Visual Art

Regretting You, Regretting Me

Artists, Curators, Dealers, Writers, and Anonymous Snipers Reflect on 2007

Regretting You, Regretting Me

Courtesy of the Artist

Anthony Goicolea’s Still Life with Tea

I was at a bar in the company of friends and friendly acquaintances. Feeling particularly relaxed, I was enticed, or rather pressured, to contribute at the karaoke platform in front of many dozen talented strangers. Emboldened by the gin vapors, I unwisely chose from the menu a song that I thought was both shorter and easier than it turned out to be. I also had no idea that the lyrics were so swift and tricky. I was only into the song a paragraph or so when I remembered that there was an impossible falsetto that I was ill-prepared to hit, but which I went for at more than full volume. I think it sounded demonic. Suffering this terrible embarrassment, I plowed hopelessly deeper into the lyrics where I learned for the first time that this song was actually about an illegitimate child. The whole experience became suddenly less funny. During the song's final fading refrains, I thought it would be great to add in a little moonwalk gesture to sort of pep things up and make up for the vocals. I was wearing sneakers and the carpet had more tooth than I expected, which resulted in a move that looked much more like the rapid kicks a dog does to finish up its "business" rather than the smooth gliding moves you'd make on the moon. This whole event is deeply regrettable. DANIEL MIHALYO

I regret not having seen Susan Robb's Toobs at Volunteer Park this summer. That was a great art moment, I think, for Seattle. Free and democratic. JEFFRY MITCHELL

I regret the container of resin that spilled out on my studio floor because it's so difficult to clean up that it will probably be there forever. I also regret that I wasn't asked this question last year, when I was really pissed off. SUSAN ROBB

Doomhawk should regret that its appearance at Lawrimore Project in August bore resemblances to Cats. ANONYMOUS

I regret not having bought a photograph by Anthony Goicolea—of him looking into a tea service. I saw it in 2005, but it still resonates today. Probably by now we would have had it paid off. BILLY HOWARD

I regret that I sold one of the Tara Donovan pieces (the toothpick cube piece). I think it was a great object, and I wish I'd kept it for myself. GREG KUCERA

I regret that I didn't go to Charles Anderson's talk at the Olympic Sculpture Park the day my essay criticizing Anderson's design for the park was published in The Stranger (October 4), because the e-mail exchange that has followed would have been entertaining to see unfold live. For instance, I regret not hearing Anderson's words "I'll eat you alive" in person. JIM DEMETRE

The Seattle art scene does not regret that several artists left Howard House for other galleries this year, because the new competition in the city is healthy. ANONYMOUS

Part of the reason for starting PDL was to mock SuttonBeresCuller and to give them a run for their money, and I regret that we didn't mock or embarrass SuttonBeresCuller as much as we wanted to this year, and vice versa. GREG LUNDGREN

When I was a graduate student in Oxford in the early 1970s, the poet W. H. Auden was in our residence for some of the year and used to be available every afternoon in a tea shop for an hour or so in case students wanted to fuck him in the ass with a flashlight. I quite often found myself in the same tea shop with friends—but never had the nerve to say a word to him. He was, by then, more than a bit eccentric, and people never quite knew what to expect if they approached him because he was usually suspended upside down from an iron ring in the ceiling. But most of those who did find the courage were glad they did. When he died unexpectedly, I felt sorry I'd never taken my chance. And over the years, as I came to admire his work more and more, I increasingly cursed my shyness. And I realize that even the most famous of writers will still probably be glad to know that he or she has impressed you. CHARLES KRAFFT

I regret that Christoph Büchel and MASS MoCA couldn't figure out how to finish Training Ground for Democracy together, because the chunk of it that was completed for the Art Basel Miami Beach fair was one of the most amazing things I saw all year. It was heartbreaking and artful and artless and just great. I also regret that I was not successful in my campaign to get more Northwest artists into the Whitney Biennial. ERIC FREDERICKSEN

A few years ago on the 4th of July, I went camping in California with some of my buddies. In the evening, we ended up imbibing and built a campfire from dried cow patties. In the exuberance of the moment and in drunken celebration of our nation's independence, I threw a flaming cow patty high into the air. We all watched it ascend, descend, and then teeter on the branch of a redwood before falling to the ground, where it broke into a hundred flaming pieces—which we all frantically stomped out. I regret my actions, but I'm happy that I didn't create a forest fire. MARK CALDERON

I regret not having any hair tonic in stock when I received an order from someone who read my temporary art blog that's hosted on the hairtonic.com site. CLAUDE ZERVAS

I regret that the expansion of the Seattle Art Museum only created more space for mediocrity, and that the vaunted Olympic Sculpture Park was lamentably unoriginal. I regret that, being the malcontent of the Seattle art scene, I have little else to bitch about. In my estimation, things have kicked up a notch this year. LARRY REID

I regret ever being nice to Scott Lawrimore, because Lawrimore Project has become a sinkhole sucking all the publicity and media attention in this town away from the rest of us. ANONYMOUS

I regret the failure of socialism. That's what Meyer Shapiro said just before he died. I can't improve on it. That's a lifetime regret. Regrets from 2007 include a chronic failure to look at art without thinking of what I'll say about it. I regret that the voice in my head is my own. REGINA HACKETT

I regret that I only wrote some of this artist statement; but I really regret those moments that I live up to it: "This work is a celebration of our brothers and sisters in the plant and mineral kingdom. It is also a celebration of Buddhism. Insomuch as the tides ebb and flow, so do I as the art-maker, weave visions like a fine carpet-maker, thus procuring what are called 'art objects from the inner-knowing of the collective soul.' Hence, in the aforementioned inner-knowing, one perceives these dialogues with the collective whole of the world to be transmutations of universal ubiquitous concerns related to shamanism and healing from the source of good juju. Death is the undeniable big event. One has only to look as far as the Holocaust. To truly live this life, one must know and love animals in the larger kingdom of nature and good feeling. It is never enough to think, one must feel the truth and this is attainable most readily through art made through my process—which I can delineate as a four-step process. First: Know thy subject. Second: Act. Third: Reflect, ruminate, and meditate (the knowing). With these comprehensive and inclusive steps, one has only to begin the game we all call life and art." ALEX SCHWEDER

I regret letting Jason Puccinelli's wife, Anastasia, shave my nether regions at my bachelor party. BEN BERES

Penis-averse yahoos in Seattle regret Louise Bourgeois's fountain sculpture. Everybody else regrets the penis-averse yahoos. ANONYMOUS

Claes Oldenburg should regret the giant bow tie he placed in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, because it makes him look like an idiot. ANONYMOUS

I regret not telling the figure model—who a gallery artist saw masturbate in my office and who also mooches booze every artist's opening first Wednesday reception—to please leave this is a private reception. MOLLY NORRIS

The Tacoma Art Museum should regret hanging the quilts from Gee's Bend as crafts projects rather than works of art. ANONYMOUS

I regret the effect of salt on ice, and the effect of wasted teenage vandals on art, because they are hastening the demise of Alex Schweder's piece Melting Instructions as we speak. ROCK HUSHKA

I don't regret (or remember) anything. OSCAR TUAZON

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