Genuflect by Gordy Grundy
January 2001; Issue No. 49



At 3:33 AM on November 4, 2000, the first day of my Solo Debut Exhibition, I woke, literally screaming, from a deep and bottomless sleep. No. 1 in the current series fell high from a bedroom wall. It took a couple of other glass-framed pieces with it. The sound was catastrophic. I flew out of bed believing that the Next LA Big One was tearing my house in half. The true culprit was a well-worn nail. The wood frame of my genesis was cracked and split and a hanger had ripped out. But the glass stayed intact. No. 1, a drawing, survived unscathed.

As of this writing, the show is in mid-run. I don't know if the omen has been good, like rain on a wedding, or if it is a harbinger of doom. I prefer to think No. 1 was just itchin' to bust out.


The big brassy Bernard Herrmann-esque soundtrack swells triumphantly. The Solo Debut scene ends with a moving close up on painting "No. 107" and dissolves to the following Montage Sequence:

Los Angeles Times Arts Critic Christopher Knight charges into the bustling newsroom and shouts, "Joe, drop that headline and photo! I've got a new cover story! Mary, get me a pot of coffee! (to himself; delightedly) I have an essay to write!" Cut to:

Outside Gallery 207, gallerist Tim Jacobi escorts Mrs. Throckmorten to her car. He apologizes with humor to the angry art maven, "If your plane hadn't been twenty minutes late... Heck, Maisy, the show sold out so fast we didn't know which end was up. There's no way I could have saved you several pieces. It was cash and carry. Hell, the closing reception is gonna have all new work..." Cut to:

At the reservation counter of United Airlines in New York City, a perky young Clerk hands a ticket to a Man wearing a Nehru jacket and turtleneck. She comments brightly, "It's funny. You're the third art dealer today who's trying to get to LA in a hurry!" Cut to:

In the Executive Conference Room of NBC News, the Woman at the head of the table addresses her staff. She speaks slowly and with great feeling, "We need to start reporting on the arts. The finer arts. (pause) I have just seen a painting show that has moved me, even changed me. Contemporary art can speak to real people." Cut to:

At a meeting before his assembled Curators, an angry Paul Schimmel of the Museum of Contemporary Art throws a heavy art book onto the conference table inorder to scare the congregation. He shouts angrily, "Why didn't you find him first?! My God, he's been living and painting right under our very noses!" Cut to:

In the executive office of Happy Daze Promotional Marketing, President Barron Washer leans back in his ergonomic desk chair and gleefully barks into the phone, "Grundy ole man, you're off the job. You're fired! FIRED!" (pause) "But we're going to keep you on the payroll. (with great emotion) We want you in your studio doing what God meant you to do. That's your day job now. We want you to paint. (excitedly) How's that, huh?!" Cut to:

In the broom closet which serves as the office of Gallery 207, gallerist Dimitri Vorvolakos speaks into the phone, "Cool. That will place you at thirty-eighth on the waiting list. Gordy is prolific and I don't think you'll have long to wait." (leadingly) "Of course, if there was an incentive, I could...." (He listens.) "Very good! That 'll bring you up to fifth on the list! Now if you want to add another--you know--I can make you third." Cut to:

In his unconscionably dire studio, Gordy Grundy shares a studio visit with a Hindu High Priest, a Catholic Nun and Mr. R. J. Coultrane, CEO of Humpton Oil. The Nun says to the Artist, "To think that you have created such, such great beauty in this--this horrible place. Your spirit is strong my son." Coultrane stammers, "You're damn--darn--right, Sister! (to Gordy) This, this is an abomination! It's--it's wrong! You need light! You need space! You need to pursue your study! And by God, I'm gonna make sure you can!" Cut to:

The Dark Haired One taps a yellow pencil against a sterling ashtray and says very slowly and deliberately, "I very much want to represent him. Find him and sign him now." The Two Gallery Assistants leap to action. Cut to:

In a Chicago penthouse with an impressive lake view, three young, chic Society Matrons sip cocktails and finger fabric swatches. With an expansive gesture, a tasteful Decorator says, "...and we'll let the four Grundy's dominate the room. (indicating) There. (indicating) There. (indicating) And two there. We'll use those intensely spiritual colors to pick the fabric of the couch..." Cut to:

At the Fall Folderol Dinner Dance at the Boca Rata Country Club, a well-heeled Member says to a friend, "...And by God, you and Dee Dee gotta come by and see our new Grundy. We hung the painting next to that little monoprint we have of his." The Friend replies, "Grundy, yes. I like his work. I heard he killed a man..." Cut to:

In Spain at the Guggenheim Bilbao, curator Ramon Boulmange speaks emphatically, "Aye doo nut see anyzing wong wit canceling zee eentire zilly show and bring-ing zee sensational Gore-dee Groon-dee een. We want to build attendance, n'est ce pas?" Cut to:

In the kitchen of TRAXX Restaurant, Chef Tara Thomas instructs her Sous Chef, "And in honor of the artist, we will call it the "No Further West." It will be a steak, specifically a medium rare New York with a whiskey creme sauce, with lots of whiskey." Cut to:

There is a knock on the Studio door. Gordy opens it to reveal a Gaggle of Young and Beautiful Coeds. The Leader of the troop says shyly and passionately, "Like, we-we want to be your assistants. We just have to be. We want to join the Circle G. Like, we don't want any money. We just want to work for you, to help you. And we'll even wear a uniform." Slow Dissolve to:



Many of you have experienced a Solo Debut and most of you have not. I'm still standing in the cannibal's pot and I have no perspective. I have so much to say but the words are colliding.

What I can tell you though, is what it feels like: Remember the old gag about the Great White Hunter on the African savannah? He bravely and magnificently holds his ground while a two-ton, sharp horned rhino charges him. The Hunter cocks his pith helmet at a rakish angle and calls to his guide, "Bwana! Bring me the longshot rifle!" Unfortunately, Bwana can't hear him because Bwana is running about a hundred yards in the opposite direction. Goodnight.

GORDY GRUNDY is a Los Angeles based painter. Back issues of his column "Genuflect" can be found at


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