Less Summer, End

David Bell, Summer Painting
20×30 inches
Oil on canvas

A man hoisted himself up on a small ledge nearby the pool, but, he wasn’t preparing to jump.  No, he was the host, finally stepping up to greet the crowd that had assembled from far and wide.  Wearing a defeated expression which seemed premature, he took a deep breath, raised his arms and spoke, regretting his words as they came falling out… 

“Sorry guys, the cops just came and everyone has to leave or they’re only going to come again.”  (exhale)

Fortunately, these words were of no surprise to me.  I was regretfully prepared for it when, less than an hour earlier, I had heard this preliminary speech while arriving: 

“Shut the fuck up, you fucking hipsters! You don’t fucking belong here! Get the fuck out of Silver Lake!!!” 

“No, no, no, they’re artists,” I said unhesitantly to the man screaming down from his balcony, intensifying my stride toward the party, which I could already tell was going to be much less unruly than I would have liked.  While rounding the corner, I couldn’t help but wonder if the man raining such heavily abrasive, impassioned blows down upon arriving guests knew something I didn’t about the attendees…

One thing I do know is that after a grueling, hot Summer, art season has finally arrived, and the parties have begun to try to begin…

That night, they had come from all over.  Many had spent the earlier part of the evening “embracing” Friedrich Kunath’s take on Lacan’s seemingly normal hair, or dizzying themselves at Susanne Vielmetter as Melodie Mousset recreated, through the use of the ceramic wheel, a feeling many of us incidentally were experiencing whilst driving in circles, searching for parking at Bergamot Station.

Upon entering the party, I realized immediately that the balcony critic may have had a point: perhaps none of these people really did belong there.  Arriving empty-handed, I immediately made my way over to where I thought the drinks would be with the hopes of running into someone I knew who would be putting beer in the fridge, and coincidentally there I would be standing.  “You need one?” the acquaintance would ask unhesitatingly…”Ummm sure I guess, if you don’t mind.”

Making my way toward the drinks, I was easily brushed off by Davida Nemeroff, who stood with a group of friends in a conducive circular formation, and I didn’t quite meet expectations in the eyes of Evelena Ruether, and why is it that every time I see Stanya Kahn in public I’m disappointed that she is not doing some random, crazy shit? Yet, as planned, immediately upon entering the atmospherically frat-y kitchen, Jan Tumlir, Guinness pack in hand, was quick to offer me a brew, and continue on about his days as a marathon runner. “Yeah, cool, want to go have a smoke?”

It’s hard to imagine that this environment could ever be anything but trite- I mean, it’s purposely right out of a movie, a movie that only people from Los Angeles would watch, and perform, at the same time.  I mean, if the most famous of visual artists in Los Angeles was at this gathering, she’d still be…well, Almost Famous, (sorry).  This party seemed to be a direct parallel to mostart openings. If you arrive at a place that’s heavily promoted as a “pool party,” with artists being the majority of the people in attendance, then one would expect the pool to have everyone’s attention, just as an “art” opening seemingly would place emphasis on the art and the artist, and the viewers’ engagement, outside of the desperate offerings of encouragement toward the art star of the evening, with words that hardly escape condolence, as the majority, gravitationally bound to the centerpiece, albeit through obligation rather than admiration, have hardly anything to express outside of misleading, congratulatory, non-critical sustenance.

Yet just when I thought it was going to stay overtly reticent, I caught a glimpse of the sun. Though it was already dark and much too early for light, so upon second look, I realized I was merely staring at the tattoo in the center of Andrew Berardini’s recently desert-tanned and all of the sudden exposed chest. But perhaps his unveiling was the exact push this party needed. Before I knew it, the pool was no longer a threat, and people began to dive in, finally the focal point was where it should be. One woman knew the weekend had begun as she quickly took her pants off, shirt on, mind you and jumped in, yet she was matched immediately when a young lady dove in in full 27/27 La Cienega attire, not quite realizing it was time to shed the costume. Perfectly timed, two beautiful blondes walked in, but as I saw them edge toward the water, their eyes unavoidably fixated on the pool scene, and carefully I watched and listened simultaneously to the one woman’s lips aimed intently on the pants less swimmer below, murmur out the words “disgusting” to her friend.

I saw it all come crashing down just as fast as the first visible sign of hope had tossed off her trousers moments earlier, and as I looked up across the way I saw the host about to deliver his surrender speech.

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