Today was my day to become part of the permanent collection at the De Young Museum. Seriously! I detailed how I was approached for this project in the last post.

But I honestly didn’t think it would come to anything. Then last week, the De Young Artist in Residence, Shimon Attie (read more about him here) contacted me and said he was ready for my close-up.

He’s working on a multi-media installation for the De Young that will include museum patrons interacting with pieces from the permanent collection. He found me as I was laughing my way hysterically through the Gilbert and George collection, so obviously, he must have thought I had a unique approach to Art.

So armed with the required several changes of wardrobe, I showed up at the De Young for a four hour session “interacting with artwork”. He had told me that the premise was to match specific patrons with artwork that “spoke to them”, and since he’d seen me laughing hysterically at Gilbert & George, I thought for sure I’d be “interacting” with a huge piece of poo. Or maybe a Gilbey’s Gin bottle.

Instead, my “piece” was a giant mastodon’s tusk that had been carved by Inuits sometime in the early 1800s. That’s what you are looking at in this picture — and I apologize for the quality. It is completely VERBOTEN to photograph the artwork, so I had to whip out a point and shoot camera and grab this shot when Shimon and his camera man had their backs turned. (You can see the camera crew in the background.)

Anyway, my “part” consisted of me and the artwork in a velvet lined room, standing on a giant turntable which slowly revolved as I contemplated the artwork and responded to Shimon’s directives to “apprehend meaning NOW.”

Weird and fun and the big gala unveiling is October 17th.

In the meantime, if you go to the De Young and see a giant carved mastodon tusk in the Native People’s Collection. Hey, that’s MINE!

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