My sister and I frequently joke that I’m her “patron of the arts.” We both dream up what we feel are exciting and worthwhile home décor projects, and then I pay for her to execute them. She has a lot more spare time, and I have a lot (well, some) more spare money. As an added bonus, I get to wield my financial power like a 17th century Pope and can deliver my opinion to the artist whether its wanted or not. It works out, (when she’s not telling me to suck it) for the most part.
In the process of becoming a better bitter blonde, I’ve landed some great dates, filled a Rolodex with new restaurants and remembered why I love books so much that as a child I’d stay up till the wee hours reading in a closet with a flashlight. And somehow along the way I’ve managed to acquire my own Patrons of the Arts: Lindsay and Bri. And to be honest, I don’t know what I did to deserve friends like these. But I sincerely hope they know what talented, amazing women they are, how fortunate I feel to have them as friends, and how much I truly appreciate what they do for me.
Lindsay is the ecologically aware one, and next week she’s taking me to Manchester, Tennessee for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to help encourage attendees to join the virtual march on Washington currently underway on StopGlobalWarming.org. (There will be more on that later.) Bri, on the other hand, has taken it upon herself to act as my fairy godmother of all things art-related.
On Wednesday night, my darling Bri took me to the KCRW Angel Party at MoCA in downtown LA. I, a native Angeleno who has spent all but my four years of college in this city, had never been there before. I have no excuse, other than my own ignorance and laziness. That’s where my fairy godmother steps in. After taking me to a Patina-catered shindig downtown with plenty of free vodka (who knew that grapefruit Absolut was actually drinkable?), I received a private guided tour of MoCA’s Robert Rauschenberg Combines exhibit.
I don’t know anything about Rauschenberg. When it comes to fine art – oil paintings, sculpture, watercolor – I’m positively ignorant. I know what I like, I know what I don’t like, I’m fairly aware of most art movements over the past few decades (courtesy of two artsy college roommates), but overall I’m uninformed. That’s why I have a Patron. As we toured the collection, Bri gave me a brief history of the artist, and related his work to things I do know a little something about: Beat poets, Dadaism and performance art.
I highly recommend getting a Patron. Unlike a Sugar Daddy/Momma, you don’t have to put out for your Patron. Instead, you hear things like, “Hey, want to check out Lorna Simpson since we’re here?” And you follow dumbly along. And then, in addition to free food and booze, you get to see fascinating photographs printed on felt.
Robert Rauschenberg Combines
5/21/06 – 9/4/06
4/16/06 – 7/10/06
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012