Friday, April 1, 2016

Resurrecting De Santiago

It was brought to my attention through a reader's comment (I looked on Google and your "Alexander Desalvator" does not exist - he's the real imaginary man.) that I had made the mistake of naming my artist friend in yesterday's post: "Alexander DeSalvator," when his true name is Alexander De Santiago
So, I give you a reprint from December 14th, 2012...
(It was over 3 years ago when I met him, and all I remembered of his last name is that it sounded like some place in Central or South America)
You Play Beautifully (reprint)
Alexander De Santiago
I instead went to my old spot on Bourbon Street, across from Barnaby's condo, and where the horse mounted cops had told me I couldn't play past 8 p.m. It was 6:45 p.m.
I made 6 dollars and was visited by an artist; a very good artist; a New Orleans good artist, who has sold stuff for thousands of dollars, who sat by and told me that I played "beautifully."
It was Alexander De Santiago!!
I think if I was playing beautifully it was because I was trying to ease my way back into a playing spot where I hadn't been in 8 months. I didn't want to get there and just start wailing away. I started very gently and melodically; which 
seemed to be the artists cup of tea.
He gave me one of his Albita beers, saying "I don't usually do this; but you earned it" as he did.
"Human Embracement" Art
That was very nice, and I decided to stop at 8 p.m. and not flirt with the horse cops, because it was Thursday and the money I stood to make was not enough of an incentive to risk going to jail over. Tonight, (Friday) it might be.. 

While I have nothing better to blog about, I have Googled him myself and found the painting below...


alex carter said...

I remember that guy - I'd not buy his art but then we all know the New Orleans tourist will buy just about anything.

Daniel McKenna said...

His art comes along with the explanation of his whole "human embracement" concept;
and, while I like his art for the way it makes me feel when I look at it; I always thought that it would be a funny episode of like Spy TV to throw up a set in some empty space to look like an art gallery full of his work, and then price them in the millions, while having hidden cameras capture people's reactions; he could even be there to explain human embracement and details like why he will use his fingers instead of a brush to be more in touch with the painting; once people feel like they "understand" his work (and can augment the "conversation piece" aspect of it, using it to broach the subject of human embracement at a dinner party, when it otherwise might never come up, for example) then they are more prone to buy it.
The Spy TV episode would be made even funnier by some of his more "stick figure" looking stuff, which I wish I could find online. He had one that was huge (6' X 8') and he was set up on Canal Street after toting it and others on a dolly to a spot near the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and it was funny to watch the doormen standing there smiling and shaking their heads, and to hear people passing by and mumbling things to each other like "Maybe I just don't understand art."
But then, sooner or later, he would be giving an impassioned dissertation on human embracement to a couple people, out of the hundreds walking by, and then when I saw him later on, he would tell me that he sold one for like $500, and then add "one of the small ones," as if to justify and amount so small (by human embracement standards).
I suppose I do the same thing when, after telling my "How did you wind up in New Orleans?" story, the "value" of my music appreciates in the ears of the listener. Or my "Why are you playing way down here, when all the action is down that way?" story...
It's all about human embracement*
*the spell checker underlined the word when I used it 3 years ago, and I was going to tell Alexander "You know, that isn't really a word -just sayin'" but now it seems to have been added to the English language. Maybe Alexander HAS changed the world through his "movement" LOL!