Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

College Flashbacks

There's always something worth talking about and people worth talking to at my salon. I like to go early in the morning - because early risers are often the most interesting. So I get my haircut this morning at 7 AM ("Kelly, you ARE going to let me recolor, aren't you? asks my hairdresser, also named Kelly) - The usual suspects are there - "Joyce" greets Mike, the salon owner with a "How you doin, cutie pie?" I just looked at Mike and said, "What? You're a straight guy who owns a salon - what do you expect?"

Joyce begins to discuss film. She mentions she loves Keanu... (I'm so not a Keanu fan... when I expressed my opinion that watching Keanu movies usually just angers me, Kelly the hairdresser encouraged, "Don't hold back, Kell... Tell us whatcha really think!")

After Joyce left, Elaine came in. She's a school administrator, and I've had salon conversations with her forever.

We begin discussing the Andy Warhol exhibit... The conversation stirred memories. I once met an artist named Louis Delsarte. A Pratt graduate, Delsarte lived in NYC in that golden era of the Factory. He lived in the same building as Robert Mapplethorpe and Patty Smith. "He was into some crazy weird stuff..." quipped Louis.

"That's amazing," says Elaine.

Then came the memory of my one and only Robert Mapplethorpe "experience."

I was in college in Michigan during the time Robert Mapplethorpe's work was causing a big controversey. So of course, everyone in school started looking at his artwork (nothing like a censorship argument to get people interested in art...) I started with RM's flower photos.... (say what you will about "Bob," as Louie called him - he took the lovliest calla lilly photos I've ever seen). I saw the self-portraits with the horns, I saw his portraits of famous people - I saw the mixed media stuff, and his photos of statues... Then came the controversial photos - The one that made me understand the controversy featured a penis nailed to a board. After that, I didn't really go looking for more Mapplethorpe photos. I got it, I got it.

At that time, I worked in the Communcations department at my school. I worked with a wonderful office coordinator named Suzanne - and a handful of other students - I was a video class aide... Russ did AV - there were a bunch of us.

One of the communcations majors who was taking the class I worked for was a guy named Dan. He was the campus Hippie. He wore a hat with soda cans knitted into it - and a homemade jeans jacket (meaning, he cut the crotch out of a pair of Levis, sewed the waistband together, and voila! New Coat!.) I had been in several photography classes with Dan for a couple of semesters, and always enjoyed his company and his outlook on life Anyway, he'd seen the Mapplethorpe photos - and decided to take a stab (bad word choice, sorry) at something similar.

He enlisted the help of my co-worker. He shot a roll of film featuring a nude Russ. Dan then developed them, cropped out, and nailed 5 little naked Russ' to a board (Think Mapplethorpe, and you've got a good idea of where the nails were). "Kell, how do you think Robin (our professor) will like my project? He showed me a side of Russ I hadn't seen before.

I just kinda smiled and nodded... "Wow," I said. He said he thought it was some of his best work.

I left Dan, and stopped into the communcations office, where Suzanne greeted me, "Hi, Kelly! By any chance, have you seen Russ?"

I just looked at her, kinda quizzically.

"What's a matter? You look like you've seen too much of Russ."

I'm not making this up - I wonder if she knew.



Post a Comment

<< Home