Thursday, November 28, 2013

Myth & Magic

Terry invited me to a fundraising event called "Stand up to Bullying" at Ted Maines and Jeff Miller's gorgeous condo in downtown Orlando. It was raining hard and the traffic to get downtown was horrible. I took a new course every time the traffic came to a dead stop but was still very late ti the event. The event was packed full of beautiful people. I swear half the crown had to be models. The condo has some amazing art, like a diamond studded portrait of Marilyn Monroe, a gold platted AK 47 machine gun lamp, a Robert Rauchenburg and some Andy Warhol prints. The living room table was covered with jewelry and people crowded around to try things on. Terry decided to buy a gorgeous ring with interlaces strands of metal and plenty of stones. Stand up to Bullying aims to educate students that bullying isn't cool. There  will always be bully's and victims, but the 98% of students who aren't bullys or victims need to know how they can help stop the trend rather than watching as a bystander. Since there wasn't enough time, I didn't sketch the event. Instead, I decided to walk over to Third Thursday to sketch there.

I quickly walked through Gallery at Avalon Island and City Arts Factory, but they would only be open till 9pm so again I didn't have enough time.Galleries in this sleepy little town sure hut down early, but the bars remain open till 2am for the drunks. So I ended up in NV Lounge which is great hideaway from the madness of the other nightclubs in Downtown Orlando since 2005. Tr3 Harris had curated a show titled “ Myth and Magic”.  "Benjamin Ezra Cremer and Toni L Taylor encompass Myth and Magic in all their artwork. Toni Taylor’s beautiful artwork brings out the myths and mysteries of Ancient Egypt as well as the spirit and magic of Native America. Goddess imagery is represented powerfully in her collection. Ben Cremer has the Aztec flare incorporating the myths and magic of that society into his artwork.The powers of mysterious and supernatural forces have come together to create an amazing showing, that create a legendary story. Toni Taylor and Ben Cremer’s artwork taps into the collective consciousness of the human race and serves to help create new mythology for our modern times." said Tr3.

 I have been a long time fan of Toni's work. Born in Mount Vernon NY, she wants to touch parts of the viewer's soul, by taking a mental, emotional and spiritual aspect and placing it into her creations. She wants people to tap into the ability to dream their dreams and stimulate their own imaginations. Her highly polished oil paintings are incredibly sensual and lyrical. One of my favorites, called "Tantrika" shows a nude woman's backside as she lifts her large curly dreads. A  jeweled pendant is delicately chained around her hips to hang in the small of her back. Krishna's multiple arms radiate around her. Mark your calendar. This show is open through December 15th. I suggest you go to get a drink and soak up the magic.

 As I left NV, the bartender wanted to see my sketch. I noticed a man stood nearby staring into a Lawyers empty offices. What on earth was he looking at? When I walked past him, he turned began to follow me. I had dressed up for the Stand Up to Bullying event. My dress shoes clomped loudly on the wet pavement. I had no doubt that he stood near the bar with the intent to shake down any lone stray mark. If I took my usual route back to the car, I would be exposed on a deserted empty block with no businesses. My umbrella would make a poor excuse for a weapon. I cut across the street towards a crowded and loud sports bar. I stopped in front of the bar for  a moment and watched my stalker slow to a stop across the street. He studied me.  At the street corner we stood opposite each other till the light changed. I decided the best thing to do was to walk straight towards him in the intersection rather than turn my back to him. If there was to be a confrontation, we would have it in the middle of the street in front of a crowded bar. I studied his face as we crossed each other in the intersection so I could sketch him if needed for police. I kept a quick pace on the long walk back too the car, but he had stopped following.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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