Monday, October 26, 2009

Tres Belles @Camel Art Space, Oct. 25th

(Okay, so not a gig, per se, but this relates to my oft-partner-in-concerting, Julie.)

I met my friend Julie Torres initially about 8 years ago in passing -- she was a roommate of a friend of mine who I sometimes visited, but I didn't really get to know Julie well at that time at all. A few years went by, and by then, she and my friend had already ceased to be roommates. I had a cheap ticket to a $5 Ben Kweller and Walkmen show at Irving Plaza that I had to get rid of, so I posted it for sale on Craigslist for face. Amongst the numerous replies I received, I recognized Julie's email address and decided that I just had to sell it to her, with the world being so small and all. She came to my office to pick up the ticket, and in that brief moment, we talked about our mutual love of live music. We both bemoaned not having many other friends who actually enjoyed going to concerts, so right then and there we agreed we would seek each other out for future shows, and the rest, as they say, is history. I can't even begin to tell you how many gigs Julie and I have seen together. And while our relationship might have begun over a drink or two with some hearing loss in a crowded, dark venue, today I am happy to consider Julie one of my closest friends.

So, not only does Julie have impeccable taste in music, but she is also a talented painter. In the time that I've known her, I had the opportunity to view her stuff from time to time, like in her apartment or if she happened to be carrying something she was working on, but until recently, never in a proper setting. But then, last month, she was selected as one of three artists to show their art at Camel Art Space in Williamsburg in an exhibition
entitled "Tres Belles," so I could not wait to check it out.

Yesterday, before Shana and I headed to Manhattan to see Girl Talk, we stopped by to catch the closing day reception of the exhibition, and it made me very proud to see my friend's paintings in such a context. She had quite a few of her smaller sized pieces selected, as well as some larger ones which allowed for a different kind of complexity. While I am no art critic by any means, I find her current fixation on fingers very interesting, as they can be very tangible and identifiable, yet they are presented in a way that conjures strong emotion from the perspective of the viewer. To me, fingers can represent strength and control, but can simultaneously be quite vulnerable. You can learn a lot about a person from how their hands look, whether they are balled up in fists, or swollen, or milky white à la George Costanza the hand model. Her paintings are playful both visually and mentally, and challenge you to search for deep meaning within yourself.

I was psyched to see all of Julie's hard work come to fruition and can't wait to see what's next.

Check out more of her artwork on her website here.

Que bella!

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