Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Dreaming of Dreaming in Color

Last night I went to see Kaffe Fassett speak about his new autobiography, Dreaming in Color, sponsored by Loop. It was a slide show of his life, starting in California where his parents owned a restaurant and did some kind of folk dancing. I can't really tell you more because we arrived late (mostly because parking in south Philadelphia sucks) and were all the way in the back. Don't ask why but no one thought a person speaking to a packed audience in a room that resembled a church may need amplification. So the beginning parts were a little sketchy. He did some name dropping up front (Mrs. Heinz, who bought his first painting and told him not to go into decorative arts; Diana Vreeland; Time Magazine who did a spread on his parents' restaurant) but once he got to the subject of his career, it was a freewheeling romp through color, as you might expect. He thought we all must know an awful lot about him--he kept mentioning work done by this Brandon guy as if we knew who he was. Turns out, his partner and studio manager. (Though I really hoped wikipedia was going to help me a little more than it did.) (Of course, we can't expect a thorough wiki on a man who doesn't use a computer. He doesn't drive, doesn't type, and doesn't go on the computer: "I have work to do!" Dude, it's not nice to alienate your audience.)

Interestingly he showed a picture he had painted early in his career that was entirely white. "I used to be afraid of color," he said. Whaaaaaa?

Six degrees of separation: Kaffe Fassett was at the Boston Museum school in the 60s. My uncle (Drunkle Dick) was there around the same time. Now I am dying to know if Drunkle dropped acid with knew Kaffe. Kaffe only spent a short time at the school, and my uncle dropped out too, though my uncle did go back and finish recently.

You know what else is interesting? He only knits the backs of sweaters. Do you know how many more sweaters I could knit if I just had to do the back and then got to hand the project off? Where's my knit-monkey? People had a lot of questions about that. Mostly around whether he actually wrote the knitting patterns. Seriously? He's the god of color and mixing patterns and you want to know about how individual projects get finished? Forest, trees.

Last night, I dreamt about the talk. There we were in the back of the room sitting next to the publisher, who started dishing to us. "We kept trying to get him to give us the really good stuff," she said "but it's clear that it's greying." she said. She kept using the phrase that his memory was "greying" over and over again. It's definitely ironic given that most of his work is done in absolutely bold tones. (Just look at that book cover!) What she meant was that he had Alzheimer's and was losing his grasp on his story. (This is a dream, remember. I don't want to wake up tomorrow to rumors on the internet.)

7 comments:

doris said...

I'm dying to know what you're dying to know! Only the backs of sweaters? No typing? No driving? I'm wondering how he lives. I suppose if you have a knit-monkey, you have other monkeys to take care of typing, driving, paying bills, etc. I'm so sorry I wasn't at his talk.

Deb said...

Wow, he had us all amazed at what he does and he only does the back of sweaters. Sounds like he has startitis or ADD to me! Well, probably not. I'm sure that his mind just keeps going to new projects and new things - or at least I hope so and he doesn't have Alzheimers!

Silverlotus said...

He's a pretty interesting guy. He came up for the Creativ Festival here in Toronto a few years ago. (Then he said he didn't knit any of the sweaters, if I remember correctly. He just designs and hands off. I bet it is probably a combination of the two stories, since I'm sure he was knitting at the festival.)

Coral said...

Only knits the back of sweaters!? If I was going to choose I'd knit the front. That's the interesting bit!

I suppose he has a knit monkey, a drive monkey, a food monkey and a sock monkey!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What a great evening, I wonder how much of what he says is construct to answer the same endless questions from the media and public?
If I was a celebrity I'd say different things to each journalist just for fun!
I do like the idea of the different monkeys to run my life, that's what I'd do if we won the lottery - have staff!

Needle Nicely said...

My mind just keeps spinning at the permutations of what I could achieve "needlepointingly" (if that could be a word) if I could conceptualize a project and magically hand it off to a minion to be completed. Ah! bliss! I've had the pleasure of the conception and none of the drudgery of actually needlepointing it. Perhaps that is life in the fast lane, says she trudging along in the obviously too-slow lane. Obviously the story of my life!

Margaret said...

Too bad the talk wasn't better amplified and all. Lucky you to get to see him though. I think he's amazing, love his work. Interesting to hear all this stuff. You'd better watch out -- now everyone will be saying he has Alzheimer's. lol!