Wednesday, December 21, 2011
THE WATERMAN CONTEST
During the Woodstock Film Festival this past September, my pal, the great photographer Catherine Sebastian, had a solo show at Oriole9 in Woodstock. These were new images that she had been working on for the last few years, and it was the first time they had been all in one spot. I was very excited for her.
During the BMI dinner, put on by our pal Doreen Ringer-Ross, Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple and Geri and Leon Gast (also an Academy Award winner!) called us over to their table and pointed to the image Catherine calls WATERMAN.
“We’ve been sitting under this photo and we’re so fascinated. Tell us what’s going on in this image,” Barbara said.
And, in a rare moment of just shutting up and getting out of the way, Catherine said “Why don’t you guys tell me what’s going on?”
Barbara and Geri got really animated. They both started talking at once. “Okay, in the right corner, that’s a red velvet jewelry box. He’s got a bottle of whiskey in his hand. He’s tossed the box on the shore because he asked her to marry him and she said no. He’s walking off into the ocean to kill himself.”
Barbara Kopple said, “okay, now you tell us.”
Catherine said, “Well, my son calls it the one where I’m shooting up through the water.”
Over coffee the next day, Catherine and I realized this would make a great contest and we put it out on Facebook. We asked people to send us a 250 word story, telling us what they thought was going on in this photo. The winner would win the 12” x 15” Artist Proof of Waterman!
We got some great, mystical, funny, and fabulous stories. Two of the stories especially spoke to both Catherine and me.
In the end, I chose this one by someone called Inky Girl. And then it turned out that Inky Girl was Woodstock superstar Monique Paturel!
She always loved him in yellow. In Venice, when he stood up and took off his jacket and sang an aria from Rigoletto. That jacket, handloomed tweed of wool and silk, sitting at the bottom of the boat with the moon pulling yellow from its weave, that same jacket they would spread on the grass in a secluded patch of Parco delle Rimembranze and make love. In his kitchen in Cambridge, equipped with minimal tools, where, in his yellow floral apron that he claimed once belonged to Julia Child, he turned out a meal of such delicacy that no future meal could ever measure close.
That was the yellow she loved him in. Before she knew he could sing, and cook; before she knew he could kill.
The piano wire is still hanging from his hand. His shirt lustrous through the numbing water of the pool, her consciousness vague after the garotting, she looks up and sees, finally, that yellow makes his ass look fat.
Posted by Martha Frankel at 1:03 PM