XIX. Mere surmise slurs: now twenty percent more surmisier

Mere surmiser. Which is actually now post 658, or six-hundred-thirty-nine posts later perhaps better.

Terry Acebo Davis and Elizabeth Sullivan, in front of a Tara Donovan masterpiece, at Pace Gallery, Menlo Park, May, 2104

Terry Acebo Davis and Elizabeth Sullivan, in front of a Tara Donovan masterpiece, at Pace Gallery, Menlo Park, May, 2104

Although the reviewer for ReCode says that the Arrillagas, “the largest landowner in Silicon Valley”, own 300 El Camino, other sources say that it is owned by the University. Some of us still make that distinction, between Stanford (and, by extension, the legacy of Leland Stanford Junior) and Arrillaga (John, Jeff, Randy, Laura, Marc et al). As compared to Tim Draper, who is founding his own university, offering certificates of entrepreneurship or something, a few clicks up the Royal Highway in San Mateo. Draper who is a cousin to Nat Wolfe, who plays the most Teddy Francoesque character in the movie, playing across the street. Three Hundred El Camino was until 2005 Anderson Chevrolet, one of 277 outposts for AutoNation, and before that, what we old timers would know it as, Ely Chevrolet. The Elys, related by marriage at least to the Wilburs, who ran the University for years, circa 1920-1940. The gallery director Elizabeth Sullivan, who is from a very nice part of Long Island (and I’m partly bluffing here) said that the concept of having a popup Pace Gallery in Menlo Park was due to a relationship with “a very important collector”, Nellie Bowles of ReCode (covers the Valley), outed Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen as that person. It says that second generation Gallery owner Marc Glimcher had the insight that since Gagosian did so well enticing Hedge Fund guys (Leon Black types, if not Leon Black himself: how would I know?), Glimcher thought to target the Social Media and PayPal Mafia types; for instance, they successfully in two or three cases used Alexander Calder mobiles and stabiles as hooks to land the big fish, or so it is said, if not in those words. Mazel tov. The image works for me.

It is some kind of oddity that the gallery uses the body shop and mechanics bays, built out with white walls, rather than the showroom per se, even with the Stanford and Arrillaga and or Ely connections. On the other hand it is not that obvious that once the thing is built they are continuing to sell art for 60 to 90 days or more or just they are slow cleaning up the elaborate event of April 17 or what not. (Which reminds me to some extent of the recent private function fundraiser at City Hall Palo Alto that masqueraded for whatever perverse effect as a free public event regarding Martin Luther King: the One Percent are getting cleverer and cleverer at flaunting their advantages over we wee 99.9s. Not that we mind pressing our noses to their windows from time to time. Thanks for sharing).

Decorating the weathered chyochin, (Japanese lantern), hanging at the edge of the lanai, (porch), is the kanji for “harmony” (another rejected working title for this, “XIX. Mere surmise slurs: now twenty percent more surmisier” which is a review of an art show and a movie, plus memoir, plus query)

Which I guess means even more of a surmise than the previous time I thought those thoughts, which was about 3 years ago, slightly more. There’s a footnote (or what I used to call “self-commenting” ) about Rob Syrett coming with me to the post office the day a Laurel Nakadate poster arrived. I thought about taking some kind of revenge of Laurel by claiming, in Plastic Alto, that she had a cameo in the James Franco film, as the history teacher, the one who receives a term paper co-written by Val Kilmer as a meddling step-father, with references to “Alexander the Dubious” (which is actually a part for Janet Song). The joke would be that Laurel Nakadate would fancy herself frolicking with the soccer nymphs not as one of the “grums” (although Amy Sedaris gamely plays along, as the librarian; Laurel Nakadate probably hates being mentioned in same graph as Amy Sedaris).

I am meaning to pump out 150 to 1,500 kinder words about Tara Donovan, who has about $2,000,000 worth of work in Menlo Park, in a former auto dealership body shop. Tara Donovan who turned a very large box of drinking straws into a miraculous wall hanging slash sculpture (pictured above); If I had about $50 million in assets under management I would definitely invest $850,000,000 I mean $850,000 in a Tara Donovan, who after all is a MacFound genius.

Vasna Wilson, Drew Altizer Photography Paul Allen, Lucy Page, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Marc Glimcher molly glimcher wrote a book about oldenburg, elizabeth says. marc's mother. we have a photo of terry and elizabeth we will add later

Vasna Wilson, Drew Altizer Photography
Paul Allen, Lucy Page, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Marc Glimcher
molly glimcher wrote a book about oldenburg, elizabeth says. marc’s mother.

I met a Spanish lady named Paz (for “peace” not “piece” which you can almost get away with in an art gallery) who said that she is also a freelance conservator or preparator at Stanford’s museum, before breaking off our exchange somewhat definitively, as is appropriate for what her day rate must be. She, the gallery director and at least one of the two guards were moving handfuls of toothpicks from a pedestal to various boxes and containers, not unlike the famous “erased DeKoonig” that PACE actually showed a few years back but is in the SF Moma thanks to Mrs. Wattis (who most prefer to Ms. Wilsey, of the rival DeYoung, and the fact that anyone would confuse Wattis with Wilsey is like confusing Nakadate with the adults in “Palo Alto”).

