Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brian Young

I just found out that a painting buddy of mine, Brian Young, died. He wasn't a close friend, but he was a good guy and we had some fun at the gallery openings.

I didn't know he was a poet until a little while ago. Here's a poem he wrote:
FOUNTAINHEAD

I am late for work

at the watch factory

where I answer

mail from the customers.
I am on the L train

rereading a letter from a Mrs. Brandt
that I uncharacteristically took

home with me.


To Whom It May Concern:


Enclosed is my late husband's watch. In fact it was the watch he was wearing
the night of his death.

I knew I loved him after first shaking hands with him twelve years ago. I
went with some of my girlfriends to an art opening, not knowing what to expect in the way of art, but hoping for an inexpensive night out after finals. I have to admit I got tipsy and stumbled over something that I wasn't certain was a sculpture or part of the floor in need of repairs. From out of nowhere came a pair of hands to stop my fall.

He looked like Gary Cooper in Fountainhead, although I hated the book.
Sometimes the best movies are made from the worst books. A funny thing happened after we exchanged cards and shook hands. My hair kept clinging to his shoulder, from all the static electricity, I suppose. Any way, it took three tries before I could get my hair untangled.

We were married three months later. I supported him and his art by being a
legal secretary and he painted portraits of urinals. It was while breaking into a gallery to hang his work that he was shot and killed by security.

Please tell me how much it would cost to repair his watch.


Sincerely,


Mrs. Brandt
Wow.

He also painted fish in a lovely Clemente-esque way. Do you remember that movie with Ethan Hawk and Bobby DeNiro where Hawk played the painter? Finn something. Finnegan Bell, actually. It was a remake of Great Expectations? Francesco Clemente painted all the paintings that Hawk's character created in the movie and they always reminded me of Brian's.

This is one of Brian's fish paintings:



This is one of Clemente's paintings from the movie:



There are better matches but I couldn't pull any images off the Fox "Great Expectations" website. It was a pretty cheesy movie, by the way, although Gwyneth Paltrow looked great.

Sometimes the worst movies are made from the best books.

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