I have never considered myself to be especially a man of art, so I was already apprehensive when my friends suggested going to an art gallery to look at some art. Why would I want to look at art in a second location when I can be at home, not looking at art? Tanya was part of the planning for this outing, and she sent me a pdf of all the art we’d be looking at at the gallery. I appreciated the gesture, but it made the whole thing make so much less sense. We can look at the art on our computers? Why are we going anywhere?
I had always thought of myself as the kind of person who would get thrown out of an art gallery. For example, I don’t wear long pants much anymore. I live in Southern California, where people dress casually and don’t care if you haven’t shaved too recently. I try not to clear that bar if I can help it. Art galleries are full of hoity-toity art-lover-types, probably wearing casual cravats and sipping wine. I don’t know, I don’t go to art galleries. I did go to an opening once in a comic book store, but I don’t recall what the opening was or even especially what an opening is. I think I bought a zine.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised to get thrown out of this art gallery, but I still was. The gallery was in a tiny side-street in Chinatown full of art galleries. I doubt I could find it again if I wanted to, which I wouldn’t, except for vandalism purposes. Incidentally, I wasn’t ejected for vandalism. I wish I had been. That would have been even more exciting than what actually happened. We met up with two friends, Zirwat and Duncan, with whom we’d been planning to spend more time. I suspect it was their fault, actually. That we were there, I mean, not that I got kicked out. They’re both highly educated academic types. When we suggest hanging out, they suggest art galleries. That type.
We wandered around the gallery for a little while, taking in the art. I liked it. Zirwat didn’t. Tanya loved it. Duncan is a bit of a mystery. I had to use the bathroom, because I always have to use the bathroom. I spotted a bathroom, its door ajar, in one of the gallery’s wings. When I finished, I opened the door and saw Zirwat on the other side. She brought a finger to her lips and shushed me. I cannot adequately describe what I thought when I opened the door and was told to be quiet, but “confusion” comes closest. Then the gallery owner walked up to us. He looked like a big hairless phallus with a hideous phallus face, and I’m not just saying that because I hate him now. He informed me in a tone that must have been audible from galleries away that the bathroom was private. He pointed to a sign that read PRIVATE and wasn’t visible when the door was ajar. He thanked me for coming to his gallery (not sincerely, I think), and told me to leave. I waited outside for my friends, who joined me a few minutes later, informing me that they had been told to leave, too, for knowing me.
I wish I had been kicked out for something cool. One piece of art involved packing peanuts. I could have made a snow angel in them. Or I could have set fire to the joint in protest of something artistic. I don’t know what cool art things are. Maybe I could have cussed too loud? But going to the bathroom, in a toilet, is not a cool thing to get kicked out of a gallery for, unless the toilet is actually a found art piece by Marcel Duchamp (could that be the case?). After leaving the gallery, we went to a bar that Duncan knew about. Other than us and the bartender, it was empty. I put three songs on the jukebox for a dollar: Night Moves, Thunder Road, and You Shook Me All Night Long. Now that’s art I can appreciate.