I wanted to lead and even headline with:

Golly, Flip or his Ghost Author Wrote, what a Year of Random Bad Luck, 1965 which is an art reference if you think of motorcycles carving lines into the salt flats of Nevada, near Reno. All that is a Rachel Kushner reference. Rachel Kushner who I rank near Tara Donovan, probably ahead of Laurel Nakadate (of whom, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan, if afeared), slightly ahead of Paz from Spain (but who knows?),  and Elizabeth Sullivan (the gallery director) — in my pantheon of Female Super Heroes. (The Flame Throwers, 2013, p. 23).

My problem with Laurel Nakadate is that if I ever met her or contacted her via email, like a fan letter or a query from a potential collector or patron or whatnot is that she, I fear, would immediately file me with her “marks”, the middle-age and out-of-her-league men on whom she prays. And to be clear, I am pretending to believe that Laurel Nakadate is Janet Song, from “Palo Alto” not to be further confused by Janet Fung, a character, like our “mere surmise sir” meresurmisers,  Helen Hong, of Coen fame, not a Coppolater. And  it took me a while to fathom that our poor Gia is the daughter of Gio Coppola, who died in a boating accident while she was in utero, which maybe explains a lot of this.

Janet Fung I mean Helen Hong

Janet Fung I mean Helen Hong

Janet Song

Janet Song

Reminds me that when Charlotte Gerstein and I heard Tom Robbins read or lecture, circa 1990 at Herbst Theatre in SF, a woman in the audience asked him how he could write so skillfully from a woman’s perspective (think Sissy Hankshaw, for one). Robbins who has a book out this week, a memoir, with a tiny bit about David Smith, I think, maybe Robert Smithson. I would love to read his art writings, if someone would compile them.

Reminds that I asked Tony May what he was doing in 1961 when Claes Oldenburg had his happenings in East Village. He said that he was a freshman in college, at Wisconsin, and didn’t start making or doing happenings until about 1965. (NB, Claes Oldenburg, Tony May and Yours Truly Mark Weiss share a birthday, January 28 — but I wasn’t happening at all, until 1964). Tony May Terry and I saw at Bill Gould’s art party. Bill Gould who is on a plane to Poland to install a piece of public art but not plop art called Maki which means “poppy” or so he thinks.

detail of a tony may

detail of a tony may

James Franco and Gia Coppola vehicle not to be confused with “Palo Alto” the movie by Bradley Leong (Paly ’04) and Tony Vallone or their website.

The person I link to, or gallery, in Lyons, Colorado, that sells “the cove” also sells work by Enrique Chagoya (who I note in yesterday’s Stanford Daily, that I read today, or the day after I posted the first version of this, is also curating a student show at Stanford), his wife Kara Maria (a piece called, fittingly “Hawaiian Punch” for $750), Luis Jiminez (of his famous blue mustang, I had seen or coveted before, which is $2,800). I have two copies of a Diego Romero print, not the Landfall one — maybe when my art budget really runs dry I could try to trade one for something like, note to self. John Yau wrote thusly about LN: You explore a more unstable terrain, always intent on making “a narrow escape,” the only option you see for yourself. Meanwhile, the middle aged, potbellied man is condemned to pirouette, again and again. It is his one true moment of beauty and tenderness recorded for posterity—you have given him his “narrow escape” and he knows it, as he does what he is told. LN, not at Pace here or in New York, except perhaps in spirit, according to Plastic Alto, and she is actually about 12 years younger than moi. And I only would stand being called “pot-shaped” if the speaker were Jody Naranjo or Autumn Borts-Medlock, although it is also true that I was recently taunted for my physique by a shapely and bikinied French new mom, I admit. Speaking of Kara Maria, I also noticed recently that she, Stephanie Syjuco and Stanford’s Xiaoze Xie were among the recent acquisitions on display at San Jose Museum. Stephanie Syjuco’s piece, about the anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, is an installation piece that in some ways reminds me of Donovan.

I was also jonesing to ring Holualoa to ask Miho Morinoue about her edition of 20 lithograph that took her a year to draw, that features her cousin (we also met, this is in February, 2013) diving into a pond, and a lantern on the porch with kanji that say “harmony” — now that deserves it’s own post or domain, don’t it? And maybe $1,800. The cheapest thing in the PACE Menlo Park is not Jeff Koons (my bad guess — I chug) but Nara NameToKome 奈良美智(whose work we saw in Palm Springs and told Elizabeth so

Miho Morinouye of Honuloa Hawaii the big island above Kona, who is second or third generation artist, but also a dancer, and teaches or sets example at Donkey Mil center where Terry Acebo Davis dropped in to work, February, 2013

Miho Morinouye of Holualoa Hawaii the big island above Kona, who is second or third generation artist, but also a dancer, and teaches or sets example at Donkey Mil center where Terry Acebo Davis dropped in to work, February, 2013

I am posting this in “art” and “sex”.


Plastic Alto with Mark Weiss

not a vas deferens either (Brian E. Moore)

My friend the filmmaker/pathologist Dr. Brian Moore sent me, apropos of nothing, a quote attributed to Kojiro Tomita, a famous curator of Asian Arts at Boston’s MFA:

“It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.”  ~Kojiro Tomita

I wrote him back this terse not terribly clever slur:

I came I saw I concur

Meaning I agree with Mr. Tomita’s statement (which was new to me; HE was new to me) and I thought referencing the idea of going to a museum and seeing (or trysting, as the case may be); and referencing the famous “I came I saw I conquered”.

It reminded me, perhaps perversely, of the bit in Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man” in which Gopnick accuses his student of cheating and the student replies “Mere surmise sir.” (its funny, at…

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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