Friday, February 18, 2011
Las Benditas de Key West
This week, Terry and I attended an art show featuring a portrait of me!
The artist, Michael Philip, is a dear friend of mine. He and his partner, Doug are members of our wine group and we've known them as long as we've been in Key West.
Michael did a show like this with portraits of, I believe 14 women in New Orleans with great success, and he decided to approach the director of The Studios of Key West (TSKW) with a similar idea for a fundraiser using their space. TSKW is a large, beautifully restored armory building now housing small studios for artists and several gallery spaces.
He proposed that they invite 21 women, Las Benditas, to be models for portraits in a specific style. The "subjects" would pay a fee, and then the night of the opening they could buy their portrait or someone in their "entourage" (oh yes - I left out that part. each of us had to invite ten people to attend the opening) could buy it for a certain price. After that, the show became public and anyone could purchase a portrait for a higher price. They loved the idea and their board approved the choices.
I was selected to be one of the 21.
Needless to say I was truly honored to be included in this group of women, most of whom do a lot of charitable work and contribute to the community in other ways that I don't.
I was pretty nervous the night of the exhibition since I knew the style of the portraits was to be "Cubism and Neo-expressionism." We had had an initial interview and picture taking here at the house and talked about things that were important to me, inspirations, colors I love. All kinds of things to help him portray me not as just a face but also as an inner person. It was a fascinating process. He did this with all of the women and then proceeded over the next six weeks to produce 21 portraits. A monumental achievement!
The opening was a huge success. The gallery was so packed with people you could barely move. Luckily the "Las Benditas" were allowed in first to have time to find their portraits and be photographed. In case you're wondering, the name means "the blessed ones" so you can see why I feel so honored.
I can't thank Michael enough for including me in this spectacular event. And in case you were wondering, we did purchase my portrait. I have already selected a place of honor for it in my home.