Do you have a basement?
How do you feel about it? Is it functional living space or a maze of unmarked boxes stacked in no logical order? To stand back and take an objective look at it, I’d say I fall in the later category. My basement is a menagerie of unfinished sculptures, intended parts, and miscellaneous reminders of things I intend to do someday…including organizing the basement!
Just never mind….I’ll get to it….and I mean real soon too. But for now I felt compelled to write about a few of my artist friends and what they’ve done to their basement space. When I say few I mean that literally because artists HAVE to be the center of their personal universes, and who has time for that much genuflection?
First of all let’s establish what a typical basement is. Wikipedia says..” A basement or cellar is one or more floors of a building that are either completely or partially below the ground floor. Basements are generally used as a utility space for a building where such items as the boiler, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air conditioning system are located; so also are amenities such as the electrical distribution system, and cable television distribution point.”
My ex’s new husband finished my former residence basement and now looks like a fine hotel room! Damn him….made me look like a hapless fool.
I’m reasonably sure the two or three of you reading this bafflegab have visited friends or relatives with basements and without stretching it; seems like each has its own personality. So it is with my few artist friends. Not all artists are helpless with blueprints and a miter saw, I just happen to be one of them and admire anyone who can change out a screen door!
Vinny who actually makes money with his art, is a Printmaker/Lithographer and keeps his ink and stones in a studio not far from mine. You talk about strange….when I was invited to his home for a “Big Lebowski” viewing I wasn’t quite prepared to see his entire wall space filled with velvet Elvis paintings! I’m talking about the kitsch you can buy from a roadside merchant! WTF!
Jimbo, a production potter, has fashioned himself what I would describe as a man-cave complete with a fully stocked bar including beer on tap. His basement walls are proliferated with family images tied together by Dan Marino the former Quarterback from the Miami Dolphins. The only evidence of his profession is represented by a functional spittoon at the corner of his small bar.
Vanessa, a short stubby lesbian, is an excellent painter working in oil and watercolor and is not shy about expressing her sexual preferences. If I had to guess and I don’t, but for the sake of discussion I’d say Vanessa wore the pants. She threw a birthday party for her significant other and was a fabulous affair. But as soon as you navigated downstairs you’re hit between the eyes with heroic sized (8 ft) paintings of both of them naked in Kama-sutra poses. Evidently there are stories associated with each pose but only stuck around for two accounts. Jeez.
Look what you do with your personal space is certainly up to you. But when you impose your oddities on your friends/associates you do realize it becomes fodder for speculation and gossip! Right?