Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Friday and Gonzo 24/7 Finished Installing

This was definitely a "Thank heaven its' Friday' kind of day. Because Thursday was a weird day. Gonzo 24/7 and his helpers tried valiantly to install two murals in the insets made especially for his canvases on levels 2 and 3 of the new Houston Permitting Center. He'd measure and use a very long level that showed all was well. Then he'd get the canvas in the inset and it was not at all level and even stuck out on one side. Seems there was a 1/4 inch difference in the measurements on each end of the inset. That would be from the ceiling to the top of the inset. You couldn't tell there was a discrepancy until the canvas was hanging and looking very lopsided. Gonzo remeasured and rehung that mural three times until he gave up for the day.
In addition to that 1/4 inch difference that quadrupled the time he intended to spend installing, the fire alarm was being tested repeatedly. It went off every few minutes the entire four hours that we were in the building. I finally got some ear plugs from Charlie Genella after uttering a few profanities, or perhaps they were just vulgarities, every time the alarm went off. It was truly ear splitting and I am old enough to be worried that I may already be going deaf. Yes, folks, the alarm system works. If there is a fire in the building, you will hear about it.
There was plenty to overcome on Thursday. Not only were there 1/4 inch differences in each side of both of Gonzo's insets. The fire alarm testing went on and on. In addition to the odd measurements and the piercing sounds was the work going on in front of each of Gonzo's mural insets. On level 2, a guy was smoothing sheet rock mud by the elevators. Very deliberately and thoroughly. His mud was in a bucket on a wheeled contraption immediately in front of the mural wall. When we got to level 3, two workmen were cutting great sheets of what looked like vinyl on the floor immediately in front of the mural inset. Gonzo is terrific. He asked if he could work in the area and everyone shared the space.
After Gonzo had hung and rehung without success, he left signs on each of his mural that announced his return to level these enormous pieces.
Ever upbeat, he returned today to rehang them both. We decided yesterday that eyeballing the measurement would be better than using the level which wasn't working well at all. Not sure how he actually made these painting level today, but the results are there to see. His two murals, painted with aerosol paint and I am sure, countless different tips, are going to knock folks out of their socks when they step off the elevators. Note that this mural is a huge graphic of Houston's freeways. It's terrific.
Jesse was on hand yesterday for a while watching Gonzo's efforts. Gave him some time to figure out how to hang his two murals. He has a carpenter working on the 90 degree turn of his L-shaped stretcher today and on Saturday morning, they'll get the canvas on the new stretcher and will hang it in the inset on level 4.
I went to A&E mid-afternoon to see the proofs for two of my walls which will be installed on June 8. They were designed by S.O. Creatives.
Working with S.O. Creatives turned into a real collaboration, turning text into a graphic image in one case, and using vintage blueprints and maps and rubber stamp in the other.
They're both looking good. Much more graphic than the work that's been installed in the building thus far. Not painterly and certainly not anything like Dean and Dan's baroque assemblage in the Green Building Resource Center. I had to tell myself over and over as I watched them reassemble their recycled metal piece that my walls were OK. Simply very different than theirs.
At the end of today, I returned to the site for one last look and this is what I saw.