by Angeliska on September 9, 2009
This past weekend, we made a quick jaunt to San Antonio to see
Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey at the McNay Museum.
It was truly everything I could have wished for and more- completely
worth the trip. I was practically weeping over his grocery lists
(TV Guide, cat food, cat litter) and hand-stitched Figbash doll.
The illustrated envelopes from letters to his mother, oh stars!
So beautiful. What a genius he was. How amazing to see the
originals for the Gashlycrumb Tinies! They are tiny, too!
I reveled in any tiny mistakes, stains and smears, white-outs
and pasted on panels covering flaws- these made them so real,
and that much more amazing to me. It’s a traveling exhibit,
so if it comes near you- go! You will not regret it, I swear.
Afterwards, we strolled in a rainy garden- feeling like we’d walked into a Gorey drawing.
Lunch was had at the old Liberty Bar, a leaning edifice with serious food
that came highly recommended by all who knew of it. They did not lead us astray.
We Blenheim Hot Ginger Ale (the best!), mission figs and goat cheese,
venison burgers, portabellas and wild boar sausage. Serious food, indeed.
“Structural problems plagued the place from the get-go.
Cobbled together quickly by unskilled labor out of cast-off materials,
the building appears to have been designed and constructed by children
whose milk was laced with laudanum. (And who immediately changed
their minds and removed the entire store front so they could add ten feet.)
The flood of 1921 left water standing above the mahogany bar and a thick
layer of river bottom silt around the cedar posts and oak sills of the foundation.
The weight of the floodwater warped the walls and, over time, some of cedar
foundation posts rotted, giving way, warping the floor. By this time,
Grandma Boehler had fallen down the stairs, broken her neck and died,
leaving Fritz a corner room recluse in his daughter Minnie’s care.
After his death the daughter rented out the building.
There was no significant repair or maintenance for over fifty years.
Time went by and the building did a slow hula as in laws took over.
A family cousin encouraged the troops in rented rooms upstairs
while black waiters carried fried chicken and tamales out to cars
parked in the hackberry shade. Old rodeo clowns and Saturday
morning matinee cowboys drank beer, smoked cigars and cracked jokes .
They grew old and die but to a few mossbacks from
the brewery and the perennial under-age adolescent.”
It’s such a beautiful old building- I’m sad that they’ll be moving away from it soon.
The whole thing leans heavily, and the floor is so wonky and crooked
that you feel drunk as soon as you walk in. All the angles are wrong,
but the place is so oddly calming. It’s like being in a Texan version of
Through the Looking Glass, if you can imagine that.
It was there that Frannie and I discovered the enigma of the conjoined cornichon!
Funny thing is, just yesterday I found another one, in my salad..
Must be an epidemic. Siamese twin baby pickles everywhere!
Jordan Moser and Frannie Brown, two of my favorite folks-
both brilliant dancers and old-tyme musicians who love
silent movies and slapstick humor, and it would seem- each other!
Case in point. So gol-danged cute. Jeez, Louise!
Ain’t love grand?
★ I recently discovered the work of Aquirax Uno through Tara Sinn-
she does a fantastic interview with him that you can go read on her blog.
She’s got a shiny new portfolio, and her work is fantasmic, go check it out.
★Also, Thirty Book Covers from Poland from A Journey Round My Skull
is really inspiring- in a design-sense, but also makes me want
to go to Poland and nose around used bookstores looking
for some of these! Might help if I learned Polish, I guess.
★ Oh yeah! I almost forgot- I got my ritual haircut done today!
I freaking love it. It’s better than I ever could have imagined.
Pictures soon, I promise. Hooray for coiffure bravery, I say!
Right-o, back to packing for my trip to New York- I leave on Friday!
Please do let me know your favorite people/places/things there,
and in general! Seen any art you loved lately? I’m going to be
meeting with and interviewing artists when I’m in the Big Apple-
so tell me about anyone you think I might dig, won’t you?