Archive for September 12th, 2011

I came across this photo on the Facebook page of  a band called Goliath in Transit, a name which would be a fitting title for the photo as well.  Since seeing this photo yesterday morning, I keep coming back to it in my mind.  It’s such an amzing photo, full of  odd wonder that makes me imagine different scenarios for this setting.  It is, of course, from a fair or circus from the first half of the 20th century and is from an attraction called the Wall of Death.  This particular race on the aforementioned wall consisted of a motorcyle, a go-kart (you can just see the exhaust fumes at the bottom of the photo) and a hot rod with a lion in an attached sidecar.  I can’t tell what emotions the lion was experiencing on this particular ride but in my mind I see him devouring the driver of the hot rod as soon as it comes to a stop. Justifiable homicide, I would think, but a great photo nonetheless.

 One of the aspects of being shown in a gallery for a long time is keeping up with the many people I meet through my work, following the changes that take place in their lives. 

 Sometimes there is sadness, as when those folks who collected my work as couples separate and divorce.  It’s an odd thing because I often don’t know these people very well but I always feel terribly for them, probably more than I do for closer friends and family who have went through the same situations.  Perhaps it is because when I meet and get to know them a bit I see and remember them as couples, united when they choose a painting for their life.  It often seems like such a strong bond to me that I am shocked and saddened when I find that they have split.

Other times, there is pure tragedy as I found out this past weekend in Alexandria when I discovered that a person who I looked for at every show had died in a small plane crash.  She and her husband ( they later split which is part of the sadness talked about above) were some of my earliest collectors in Alexandria and had purchased some of my personal favorites, always seeming to have a knack for picking them from the group.  She was a lovely lady that really seemed to bring a spark with her.  I last saw her last year and she seemed  genuinely excited and proud  for how far my work had come, as though she were observing my progress with the eyes of a proud mother.  It was hard to not feel great warmth for her.  So her death brought a deep groan in my gut and I was saddened that I, nor any others,  would never see that joyous face again.

But there is often also good news that lifts my spirits and one of the members of this band is part of that.  Mikey Mattice is a prodigious guitar talent who I came to know a bit through the gallery when he would come to events as a young teenager with his dad, also named Mike.  Mikey had a striking appearance that begged to be painted, containing an ethereal quality that seemed to keep him apart from everything that surrounded him.  A very special aura, I suppose it could be called. His dad asked me to to do a portrait, something normally not in my repertoire, but as I said, he had a look that should be painted.  He sent me a group of photos that really captured Mikey’s special presence.  I tried and just could not capture what I saw in those photos.  I still periodically look at the photos and hope to someday do something that does Mikey justice.

You could always see that Mike’s mind was captive to his music.  He’s in his final year at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and this band, Goliath in Transit, is one of his many projects.  He has a number of videos online showing off his virtuosity ( a favorite of mine that really shows off his chops is his cover of the Maps & Atlases’ song  Stories About Ourselves which can be seen here) and seems destined for some pretty big things, given the evident dedication he has.  I will be watching with great interest.

Here’s a song called Velvet Skies from the band Goliath in Transit.


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