Well, did I ever have an exciting and downright adventurous Armory week!
You see, I arrived at the Armory VIP party looking forward to seeing the Maximillian Bingeweary booth where my painting “Clitswell #7” was going to be hanging. I walked past the endless dreary booths with all that god damned art and after passing the mediocre, the middling, the second-rate, indifferent, run of the mill, passable, somewhat better than I expected and the unexceptional, I finally came across the Bingeweary booth. But what was this!? No painting? Perhaps an oversight!
I confronted Max, who struggled to come up with an answer. His eyes darted back and forth and clearing his throat he finally pointed at the intern.
“Lawrence broke it!” he sputtered.
The boy erupted into a coughing fit “No I didn’t … it was lost.”
Lost? Lost? How could this be? I gave him the third degree “How does anyone lose a 30’ X 60’ painting!?”
He burst into tears and pointed at the gallery director Elizabeth who shrugged her shoulders and said, “It got burned.”
Burned? I was incredulous. “Burned? Lost? Broken? Which is it?” As I spoke a sharp pain crashed through my head and the world turned to black.
I regained consciousness minutes later in the Pier 94 security office, held down by two enthusiastic guards. Through a set of swinging doors I could see a large rolled up canvas with GROSSMALERMAN scawled on the side in black marker.
“Mr. Grossmalerman? We need you to leave the premises immediately.” The ginger haired one had a thin reedy voice and that made me hate him.
“And if I don’t?” I asked with a confidence that took him by surprise.
I was then tazered for the better part of an hour and finally frog walked through the fair. I pleaded with party goers but no one came to my aid. No body!! What kind of world is this? I ask you? In any case, once safely on the pavement it began to occur to me that it was quite possible that something not entirely on the up and up was going on. I resolved to disguise myself cunningly and regain entrance to the fair with the wig and mustache I keep on my person (You’d be surprised at how often they come in handy!) and, quickly transforming myself into a convincing “English Gentleman,” made it past security.
Through the hodgepodge of skull themed works. Through the ugly and meaningless sculptures. I stopped at the VIP bar and, as it had been some time since I’d enjoyed a refreshing beverage, ventured to order myself a drink. I hadn’t had more than a sip when the same searing pain as before wracked my body and I was dragged into a security booth where I was beaten non stop for three and a half hours (give or take) on the arms, face, and legs. I screamed for help but none came! I know people could hear me. There was nothing between me and general public but dry wall partitioning for Christ’s sake! How were they even able to converse with each other over my piercing cries for help? What bizarre cruelty!
This time I woke up in the trunk of a car! What was wrong with these people!! I just wanted to know where my painting was! It was simple administration! I was deep in the meadowlands when the self same Armory thugs as before opened the trunk, tazed me again for several minutes and threw me in the cold, shallow water. Who the hell did they think they were dealing with? I’m Jonathan fucking Grossmalerman!!!
I waded and waded through the murky chill and icy reeds until I could see sweet Manhattan in the distance and finally at the river’s edge, dove in, swimming until I could swim no more. My bones cold like a freezer burnt steak. I remember drifting and I could feel the life draining from me when I was struck by an oar and I heard the voice of an angel. A Russian angel!
“Come here! I save you! Take my hand!” The light from the glimmering Pier 95 over her soft shoulder. Minutes later as I came to to the soft tinkling of piano music from the other room where The corner of “Clitswell #7” was visible through the doorway. It was being hung on the wall by uniformed workman speaking some sort of gibberish. Or maybe Russian. Whatever. I tried to get up but my hands were bound.
The extremely high thread count of the cool, clean sheets were soothing but I could not help notice the starched white towel stuffed into my mouth. In one of the cabin’s several mirrors I saw my reflection and made out the towel’s clearly printed words. The Eclipse!!! The Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s Yacht. The biggest yacht in the world!!! And I was his guest. What fresh Hell was this?????
To be continued …