Dandelions Forever, 2008, Oil on Panel, 9x9
Last night Doug and I watched this documentary about Chuck Connelly. I had learned about it a few weeks ago from a post at Edward Winkleman's blog and also Doug knew Chuck Connelly in college, they were at Tyler at the same time. So we were really looking forward to seeing it.
While nearly all the criticism I have read about the actual documentary was valid, we were engrossed by it and stayed up talking about Chuck, his art and art in general until midnight. It was sad to see a man so messed up, but yet, even though his career has been in the toilet for almost 20 years (it has been revived lately) what I found to be so awesome is that despite his alcoholism, anger, hatred towards the art world/dealers/other artists and well just about everyone and everything, he kept painting. It didn't matter that he wasn't selling them, or that he had lost all of the momentum he had had, or that he was a wreck, poor and destitute, he still painted. He made thousands of paintings because he wanted to, or maybe it's all he could do. But whatever the reason I admire him for continuing on. I am not so sure I would have had the same resolve and probably would have moved on to something else.
And while he clearly did not handle his gallery relations well at all, I have to say that I don't exactly disagree with many of his opinions about the NY art scene. I would not be happy with a dealer buying a painting of mine for $500 and then turning around and selling it for $10,000 and keeping the profit either. Not that I am even close to THAT art world though.
Anyway, I totally loved seeing a profile on a true painter and even though Chuck Connelly is NOT a person I would like to be around, I truly respect his work and his determination.
Since we do like to buy art now and then, and after seeing the show I rally liked his work even more, I visited DFN Gallery's website to see what was available. He currently has a solo show on display, which just so happens to coincide with the documentary. I emailed to ask the prices on the three paintings that we liked and they were all in the $35,000 dollar range. Oops! Not good for us, quite a bit out of our range, but good for Chuck Connelly. That is, if they sell more than just a few....