts and, um, a hoo-ha. I really didn’t want this item, but Victor really did and he promised to put it somewhere where I’d never see it.
When the picture came on we were ready to click to raise our bid if we had to, but nothing happened for a while and then they said they couldn’t find the figures and went on to the next item.
Well, after losing Tiny Tim and a seven-foot wooden door, we were livid. Someone had actually stolen those two repulsive wooden statues!
That evening we flagged a cab to take us to St. Claude near Spain. It’s just Southwest of Treme, made popular to the rest of the country by the recent TV show by that name. The Gallery was a madhouse. Andy Antippas is the owner of the Gallery and I think he’s always been in New Orleans. The show was very eclectic and wonderful. The gallery was filled to bursting with interesting pieces of art. Some pieces were beautiful, some were shocking, some were kind of nasty; there was something there for every taste.
There were so many fascinating people there of all ages, each with his own idea of appropriate dress. Some of the attendees had piercings and oddly shaved hair, and others looked like ordinary businessmen and women. It was really fun to be there among all of them. The weather was perfect. I felt good seeing some of my paintings lined up on their very own wall.
(This is the web site for it: http://www.barristersgallery.com/
in case any of you feel like buying three creepy weird paintings.)
It had been a wonderful weekend. The weather forecast called for rain, but it hadn’t begun yet. This was a good thing because the taxi taking us back to the airport only had one windshield wiper, and it was on the passenger side, and that lone wiper didn’t come near to touching the windshield, it just shook in the wind as though it had taxi windshield wiper Parkinson’s.
A few days after we got home, we got an invoice for the Molly Proctor door. Victor forgot that he had previously sent in a bid for it, so we were bidding against ourselves! (HA!) Pretty soon an enormous door will arrive that will have the power to make me smile every time I look at it.