I watched "Dallas Buyers Club" last night. I texted my friend Jeff and took a trip down memory lane: Atlanta, GA circa early '90's.
My first piece of art was purchased at The Trinity Gallery. It is a David Fraley textured face. It was the first piece of art that spoke to me. I visited this painting often, I could not walk away from this painting for very long - It was so far out of my league ($) but it haunted me!
A weekend acquaintence, sometimes dance partner and gallery assistant - Shey- ended up working out a deal where I could buy the painting on an installment plan. He brought the painting to me personally and hung it in my little Ansley Park condo! I made those payments FOREVER and eventually owned my first TABOO artist painting thanks to the generosity of this sweet guy. I later looked back and realized he had actually bought it himself and let me make the payments to him- literally a sweet and generous heart in the world. I quit hearing from Shey kind of suddenly, but this was Atlanta, we were young-that happened.
Fast forward, I settled down a bit, met my future husband, and made a few less trips downtown. I found out through the grapevine that Shey had died of Aids. I was floored-I grieved-it was my first loss to this disease. But, this was Atlanta, we were young-that happened. There were fortunately only a few other such losses in my orbit - I was lucky, my friends were safe. But there were so many other losses in that city. I found out in fact that the artist himself succumbed to Aids as well in 1999.
This painting hangs in a prominent place in our home reminding me always of a wonderful time in my life, but also of the generosity of a sweet man, and of the effect of Aids on a generation. I am reminded that I was surrounded and supported by a wonderful group of friends: Jeff Daily, Mike Knoll, John VanVlack, Rosalia Milone and also by sweet, generous acquaintances.
God bless those we lost-they haunt me and live on through this painting!