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2018 01 30 In 1970 I offered the world an internet. In 1974 my wife kidnapped our son so she could put him in school without discussing it with me: know the society would back her illegality, not my traditional rights. In 1974, having rent to pay, receiving no funding from the public, I went to work at an ordinary job, contemptible. So there I was, managing the Circle Gallery in its original locations, Madison Avenue, in the ’60s: The Whitney a door or two south, Sotheby’s diagonally across the street. The Circle galleries sold what they published: except for my store. My Circle had accumulated a decades’ worth of odds and ends. Circle didn’t publish Will Barnet or Jim Dine or Hans Belmer; but my Circle had drawers full of such. The one Jim Dine was a multiple original in a frame on an easel. It pictured an artist’s palette. Screwed into the plastic frame’s obverse surface was a pair of scissors. The palette sported colors, the colors were names: green, red, blue. (I would have been tempted, were the art mine, to mid-lable the colors.) In my yar there I moved the Dine of the easel toward the front, toward the side, in the back.
No one came to Circle to buy pop art. I didn’t think the thing would ever move. But one day a little old lady negotiated the entrance steps, stood in front of the Dine, sighed a few times, and finally said, “OK, I’ll take it.” She wrote out a check for the $1,200 plus tax or whatever it was: something in that neighborhood, low four figures.
“Jimmy’s coming over for diner tonight, and by now I really ought to have at least one thing by him.
I bit, she explained: this woman was Jim Dines’s grandmother. Or godmother. Or nurse. Something.