But wait, there's more!
What's next? What else was in that box? I've yet to look closer at Mr Francis X Marshall, a man of interest? He was involved with The Wine Advisory Board, may have shopped the Miles Kimball catalog. Marshall was a resident at the Hotel Monterey in Janesville WI. How did these documents end up in Jack's car?
Opening night reception 08.03.2018
All the anxiety, pressure to make sure all the details had been taken care of disappeared on August 1st when we finished the installation at the gallery.
I walked away looking back through the window that day thinking how nice the work looked in the space at Gallery 2622. Then, I realized, it was my show. First solo show. Too cool.
Almost a year in the works, "Saints & Sinners" came together nearly how I had envisioned.
To make the original installation, "Still Life 69" come to life in a larger venue than Var Gallery, I had to enlarge all the posters and images to accommodate the extra space available. I was very pleased with the proportions. The installation took on a completely different look. Rather than being in tight quarters, it was out in the open. A 360 degree view. The front grill of the 1969 Cadillac was very apparent. The chairs and benches became a place for gallery visitors to sit and chat. Exactly what they were intended to do.
Bridging the two pieces was as difficult as I originally thought it might be.
Saints & Sinners looks at the effect that symbols, colors and storytelling influence our vision of reality. Numbers play a big part. During last night's 2nd Evening event, one of the visitors mentioned that the number seven is significant throughout the bible. He also pointed out that the odds of getting a seven while rolling a pair of dice has the best odds.
I'm ultra thankful for all the support I got during this show.
I wanted to bring the Still Life 69 installation back out to show again.
When I approached John Korom, owner/operator of Gallery 2622 in Wauwatosa about showing in his space, he gave me a challenge to bring new work related to the project.
Truthfully, there is so much more to the SL69 story. Jack's history alone produces story after story. Almost to the point where, at times, I feel overwhelmed.
I decided to focus on the car. What is it about a Cadillac? Status? Does it show others that you have "made it" or that you have taste?
The emblem/crest for the 1969 Cadillac uses symbolism and color to "seduce" us. Blue-Valor, White-Virtue, Red-Boldness, Gold-Riches and Black for Crusader Service. The Holy Trinity, three Merlettes on the upper left and lower right, representing the noble lineage of the Mother and Father. Counts of France, the 7 "pearls" over the crest, one for each of the royal counts of Toulouse.
The crest has seven panels on each of the halves. Could it be that they represent the 7 Deadly Sins and the contrary Virtues?
The 7 Pearls became the sins wrapped with the virtues in the Yin-Yan symbol, also similar to the number "69".
Each sin and virtue has a color assigned to it.
Lust-Blue/Chastity-White, Gluttony-Orange/Temperance-Blue, Greed-Yellow/Charity-Variety of Yellow, Sloth-Light Blue/Diligence-Green, Anger-Red/Patience-Orange, Envy-Green/Kindness-Pink and Pride-Violet/Humility-Purple.
Other symbols include an animal and punishment associated with each sin.
It took some time to research all the varied ways that this is all described. In the end, I picked up a copy of the "Canterbury Tales". The one tale in particular, "The Parson's Tale" describes the sins and consequences as well as the virtue that is the contrary to it.
Gilligan's Island, the 7 Drwarfs? Were these also referencing the sins? What about all the characters in the Still Life 69? Reading their profile you might find yourself thinking, Eddie Love, "lust". Maybe Jack was Greed? Pat G, , Anger?
I haven't gone as far as looking at my own circle of friends to check if I myself live on an island like Gilligan, Skipper and the gang.
How did this start?
It was way back in 2009.
Back then, I spent quite a few weekends digging around in "junkyards". To a guy like me, these places were more than just a resting place for junk or even scrap metal. They were time capsules.
Before we got all worried about the environmental consequences of leaving a 4,000 pound piece of metal with all kinds of refined petroleum products in a field, that's exactly what happened.
Sure, maybe if the gas tank was full, the guys would siphon it out as best as they could so the tow truck they used to push and pull the junk cars to their final resting spot could run for another couple of days. The drained oil might work for a heating system or maybe just to lubricate an old piece of machinery.
This time, I was out to find a power seat motor for my 1960 Oldsmobile. The Cadillac and Oldsmobile shared a lot of parts. The dimensions of the '69 Caddy.
I stumbled upon the 1969 Sedan DeVille. The doors were somewhat difficult to manage. The snow/soil had piled over the rocker panels. A dent on the driver side front door made it impossible to open it. So, I decided I had to go through the back door. (logically)
Like jumping into a dumpster, I pried the rear driver side door open, climbed in. Thank gosh it was Winter. The mold, wasp nests etc inside this car. Tons of rust on the seat frame made me decide that even if the motor on the seat was there, I didn't want to get involved with a rebuild.
As I backed out of the front seat past the contents of the back seat, I saw this blue box. Sort of like the type you would put brochures in or maybe some kind of learning program booklet system.
There were old catalogs from the early 60's. Miles Kimball company still in Oshkosh WI, Pipes and tobacco, wine etc.
The most interesting pieces were the canceled/bounced checks from people in the Dane/Jefferson County area. Some of the checks had a full profile of the person that wrote the check. Height, weight, hair color, race, eye color, phone no. and sometimes their address.
If that wasn't enough, there were a small group of 35mm color slides of a scene inside of a night club. This will later serve as a source for story content.
More interesting, the checks were written to an entertainment promotion company, Rainbow Entertainment. Rainbow Entertainment promoted bands at a club called the Spectrum.
Also included in the box, the "Protect-o Plate" for the Cadillac. Cars used to come with a credit card size piece of plastic that had the new owner's information on it. That way, when the person would bring their car in for service, the service team would just "swipe" the protect-o plate at the top of the work order. It kept the information consistent.
The owner, Jack, turns out to be quite the colorful character.
I will get in to more about Jack and the Spectum night club on my next entry.