My Main Obsession
July 4th weekend 2006
I was invited to Las Vegas for a Jazz & Wine Festival at the Mount Charleston Lodge.
The Jazz was fantastic, the wine was mediocre (Las Vegas was just getting their Wine Tasting’s off the ground), and the afternoon was mild and pleasant. The local vendor’s who were invited up for the afternoon included an emerging Las Vegas artist, Jennifer Main. She had the original oil on canvas Playin’ Footsies on display. I ordered a Matted Print of which she mailed to me. I later had it professionally framed, and it became one of the first pieces of art work that I had discovered on my own and loved in it’s own right. It wasn’t the result of a class or a study, there was no outside influence.
I have had a fascination with Magical Realism in art for as long as I can remember. It has taken many forms over the years, Fairies, Witches, Vampires, Werewolves, Greek Mythology, but one artist has remained with me for the past 20 years. Michael Parkes. His collection is very expensive so I have only two pieces. One is a poster of Creation of Man which I had professionally mounted several years after I had the courage to take it out of it’s preserved state. The second piece is a very small print of Last Flight 1987 which was originally a gift card given to me with a Birthday Present in 1993. I have come across an oil on canvas back in 2003, but it was bought and I have not found anything that I could afford since.
Jennifer Main’s art work gave me the same feel of a magical space occupied by visions and color. No, my discovery of Jennifer Main was purely the result of Life’s Meanderings. When you just let go and wander. I literally Stumbled upon this find and I was very proud of myself for my accomplishment. Little did I know that 4 years later Jennifer Main would take Las Vegas my force and stake her claim as THE artist of the Las Vegas Valley.
I moved to Las Vegas for work and in the process of settling in to the new City, I discovered First Friday’s Art Walk in Downtown. I attended my first “First Friday” February 2007. It was small, and seemed to be the “excuse” for the under 21 crowd to have a reason for “going somewhere”. I was in the process of walking out when The Wanderer Whispered to me that the formidable warehouse up ahead might be interesting. As always, employing the Adventure Model to discovering new places, the real find, the secret, to First Friday was at the end of the street, the very crowded and very hard to navigate Arts Factory . To my amazement, after following my nose down this hallway and stumbling down that corridor, I found Jennifer Main in one of the Galleries. I nearly cried with joy when I rounded the corner and saw those vibrant colors and broad strokes splashed large and loud “Hello Friend!”. I bought 2 more Matted Prints that night, The Thinker Series Meant to Be and Story Behind the Couple.
I introduced myself to Jennifer and to my surprise she remembered my order from the Jazz Festival in July. I could tell she was surprised that I found her again literally by chance. Compared to her Gallery at the Arts Factory in Las Vegas, what I saw at her display in July 2006 at Mt Charleston was paltry. She was literally bursting with color, emotion, beauty, and the visual experience. I don’t ask her about her inspirations, I don’t care what they are. I sometimes read about them or over hear at the Gallery, but her work, for me, is intensely personal.
Sounds horrid, no? Not really. Not if you truly understand Magical Realism. The Artist is the Messenger. Their use of visual material to deliver to you, the Audience, that experience of being taken to another place/time/space to experience something so intimate and personal is the only purpose to the Art form. Magical Realism is, at it’s very core, a self centered indulgent journey through one’s own Psyche.
I had entered into a silent auction for Never Alone, and surprisingly I won. When her Gallery contacted me, I at first thought it was a joke. The assistant was rather upset that I didn’t believe I had won. It was very exciting to me – picking up the piece on a Saturday afternoon, when no one was around, the Arts Factory rather quiet and surprisingly empty. It was really odd to be in the Gallery with no one but the artists around.
This piece is a perfect example of how personal the interpretation of Magical Realism truly can be. My view of this piece has nothing to do with Jennifer’s official entry on it, and it is again different from another person – all three interpretations completely and vastly different – personal.
I could never, ever afford Jennifer’s originals. I mean, I would have to save for 3-6 months to even begin considering a piece. So the fact I won the Glicee on Canvas, one of only 50 (I think, I’ll edit it later), was huge to me. An artist I discovered all by myself, in the same genre of what I like and what appeals to me, sophisticated….. and I had a real canvas. Serious!!!
Every time I looked at Never Alone, I could not help but look at Creation of Man. In fact I had them hanging on the same wall for a while just so I could look at them both when I walked into the room. The two most important pieces in my collection.
I picked up 3 more matted prints, Vino Rosso, Mariposa, and Up to Something. I spent sometime looking for these prints because they were bought specifically for my “Craft Room” in the Las Vegas House. My wine collection and the wet bar were both in that room and I wanted the wine theme to continue. I also had these prints professionally mounted.
I had to put a moratorium on all things Main. It was becoming quite disturbing. I am only grateful someone else bought Dance of Passion before I could.
I have not been able to find any other artist who captures color so vibrantly, and who maintains the essence of Magical Realism – well, other than Michael Parkes.
As of now, 2011, I am contemplating a lift on the moratorium so that I can justify the purchase of an Embellished Glicee Print on Canvas of Dance of Passion. I mean…… I haven’t bought anything except a Calendar since 2010. Seems reasonable, right?
If you are in Las Vegas, make sure you stop by Jennifer’s Gallery.