What Am I Doing Here? Fine Art Edition

Last night was another one of those nights in NYC, the ones when I wonder, “What exactly am I doing here?”

I was sitting in the rear garden of Chop Shop, an Asian spot in Chelsea, with accomplished figures in the art world: an owner of a gallery in China, an art historian and critic, a Hollywood film producer. Meanwhile, my main artistic accomplishment involves jumping and playing guitar at the same time while 1,500 middle schoolers proclaim their agreement with the will of God. “Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord, Amen!”

I’ll confess: I actually do know what I was doing there.We were all guests of celebrated artist Makoto Fujimura. Mako, as he’s known by people who know him (I don’t), was premiering his new documentary Golden Sea that night, and I helped promote the event on a blog I edit called Brewing Culture.

Though I was rightfully there, I still felt out of place. I walked in afraid that I would show my ignorance when the conversation turned to such topics as chiarascuro and Neo-Impressionism. And I pictured myself knocking a dish of curry panang chicken into someone’s lap.


The closest thing I have to a Neo Impression.

Neither ultra-artsy talk nor curry-stained suit pants resulted. I had fun, and I was inspired by breaking bread (or pork buns) with so many creators. I reminded myself that the only thing stopping me from creating the works I dream of is fear. It’s a critical lesson that I really needed to be reminded of. Maybe that’s what I was doing there.

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