Hipness is…what I say it is

January 24, 2010 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Last night I went to an art opening. I had no idea who the artist was, but hey, it was an “art opening.” You know, as in cool, downtown, black clothing, free food. Dave was recovering from a root canal, so I went solo. Which actually added to the hipness as long as I could keep my “I’m alone but I choose to be alone” vibe going.

There’s two kinds of openings. First is the downscale, casual, fun, low rent (literally-as it the place isn’t too expensive to rent) bashes attended mostly by the artists’ friends. These attract a younger, causally -yet -creatively- dressed crowd (think second-hand store.) The art is priced under $100 and nothing sells. The music is a few people playing in public for the first time. The wine is served from jugs, and the food is brought from home-usually a tray of crudities featuring whatever vegetable was on sale. Cheese, if available, is a small wedge of Brie that disappears within the first half hour.

In contrast, the upscale art opening is an event, planned as carefully as a wedding. The people? Wealthy and trying not to look it or poor and trying not to look it. The art? Overpriced, with the smallest pieces just under a grand. The wine? Cost commiserate with the art. Glasses may be used if minimum cost of a piece is five figures and up. The food? The more costly the art, the more expensive the meats and cheeses. The more expensive the meats and cheeses, the thinner they’re sliced. Not because the gallery owners are trying to save money, but because it confirms the cognoscentis’ assertion that it’s the only way to truly appreciate gourmet deli. Of course, they would never use the word deli, but I love the juxtaposition of the two words/worlds.

I’ll go to any art opening, be it upscale, downscale or no-scale. My uniform is always the same half-assed attempt at unintentional cool.

No makeup, hair carefully mussed, no jewelry (save for my engagement and wedding rings) a pair of straight-leg jeans, cuffed not for fashion but because I don’t want to fall on my ass-which would be massively uncool even if I tried to finesse it off- old scuffed black boots (worn under, not over the jeans) a non-descript, causal top, and a motorcycle jacket bought when I was going out with a guy in Ohio who had a band, a motorcycle and no money.

Oh, the art opening I attended? Art: The mandatory well-lit, oversized monochrome canvases that people spent a long time studying as if that piece of crap meant anything. People: see above. Food: hidden in a back room- paper thin slices of Stilton and some imported salami that looked like the stuff I by at Trader Joes only with a larger circumference, half-moon cookies that tasted like they were made with Smart Choice light instead of butter (I am occasionally guilty of this crime) and girls who looked like they were plucked out of the downscale art opening walking around in retro Cigarette Girl outfits, their boxes filled with Hershey kisses, Baby Ruths, Werther’s Originals, Kit Kats and Chiclets for the taking-tips mandatory. (They were the best part of the entire evening.)

I think I’m going to have an art opening and cut out the meaningless part. That leaves the food. And the people. It’s called a party and no, you can’t come because you’re not hip enough.

And if that offended you, watch and listen to this for the antidote.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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Roberta Gale

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