Dec 16, 2010

UNDERBELLY: What does an artist do after years at one place, when moving to a new locale?

Throw a party, and put everything on the walls in an art studio fire sale!

Tod Bailey, a painter originally from Dallas, has been a resident of the David Addickes Sculptureworx studios on Summer St. for years, creating and showing his work. He is headed to Paris, to dip his toes in for a while, eventually hoping to land near northern Italy somewhere. It is a risky but necesary thing for artists to do, as one must refresh the mind and input new experience. Spending years staring at the lonely sillouette of downtown Houston's skyline behind an industrial facade of run-down warehouses will make one's brain cry out for relief. Paris is as good a relief as any.


Luckily for Tod he has many friends to share the night with. From around 4:00 PM, people wandered through the artwork displayed. The keg got floated sometime between The Ted Leo Trio's set of blues covers and originals and Bright Men of Learning's set of adult-alterna-rock. These nights are chaotic at best and Tod Bailey was kept busy greeting newcomers, appeasing friends, and working to sell as many of the works on display as possible. The wine/cup/food table was nearly as warped as some of the paintings, and no one gave a fuck. Life is for living.


One cannot take one's friends with them when they move. It is one of the suck-ass
realities we all face, but think about an artist. That artist has to leave behind his friends as well as the works he has created. Painters such as Tod, who work on large canvases, have to sell off, store, or lend artworks. When your typical work is at least 7 feet wide, storage and transport are tough. The ones that hurt are the "favorites," the pieces of art so fucking awesome that you never want to sell them. It is best in that case to lend them to friends and family.


Having used all the space in his personal studio the party spilled out into the hallways of the large building, extending far into the cavernous structure. Paintings everywhere! Looking at them all it seemed very fitting that Tod was heading to Paris, as his work contains what seems a large Fauvist and Cubist influence. It will be very interesting to see what influence Paris and all of Europe will have on his sensibilities. Like many of us Houstonians, he shares a twisted-on-end world view because, frankly, Houston's flatness and homogeneity can twist the mind. Will the European countryside soften this? It may drive him insane. Whether this is for the good or the bad of his art will be judged much later. Now, all that matters is the intent to change, and the action to impliment it. Tod Bailey is in the thick of that shit it right now. It's a good place to be.


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