Well, it's about damn time, right?
Sorry for the lag... The opening night of GARAMANIACAL was an absolute blast and a total success! Really, it could not have gone better; all the work looked AMAZING together, running a wonderful gamut of mediums and styles; there truly is something for everyone in this show. I am so deeply humbled and full of gratitude for the artists that came along on this weird ride, and so proud of what we've brought to life! I can say sincerely that they're all superb people, and it was great to connect and communicate with each of them as we ran up to show time; I truly hope we will have some more opportunities to collaborate in the future.
Beyond being such a stunning assemblage of great talent & great works, and beyond Jim and Nicole @ FOE being fantastic people to work with, we were helped by the weirdly mild temperature last Friday night, and the fact that the opening fell on one of Northampton's monthly Friday Art Walk events. Downtown was packed, as was GARAMANIACAL! People seemed very into the event and the art, and we kept a good crowd turnover going right 'til the end. You could really see many non-initiates having and enjoying their first look at this very particular realm of art and culture.
We had a great in-house band (assembled and led by Dan Hornworm) which totally fit with the night, providing everything from creepadelic noise-scapes to menacing, King Crimson-esque grooves.
My first outing as Garamike was, overall, a SMASHING good time! I had a great time in the suit and hopefully provided all those I came into contact with a memorable experience. I wasn't able to get the feet and tail done in time for the show, but did have the head and hands. When I first arrived in town in full gear, Jim took us over to his friend's vintage shop, Roz's Place, where the owner, Tim, had Garamike try on several different evening-wear options. I settled on a brown polyester suit that must've been the height of fashion in Manila in 1976, and went really well with my Gara-colors. Then I stalked around town for a bit, moving as only a mechanical meteorite monster can (sort of a jerky, high-stepping march), alternately bugging and entrancing passers-by, invading various galleries and businesses, and croaking about the show to anyone who would listen. It was fun to "find the character" as I went along, and I think I still have much to discover about Garamike.
Finally entered the gallery around 7:00, to a general hush and some dropped-jaw stares... and proceeded to make much Gara-merriment for the rest of the opening!
I have to say that 6 hours... is a bit too long... to be in the suit. In addition to being buried under rubber for all that time (the thick silicone of the mask covers/clings to my entire head and shoulders, then the weighty headpiece on top of that), the paint on the headpiece (actually thinned and pigmented rubber cement) had not fully cured yet, so I was breathing some significant fumes all night. By about 8:45, I looked at my dear Nicole and said, "I think I need to get out of this... RIGHT NOW." One serious sweat-mopping and face-scrubbing later, I felt a little less strange. I then had a bottle of Schlitz; I didn't even know Schlitz was still being made...
All that said, I am VERY excited to pursue all of my various plans for this suit/persona, and look forward to getting back in costume soon! Stay tuned!
Some quick notes on the show:
-Everything that is still for sale is up in FOE's webshop. Pieces purchased online will ship in March, after the show's run.
-Grody Shogun exclusives for this show are a bit delayed, but stay tuned for the announcement on them.
-PRINTS! The pieces by Jim Groman, Michael Skattum, Street Grapes and Jason Edmiston are all available or soon-to-be-available as prints. I picked up a Skattum and an Edmiston, both incredible, and I'm on the list for the others... as you can be, too. The Groman Garaball print will be released by FOE in partnership with Manifesto Press and Jim Groman. It will be letter-pressed, signed and numbered, and a portion of the proceeds from each will go to the MSPCC. Don't miss it! Pre-order is open now for a limited time!
-We've raised a nice chunk of funds for the organization already ($175 since the show opened) between coloring contest entry fees and the sale of entries. If you would still like to contribute art, please feel free to do so at any point during the rest of the show run- your pieces will be hung for sale in the gallery to benefit the MSPCC! Also, a portion of the sale proceeds from the work of the following artists will be donated to the organization:
Toybot Studios/Kirkland Jue
Leecifer (Golden-Taloned Garamon only)
Gorilla Mouth/Troy Stith
-Aaaaand finally... the coloring contest winners were:
Patrick Taylor (Yamanaya Garamon & Semi-Ningen set)
Atom Gray (Buta No Hana Garamon)
Scott Decoteau (M1-GO Semi-Ningen)
Christopher Gendron (GARAMANIACAL one-off Grody pair, Ojisan & Karakuri)
Again, thanks so much to all of you Gara-fans for being such amazing supporters of the show and the Garamike project!
Enjoy the pics and videos below!
Sincerely Yours In Garamon,