I have been getting some flack lately about the money I spend on fancy coffees. Well, it is only one a day. My nerves can't take more than that. OK, maybe throw in a deli cup of tea in the afternoon. I feel rich when I drink my brew out in the world, which I wrote about in Café Saltz. Today I walked to an appointment, 12 blocks each way - not spending $4.50 on public transportation - and bought a fancy Organic Rooibos Ambrosia cup of tea for $2.00 on the way back. See, I am actually saving money.
by Gwyneth Leech, 2010
Sumi ink on white cup
Honestly, a girl has to have some luxury and what else can we afford in this crazy expensive city?
It's me and Holly Golightly drinking coffee from a paper cup in front of Tiffany's. I love the opening sequence from the Audrey Hepburn movie, by the way. And yes, I do walk up to to 57th Street and 5th Avenue to look at the windows of Tiffanys - and Bergdorf's - on a regular basis. Because if you love installation art those windows are where you can get a regular dose of the best.
So, the truth is I am a penny pincher and hate to spend. Which is why my experience down on the Lowers East Side at Alix Sloan Gallery the other day was so strange and unnerving: I almost bought a painting! I went for the opening of Mia Brownell's show Stomach Acid Dreams and fell in love with a small painting in the rear gallery called Still Life with Helix. Like the other paintings in the show, it is a luscious mix of bravura still life painting technique, abstraction and science. Oh, the shining fruit! What grabbed me was a delicate strand of DNA twisting through the central axis, made up of brilliantly painted grape stem.
Against all reason, I wanted that painting. And at under a $1000 I could conceivably buy it. All I would have to do is cancel our family's self-employed person's health insurance plan which drains well over a grand from our coffers each month, maybe go to one of those high deductible plans where you pay as you go and gamble that your health costs are less than $20,000 a year. Think of the art collection I could have. Think of the artwork I could have amassed by now, if it weren't for 10 years of NYC health insurance premiums.
Throwing caution to the wind, I actually went to the desk to tell them to put a red dot on it -
but it was already sold.
"Still Life with Helix" by Mia Bownell
11" x 9"
oil on canvas
11" x 9"
oil on canvas