by Laura Hutson
Nickel History: In The Service of Ghosts by Tony Fitzpatrick at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans. It was amazing. Beautiful little etchings that hold a lot of symbolic resonance. You have to get real intimate with these etchings to really appreciate them. Great line work, amazing color.
What's the last show that surprised you? Why?
Is it lame that I can't think of an answer to this?
What's your favorite place to see art in Nashville?
The Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. This space is an almost surefire space to see interesting and well-realized work. It's a nice-sized space that can contain an artist's vision well.
Where are you finding ideas for your work these days?
Too hard to limit this. I never really shop for ideas in one place. I find ideas from all over the place: nature, dreams, relationships, flea markets, digging in the dirt, mental wanderings, music.
Do you collect anything?
I have a smattering of old colored plastic telephones that I love, but mostly I collect 78 rpm records and old record players. I love hearing the history of music from the actual shellac records played on the appropriate record player from its corresponding decade. If I listen a record from the ’30s, I like to hear what it would have really sounded like to the person that heard it back then, with all the scratches and audio limitations that are inherent in older technologies.
What's the weirdest thing you ever saw happen in a museum or gallery?
I am very interested in the social dynamics of art openings. You always get the crowd who is into the art, the crowd who is interested in being in a crowd, and the crowd who is smart enough to realize that this is a great place to get free snacks and wine in bulk. I was once next to a woman who, when finding a whole pie at a reception, decided to cut out a small piece to put on a plate, and then took the rest and ran out of the door, taking the almost complete pie still in the pan and leaving the small piece she cut out back at the gallery. It was a beautiful reversal of the social norms of public pie sharing. It would have been one of the best performance art pieces I had seen in town if she would have claimed it as such. Admittedly, the pie looked delicious.
What's your art-world pet peeve?
My pet peeve is that we pretend like the art world is a singular noun. I have always viewed it as art worlds in a plural sense. No hierarchy, just amazing creative visions that manifest themselves in many unique forms.
Do you have a gallery/museum-going routine?
I try to get out on the first Saturdays and see all the shows that have monthly rotational exhibits downtown. It is always great to see people and see what's going on. It's a nice time when you know all the spaces will all be open. Plus the artists are there so you shake their hand and what have you. Besides that, I just try to work in the shows around town as time allows.
What's the last great book you read?
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I am a real sucker for dystopian novels.
What work of art do you wish you owned?
A tie between a complete set of Goya's "Los Caprichos" etchings and "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch. Could you imagine what a conversation piece owning that would be! "How about we all spin some records, have some french onion dip, and stare at Hieronymus Bosch's masterpiece" you could say.