Archive | August 2006

Death of the queen

29 August 2006

The Maori queen didn’t wear a soft ermine cloak with golden brooch, but a poorly fitting brownish piece of furry-like material, held together with ordinary string. Later on, I heard that the piece was severely guarded. It was an old heirloom, made out of kiwi feathers, so nothing less than an ermine fur.
Sorry queen, that I was laughing at you, while you wore it so proudly and without embarrassment …

She didn’t have the same big political influence as our Dutch queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, but the Maori queendom also isn’t only folklore. She tried to keep together the many maori tribes, what is politically quite important because of the large pieces of land owned by maori people.
death of the queenIf you wanted to mourn for the death of the queen today, you had to wear a wreath of ivy on your head. I haven’t seen anybody with a wreath in our village. Her death is more a Maori issue, but we white people (we are called pakeha) were allowed to look with our helicopters and tour buses …
There are no princes or princesses for succession. Right after the birth of this queen her father said to her mother; “Mother, no more babies for us anymore, because I am too afraid that you are going to die. It was a horrible sight!!!” And so the Maori queen was an only child.
I think she was a good one because she owned a 1953 Chrysler. That’s cool! And her shoes were cool too.

By the way … Today it was a beautiful day and we decided to take a walk, to the jewelry tree. And guess what???
Everything was GONE!




Driver’s license in New Zealand

25 August 2006

Foreigners are allowed to continue to use their original driver’s license up to 1 year after arriving in New Zealand. Then they need to get a New Zealand driver’s license. Because New Zealanders drives in the left lane, most tourists and newcomers better would be forced to take driver’s lessons immediately on arrival.

A new license sounds worse than it is, because we only had to do the theoretical test. When we trained ourselves in answering the 200 questions at home, we simply walked into the AA office on a quite day. An appointment was not necessary. Our eyes were tested right on the spot and a new photo was taken with a camera screwed on the desk.
Then we sat down at a table with one of those anti-crib-screens between us. We didn’t need to bring a pen, because to answer the 40 multiple choice questions we had to scratch off. So, already during the test I knew I had zero errors! The exciting scratch card sentiment was even reinforced, because the AA office is located in a corner of the festive showroom of a car dealer.
driver's license
I wrote that the New Zealander is practical. Another example of this, is the donor problem; If you want to drive legally you are also old enough to know if you want to be an organ donor, and your decision is immediately printed on your new license. The license looks like a credit card.




Squeezed out

22 August 2006

Dear Patricia,
I would like to invite you to participate in an exhibition in April next year in Fisher’s gallery. It will be a group exhibition with 2 other artists and will have the theme of surrealism. I think that this will be a very strong exhibition and would be a great opportunity to properly introduce your work to our clients.

I replied that I certainly would have 10 paintings ready in April, but first I needed to know more about paragraph 6 of the contract … Paragraph 6 says that an exposition costs me money, which will be ‘passed on’ into my account. And with ‘pass on’ he probably doesn’t mean it is included in the commission of 40%

Actually, I already have decided that I don’t want to exhibit if a gallery wants me to pay even 1 dollar for invitations, postage, vernissage, advertisements or whatever on top of a high commission.

squeezed out

Sandpapering a new canvas

There are 2 types of galleries;
One rents out walls per meter and the artist is in charge for the invitations, postage, ads. The gallery only asks a small commission for every single sold work. The other type of gallery calculates a higher commission (per sold work) where all costs are already included.
The difference is that the first type of gallery is not at risk. Not any customers, but the artist himself provides a solid base income for these galleries. If there is still some selling, than that’s a bonus for the gallery. Amongst artists … this is the circuit for the desperates. If you ever did this kind of business, you don’t brag about it as being a real exhibition. It’s called a vanity gallery.
Fisher pretends to be a gallery of the second kind. The luxurious type that claims to be able to estimate the potential of an artist and then actively trying to sell the artworks via their sophisticated customer base. “A customer base that has been built in 130 years and must be the cream of the crop!” That partly will be based on the truth, because there is hanging some very expensive stuff at Fisher’s. In return, the artist must give exclusivity to this type of gallery and is not allowed to exhibit anywhere else in the country.
I’m willing. However. I am very loyal, though! But I’m not let tarnishing my exclusivity, while I also have to pay for it myself.

squeezed out

My first Very Big canvas

Fisher’s promised to reply within a week. Last week passed and no answer. How surprising. Actually, it doesn’t matter how high or low the costs will be, I already composed an email he would find in his inbox on Monday.

Dear Mr. Fisher,
After careful consideration and thorough reading of the exhibition agreement I came to the following conclusion.
I’m used to work with galleries showing their confidence in the marketability of my work through an exhibition without additional cost for me (apart from the 40% commission of course). I understand Fisher’s has a different policy, so I think our paths must part here.

Saves him counting. It seemed obvious to me that he only could get me without costs for me. And I honestly hoped that we were finished at this point, though of course I would play the game to a proper end.
On Monday Fisher’s assistant was on my answering machine, asking me if I was ‘upset’ about something. Well, I’m not comfortable to make phone calls in English yet, so I replied by email that my sudden objections were purely business related. In new words I tried to explain again that I was not willing to be charged on top of the commission.
squeezed outsqueezed outThe next day I received his reply; A quite standard sales pitch, like why only THEY are such a good gallery and that they would continue to represent me after the exhibition. Nevertheless concluding the email by asking what they had to do with my paintings which are still there … So, no attempt to look from my point of view, but that’s okay, because otherwise both parties feel that they have to do a favor to the other.