Summer, 2008 -- It was a fine day in Whitstable, an English seaside town sixty miles east of London. Billy Childish, Ruth Franklin, Gary Goodman, Teresa Stewart-Goodman and I all met at Billy's mum's house, where he goes every Sunday to paint and have tea. Gary introduced us to Billy, having gotten to know him at poetry readings and gigs. Ruth has known Gary and Teresa since their Brighton Art School days back in the 80s, and I met Ruth through the art dealer I started working for in 1991. I actually sold her pictures for a few years before we met in person, and the same is true for both Gary and Billy.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”... indeed.
I’ve had a bit of a thing about England for as long as I can remember. When my grandparents went to Belgium in the 1970s and I heard they’d have a layover in London, I asked for a t-shirt from there. They brought me back one with a picture of an English Bulldog with a Union Jack on it. Years later when I was in high school, I discovered Punk, and that t-shirt got sliced and diced and safety-pinned back together again. The only class that mattered to me at that time was Graphic Arts, where I learned and loved photography and screenprinting, and the only thing digital was a calculator! I didn’t know it back then of course, but the foundation was being laid.
At 21, I delivered a box-truck full of framed art to a design showroom in Naples, Florida. That was my first day in the art business. I had gotten my real estate license a year earlier, and had come to realize that selling houses wasn’t for me. Luckily, while moonlighting as the promotions director at a karate school, I met a fellow who owned a company that imported & distributed fine & decorative art from around the world. This really appealed to me, and I was excited about the new job.
DIFFERENT TRAINS GALLERY BLOG
Life is Art.