When I first wrote for Arte Fuse in the winter of 2011, I walked into the gallery by myself, took the pictures with my camera (trying to be Patrick McMullan to no avail) and it was a solitary pursuit. Soon came the questions from AF publisher Jamie Martinez, “Where you going on Thursday? Can I meet up with you?” And then there were two which then grew to four the week after, times two the next, and so on then after – I was no longer alone.
Thursday nights organically became an event to gather all the art congregants to trek the streets, have a strategy then targeted galleries in Chelsea, pay homage to the art on display, talk the sermon of aesthetics or personal philosophy or art theory, jostling our way through the crowds and loved that it was gallery night aka Church for art lovers such as ourselves. A simple text, call or email formed the unofficial AF Art Entourage. It even grew as we bumped into people during our walks.
I never meant to amass an entourage because I had to work when visiting these galleries but having your fellow compatriots of AF, artists, and friends come along made it very special. You get to check on one another, gossip deliciously in our own little corner, share ideas about art and enjoying each other’s company.
Through all kinds of weather, the troop made the valiant effort from the sweltering heat of the summer and braving the frigid air of winter – Thursday night was church and the regular congregants came out to pray then play. It couldn’t be defined or quantified to anything but simply everyone just loved to see art.
When Jamie finally brought up another question,” Would you like me to buy you a new camera?” (Hint: my pictures sucked and the Dutch angle was not cutting it.) So Max Noy came on board to take the now legendary AF shots. It was again an evolution of sorts as Max brought in his own set of parishioners into our maudlin crew. And since starting in the summer of 2012 till now, Max has sent in out takes or group shots over to me. I had no idea what to do with them as it was “good stuff” but I compiled them. I knew one day I’d use them for something.
And so here we are – more than a year later of pictures culled from our gallivanting ways mainly in Chelsea and the many people who have come in and out of the entourage (there are still some die hard ones still with us from when we started) but every person made the trek to the trenches (as we call the gallery nabes) less lonely and even more richer. The next time you see us – don’t hesitate to join in, pray then play and be pilgrims as we travel along the art filled cathedrals of New York City. May ART continue to enlighten and grace our lives. This I pray – Amen.
written by: Oscar A. Laluyan
all entourage photos taken by: Max Noy