If no one has done a critical investigation of armchair traveling through social networking, they should. Most of my network is still in California, with Chicago and the East Coast thrown in to balance it out. This means that the majority of images that cross my field of vision every day include clear blue skies, oceans, surfboards, palm trees, desert landscapes, sunsets, killer views of sun-filled studio spaces where you can practically feel the warm breeze blowing across your palette, and crowded openings filled with people I know or know of, along with the occasional art-collecting celebrity or two if someone was shooting at Gagosian or The Broad at the Getty that night. (The John Currin-James Cuno conversation is making the rounds today.) And of course, on the west coast, everyone is bathed in golden light. My east coast feed is notably more urban: Manhattan. LES, Chelsea, Brooklyn, openings of course, and snow.
The outliers like myself, cover the burbs and beyond. The west coast dines well as does the east coast and I'm tempted a few times a week by the work of a local pastry chef. Dogs rule most of my feeds, but cats hold their own in any locale. The west coast never wears wool or coats or hats. They are tan and forever young. The rest of us are kind of fucked in this regard, but we knew this when we signed up for two or three other seasons. The New Year is the only indication on the west coast that time may have passed. Everywhere else we brace ourselves for another extreme version of a new season.
I bring this to your and my attention because I'm restless. A few days ago, a friend was selling a condo in Florida and I tried to imagine myself making art among the white tile floors and split level contemporary surroundings. The a/c would be on 24/7 and the main bedroom and living area are carpeted so I'd be barefoot. At 2 pm, I'd break and walk or ride my bike (a cruiser, of course) to the beach, just like I never did in LA. (Okay, so when I lived in Venice, I did, but that's different). I wasn't into the Miami Vice color combo, but I was already repainting everything Eucalyptus with Acorn and Latte. I should note that my imagined life in Florida was brief, and more along the lines of where I'd be if I were forced into the Witness Protection Program.
This morning, an Oakland studio crossed my feed. Huge windows, tall ceilings, sunlight and fantastic paintings by an artist I've recently discovered, Anna Valdez. In real life, I know three people in Oakland. They are artists, of course because I only know artists. This is what happens when you are an artist of a certain generation. Your core group consists of artist, writers, and maybe a musician or two, who started out as an artist but made the switch. Next circle: curators, dealers, and critics, followed by collectors and appreciators of art. Eventually you might have some fashion, foodie, or stylist friends, but to get to that level, you'd have to be fashionable and most of us barely manage to pull together an outfit that didn't accidentally brush against the cadmium red, so, for me that's a stretch. And of course, the advertising and post-production film world was a huge subset in my life, but I lost most of them when I went back into the studio and I lost the rest of them through a divorce, so we don't talk about that.
Oakland sounds nice today.