Adventures with George – how buying mattresses gave us an art show

George and I and our gallery-owner and friend Nancy-Nan noticed LaFlammme’s Furniture Store advertising a “going-out-of-business” sale. We needed furniture, especially new mattresses.

George’s mattress was a top of the line mattress at its purchase date, 1985. Now its springs protruded through the quilted, flowered, covering fabric, like an alien poking fun at a thing of earth.

Nancy-Nan did the negotiating and delivery date slated within the week. Now George had to clear out and clean up under the bed, a task he had avoided for the last twenty years. And what a twenty years it had been. So enventful that the objects placed under the bed had been long forgotten and neglected.

The objects found included dust-imprisoned protfoloios – one of George’s and one of mine. Mine was so imprisoned in grime that George set it out in the garage- threatening me with its next interrment place of Mickey’s closet if I didn’t clean it up and take a look to determine its future.

Twenty years ago George and I lived together alone. His Mom had gone to a nursing home and his brother Mickey was still a street person sleeping in the unused rides of Coney Island. Computers had not invaded lives, and we were blissfully unaware of what time-stealers computers would become. In short, we had time to enjoy each other’s company and amuse ourselves around the house.

To document our leisure hours together, I had set up mirrors and by eyeing the reflelctions our bodies produced in the mirrors did nude scene of George and me relaxing together. That body of work from 1994 filled the portfolio.

George’s portfolio consisted of vintage photos, a hodge podge of scenes from out West, NYC, Finland and Paris.

We disn’t know what to do with them so we, as usual, consulted Nancy-Nan who wanted to see them. The spring season we found ourselves in involved us, especially Nancy-Nan with her farm, in many projects. So she took a non-commital look and put the portfolios away.

But summer rolled around, I asked Nancy-Nan about the portfolios, she relooked at them, chose many and decided to feature them in her season show. There was a big party for opening night, a big party a week later for those who couldn’t make the first party, and so our mattresses led to an art show.

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