Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Drawing for $50

In San Francisco on Friday night, Southern Exposure held its annual fund-raiser called the Monster Drawing Rally. I went over there for awhile, despite a slough of fatigue following a rather mild cold. Although the event took place at a different venue this year, it was the usual madhouse. Squeezing through the crowd, I encountered a young artist friend going the opposite direction, and we just looked at each other and screamed. That felt good.

For reasons that are surely not rational, it is deemed necessary to have DJs and loud music on top of HUNDREDS of people talking, or trying. One young artist whom I don’t know well, who was trying to be friendly, found it hard to converse with me because I couldn’t hear half of what she said. My hearing tends to fail me in these situations. The music was fun (“I might like you better if we slept together”), but PLEASE!

Anyway, I laughed when I overheard one guy say, “I thought they would be drawing monsters.” Actually, the monster aspect is the size of it: 100 or so artists, each drawing for an hour in shifts of 25. Each of the donated drawings was slipped into a clear plastic envelope, taped to the wall, and offered for $50. When more than one person wanted a drawing (this happened a lot), the contenders drew from a pack of cards, and the high card took the drawing.

I literally aced a graphite drawing by Eric Bodine (photo at top).

It was a feel-good evening: the generosity of the artists, the hands shooting up to bid when fresh drawings reached the wall, the happy faces, the sense of community.

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