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Music from Cuba

December's print of the month is from one of the better parties I've been to in a long while. Our neighbor down the street was a chef and had an elaborate outdoor kitchen and cabana in her back yard with a view of the lake. Once or twice a year she threw a major party partly to promote her catering business and party because she enjoyed putting on a major party. For this one she had music by a La Famiglia -- a group from Havana. They (as well as the food) were red hot, playing a fusion of Cuban pop and jazz.

The light was failing by the time the party was in full swing and the band was underneath a second-floor deck so I got only a few photographs. By good luck his bass and finger board hand were still in the failing light.


How's Your Appetite (for art that is)

Now I have a pretty serious sweet tooth for art but I’m a beginner compare to my friend Marvin.

I had a long telephone conversation with him yesterday. Barbara says that our conversations sound like they were recorded at 33 1/3 and played back at 78.

A mutual friend says that a conversation with Marvin is like "filling a Dixie cup with a fire hose.” and I won’t disagree with that. He is published poet, a violinist, a photographer, an art director, a film maker (several of his short films are in the collection at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art), respected teacher of writing and stage craft, speech writer for high level Boeing executives …. When his then high-school age daughter fell in love with a Degas print he bought it for her. He takes his two grandchildren (her daughter and son) to New York once a year (until this year) to introduce them to MOMA and the Met and the Whitney. This photograph of Marvin caught him in an uncharacteristically pensive moment in the Bagel Oasis in Seattle.

He and I met by happy accident about 25 years ago and we immediately realized that (in his words) “We have nothing in common except everything.” Me, a linear-minded retired engineer and he “one of the few remaining untamed wild men” (same mutual friend’s description.) So what is the bond between us? It is the appetite for art, lots of art, all kinds of art, art that we are making, art that we love, art that we despise.

Marvin and I meet for lunch once or twice a year (until this year) and each time the conversation carries on as if we had met the day before. We rave about the art that excites us – rant at the pretensions of the academic art community (especially the photographers) – wave our arms about the projects we are currently working on. When we go to a museum or gallery show together we invariabley draw the amused attention of the staff – two geezers having such a good time. I crave that kind of intensity and the pandemic has me on a strict and unwelcome diet.

How’s your appetite?


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