I was in Los Angeles.
The email was from an unknown Mark Janes.
I suspiciously opened the email
suspiciously read it
and tentatively answered it.
It was a busy time of travels and departures.
My mind somewhere else
But made a point to answer as kindly and politely and discouraging as possible.
Mark seemed determined.
Elegantly pursuing his wish.
Elegantly unsure, I was indecisive but liked his goal to create something special for his wife to be.
He persevered his intent
I was in Europe
By May he won me over.
By June I posted a big box full with plastic bags to California.
addressee: MARK & MICHELLE.
Mark and Michelle had seen ‘Mighty like a flower’, the outdoor installation of 500 roses like elements set in Saratoga on the grounds of Villa Montalvo, commissioned by the Montalvo Arts Center.
That was last year, October or November 2011, I think. I was attending my three months residency at the Montalvo Arts Center then. http://montalvoarts.org/
Well, to come to the point I ended up making 40 corollas (or roses heads) for their wedding.
Only the flower buds though. It was too expensive to ship the full length flowers from Europe to the USA.
Mark had to take over after that and make the stems himself.
After a quick Skype tutorial on how to wrapped the stems in white plastic and then attached them to their heads, Mark took charge and completed the 80 flowers, all by himself.
In fact I had another 40 more Plastic Roses stored in San Jose, CA. Those were the ones that I had lent to The Sustainable Silicon Valley WEST summit in May, http://www.sustainablesv.org/.
Through Skype we discussed on how to install the work and on the cheapest shipping options. I was relieved that the Italian postal service did a good job in delivering the bridal box at a reasonable price, in time for the wedding preparations.
As I don’t sell artwork, for this occasion the deal was that they could borrow my work but had to return the plastic bags right after the event. They also had to pay for the delivery expenses.
Since the end of June Mark and Michelle are a married couple.
I am finally pleased to show few pics out of that special day.
Mark was very thoughtful and concerned about the artwork installment, its concept and my vision of it in the wedding site.
For me this was another great positive experience to see my work grow in new spaces and to share it with people as well as opening new interpretative possibilities and adding new meaning and connotations to it.
I see this experience as a joint collaborative venture across borders and space.
All along Mark showed great concern and respect for the work, which encouraged me to encourage him to be bold and make it its own, appropriate the art, not in the sense of owning property but rather interact with it to make it a participatory experience that he could be pleased and proud of, something he contributed to create.
I like to say that I am really pleased with the way Mark and Michelle have resolved to install the work.
Here are some pics, see for yourselves, isn’t wonderful and lovely?
PHOTOS COMMENTS (from left to right):
WEDDING PREPARATIONS: MARK IS INSTALLING THE ARTWORK WITH HIS ASSISTANT.