Genuflect by Gordy Grundy
December 2002; Issue No. 60


I sit comfortably in my Barcelona chair. My feet are up. The room is warm. Outside, a string of Christmas lights blink with color, Holiday cheer and a soft sensuality. On the coffee table before me ice chills a frothy beverage. The lazy smoke from a cooling pipe aromatizes the studio. I am a contented man. My belly is full, my loins are spent and, for once, my mind begins to slow. The fast Techno-Trance that usually tempos in my head is now a slow, drowsy trot. My thoughts begin to dance back, through time, to recollect the events of this last year. As I do so, my toes begin to curl.

I can't remember if it was Jesus or Hallmark, but someone important said, "To touch a life, that is the greatest gift of all." Well, I got my mitts on a few.

Never would I ever extend a hand to him, but I gotta hand it to Bin Laden. His narrow and clouded worldview may have made mine clearer. More than ever, I find myself mumbling to myself, "There's no time like the present. It's here, it's now and it's free."

This year was like every year, jam-packed with a lot of the unflagging human experience. I have laughed and I have tried to cry. I had a satori and a supernatural reprimand. I have chased and I have been chased. I have ridden high on a horse, proud and eternal; I have crawled on my knees, humiliated and ashamed. I have been the smartest kid on the block and I have fumbled for words. I have not hurt or slighted many and I don't think I have been hated. In all, Fortuna has fondled my dice and rolled them well; she has given me a year of More Luck, a balance sheet in the black.

This year, I went on my first Lecture Tour. The speaking engagement was for the fine art graduate students at the University of Texas, San Antonio. It qualifies as a tour because it was most definitely out-of-state. The presentation, "Deconstructivism, Iconoclasm and Alcoholism in Art: Economic Strategies for the Millionaire Fine Artist," was co-authored and presented with Miss Tulsa Kinney, a Los Angeles based artist, art writer and red-headed ball of fire. The tour began with a visit to a slew of art openings at the Blue Star arts complex, then a jaunt to my favorite gallery Sala Diaz, a wise and wonderful alternative space where we were warmly welcomed. A cocktail reception in our honor at the classic Liberty Bar became a source of many new friends, but alas, no playmates. The next day, our presentation was attended by fifty bright and eager faces. Rather than show slides of our work, Miss Kinney and I took the students along with us on a wild night of Los Angeles art openings. This slide show featured art stars such as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Shaun Calley, Rosamund Felsen, Sandow Birk, Alexis Smith, Ed Moses and many others. The Texans were also bedazzled by the number of stars of stage and screen who littered our photographs. I guess I just take the glamorous Los Angeles lifestyle for granted. The lecture ended to laughter and loud applause. One young man was so moved that he thanked us profusely for redirecting his life to the Arts. Many begged for a studio visit. None threw their panties. Placing honorariums against expenses, the Lecture Tour only cost me several hundred dollars, a princely profit in the accounting of the art world.

The opening of the Warhol show at the Museum of Contemporary Art made for a memorable yet bittersweet night. Few artists have flown as close to the sun as Andy. Very few have lived to experience such a material and critical success. Few have ever had as great an impact to so many.

In the large crowd, I saw many familiar faces that I had not seen in a long time. They were Los Angeles artists of many generations and many different aesthetics. Each face signified a wave or a style. I saw the artist who used explosives, another who arranged flowers to die as sculpture and the painter who drew with studio sweepings, hairballs and dust bunnies. So many of these artists had been billed as the next big thing. They had the support of critics and collectors. Reviews evidenced their talent. Their buzz was audible. Their glory was assured but their wave petered out. Their fad fell out of fashion. That night, everyone came to honor Andy. But for many, it became a cold mirror to an artist's ambition.

Genuflect recognizes the strong passion of our desires and each year recommends that the first month be devoted to cleansing and purity. If thirty days is not an option, then surely fifteen sunsets are attainable. Even fifteen minutes are a move in the right direction.

I wish you all a year of 'More Luck.'

GORDY GRUNDY is a Los Angeles based artist. His visual and literary works can be found at