On June 16th, I, along with two other artist ( Cait Celments, & Nadine Beauharnios) were to begin working as assistants to an incredibly prolific artist by the name of Markus Linnenbrink.
Markus is German born but now lives in Brooklyn NY. He was asked by PAFA to create a permanent installation in the main entrance of our art museum in the Hamilton Building.
I never know how to act when meeting someone like Markus, I finally decided to just be myself and that will be more than enough. He and I hit it off right away. He didn’t always have something for the three of us but he did an wonderful job making us all feel welcome to just hang out and watch the World Cup with him. However- Markus and I worked together quite a lot.
Through talking with him I was happy to hear that we are interested in many of the same things as artists. The process that a work of art holds and having that be a transparent element in the completion, the conceptual application for a simple approach to art making, and the materials used I found ran many parallels.
A great honor, which may not have meant much to him was when he handed me the brush and asked me to paint along side him. It wasn’t anything really to mess up or the fear of not doing it quite right that held me, but the awesome power that just the act of having a direct hand in the creation of this massive painting that will live on in PAFA long after I graduate, to be a part of something much larger than anything I have previously worked on. It was an incredible moment.
He finished in a week. A week ahead of schedule, and the opening was set for Thursday the 26th. The opening was great fun. Being there with my fellow assistants we could just step back and soak it all in. People who knew art, and hold influence were there, Markus and his family, donors and board members….and the three of us. It was great.
After the opening we were invited to a private dinner where we continued to be in awe of our company, I was worried I couldn’t hang with this crowd. And yet, to my great relief the conversations were fluid, fun, and I was able to contribute relevant additions to each.
I learned so much from this experience, but a stand out is when Markus and I shared a cab on a rainy afternoon bound for 30th St. station. I was explaining my uncanny power of attracting weirdness. I seem to be able to pull an odd situation or a strange happening out of thin air. Markus found this funny and said a simple thing “ those are the facets of life, I wouldn’t miss those for anything”. I contemplated this on the train home and I agree with him.
The people we meet, the situations we find ourselves in all accumulate into a collective experience of the world. And as an artist its all fodder for my fire.
You can read about the whole project at PAFA here!