In a new ongoing series called “Gallery Exhibitions in Spaces but not in Space” where I talk to artists that have a gallery space at CSULB, this week I delve into the work of my friend William Brigham and his multi-medium show. So this entry is kind of Back To The Future-ish because even though I made this blog site just yesterday the art show I attended was actually last week’s news. Almost like I’m riffing on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
So the story goes like this, my friend and sometimes “act like my asshole bigger brother” William Brigham had an art show at Cal State Long Beach. For a quick summary, the show was great. Will had at his show the Damascus knives that he completed (one was a gift to his buddy 25th birthday in which Will used the wood from his friend’s broken speargun for the handle of the knife), Mokume Gane vessels that he had perfected that summer and a ceramic technique called Nerikomi that has a resemblance to Mokume Gane technique. That night a lot of people came out, a lot of people ate food (generously prepared by the artists or their families”, and a lot of people talked to the artists about their work. However, Will had a lot more people talk to him than the other galleries and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I strolled into the show late to see a smoke from a BBQ grill fill the air next to his gallery, the Merlino. His dad was BBQing that day because well, that’s Will for you. Go big or go home. The Merlino Gallery is not a big space by the way, it can be compared to as having two hallway length space (if that even makes sense to you guys). Of course it didn’t matter because it was packed in by people. At the center of this art can of sardines was Will talking his head off to everyone. I could have swore when he finished talking to someone or a couple of someones more someones would have been hovering around in the back, waiting to swoop in to ask him the same question someone else must”ve had asked him before. This would have drove me insane, to be asked the same questions over and over again but not to Will. In his own kooky way, I think he actually enjoyed talking about his art over and over and over again.
When I got the chance, I quickly became that someone who swooped in to talk to the man of the hour. I had to pay my respects to the artist after all, I went in for a handshake and instead I got a hug. This was the kind of man Will was, a weirdo. I’m only half joking at his expense here, because he’s not a weirdo for the hug but he is a weirdo. To be fair, who isn’t in there own unique way, right? In truth, the hug to a friend rather than a handshake was because he was extremely proud of what he had achieved in that gallery space that day. He was more than happy to share the space, knowledge, and experiences with his friends. Simply put, he was more than happy to share art with his friends and visitors that day.
After-story-mint-story, I ran back into Will that night to say goodbye and he giddily tells me that the woman and her assistance that he had been talking to for almost an hour (that is my time estimate, not his) was from a fancy-pants art collector (and I do mean fancy-pants) that was very interested in his work. Amazing right? Good luck to you Will!