How To Avoid 4 D’s That Can Doom Your Art Show – Part 3

 Master_nick-2011aug27onthe_yGreetings, dear artist! I’m pleased you’ve returned!

 Over the last couple days, we’ve addressed how displaying and vending your work at a dance club can be hindered by darkness and deafness. Today we must face a third damnable “D.”


 People go out to drink. As most people can’t afford a chauffeur, (or even cab fare,) drinking beyond staggering distance of home seems intrinsically foolish, but when has concern for safety ever stopped a human being? Thus many who peruse your work will be thoroughly sloshed.

 At any gallery worth its salt, the wine flows freely. Spirits may lubricate a potential patron’s wallet, but alcohol itself is not directly the gallery’s bread and butter. At a dance club, (i.e. a bar with DJs and pretty lights,) liquor sales are the venue’s primary source of income. If I had cold cash for every time someone said, “Ooh, I love your art, but all my money is going to the bar,” they’d never have said it in the first place. They’d have a print which they can keep forever, rather than the hangover that only feels like forever.

 Wether or not the drinkers are going to buy, many will wander over to look. Of these, a number will have a full drink in hand. Multitasking diminishes performance at the best of times, and these people are trying to do two things at once whilst pixilated.

 As they peruse the work, perhaps picking up prints with one hand, they lose track of the drink in the other. When the drinker leans forward, the glass tips forward as well.

 Knowing from too much experience what disaster may come, I try not to grit my teeth too obviously. Yes, I have seen alcohol spill on my work many, many times.

vitae_vina-master_nick_roberts Sometimes, some vestigial part of their consciousness becomes aware of the spilling danger, so they place their drink down directly on the art. Even when my works are framed and under glass, a drink’s condensation manages to worms its ways around such barriers with what I can only take for malignant will. Staining and warping are inevitable.

 This is a pain both recurrent and fresh. The most recent condensation ring was left on my work just last week. Of everyone who’s ever ruined my work with their drink, only one has ever offered to pay for it. Only one exceptional soul, for alcohol removes one’s inhibitions, pesky things like the sense of guilt, shame, or responsibility.

 It’s not always a spill that wrecks the work. Sometimes drunks lean heavily right on the art, putting their greasy palms on a pencil drawing, cracking the glass of a framed piece, or causing the legs of a vending table to buckle, sending everything crashing to the floor.

 Beyond the darkness, deafness, and drunks of the dance clubs, there is one more dreaded “D” lurking in the shadows. Stay tuned!

Master Nick Roberts © 2013
For disturbing fiction, read “Gonzombie and Other Dark Tales”
Catch updates on exhibitions, publications, and more!

2 Responses to “How To Avoid 4 D’s That Can Doom Your Art Show – Part 3”

  1. Thank you for your helpful words– born from painful experience!

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