Around March, I got an email asking if I wanted to be a part of an event at the Mansion House in London that included a showing of my art. My first thought: I’m a guy from the mountains of Utah who draws with a Sharpie on card stock. You want my art hanging where the Lord Mayor of the City of London lives and works? It took a bit of time to absorb that idea, but as I learned more about the event, I got really excited. Here’s the description from The Telegraph:
‘Open Outcry’ is a musical performance that is created by the ebb and flow of emotion and money on a stock trading floor…‘Open Outcry’ will feature 12 singers and a cellist, Joseph Spooner. The audience will sit at tables among the “traders”, and the conductor will ring a bell to signify the market opening. As the cellist plays, large screens will display stock information and the conductor will guide the reactions of the singers. The performers will sing one musical phrase to buy each assetand another to sell. The prices will be largely driven by random market movements generated by a computer model, though the conductor will have some power to manipulate stock prices, as will the effect of the “trading” between the singers themselves. At the end of the performance, the performers will be able to cash in their stocks to receive a bonus.
I know it’s a little hard to imagine, but one of the show’s creator’s, Alexis Kirke refers to it as “reality opera.” They’ve put together a great preview to give you a better sense of what to expect.
On top of all that they wanted to involve my art because it takes the emotional part of money and tries to capture it in simple terms on simple materials—chalkboards, letterpress, card stock, and napkins. The goal was to take the intangible—the emotions—and make it tangible.
From the first conversation we’ve since ended up with 20 pieces that will be on display at the Mansion House. It’s an amazing venue. There will be four chalkboards, some original framed works, framed letterpress, and, of course, framed napkins. What art show in London wouldn’t be complete without a framed napkin or two?
Funny enough, The Telegraph even goes so far as to call me an artist. I guess that makes it official. So if you happen to be in London on Thursday, November 15, please come out for what I think will be an extraordinary event created by some amazingly talented people. I’m incredibly lucky to be a part of things and look forward to seeing you there.