This coming Friday I have a photograph in the first show at my friend's new gallery, THIS. If you haven't heard about it, you will, because this is going to be big. Along with my photo will be 99 other works by the friends of THIS called These Friends, and that is really fitting as THIS has always been about friends. The gallery is the combined effort of Aaron Farley, Claire and Jeremy Weiss, Dan Monick and Justin Van Hoy. Five amazing photographers and a designer/art director.
I met Aaron Farley first, sometime in the beginning of the 2000s. He wore his hat sideways, but pulled it off with smiles and charm. One night my friends and I were out and ran into Aaron and friends at the Brass Monkey singing Karaoke. We moved on from there to a few other bars until we got kicked out of somewhere after one dude drunkenly stole a Tia Carrere picture off the wall. Hungry and buzzed, we ended up at the Koreatown 24-hour tofu house that looks like it's in the shell of an ex-IHOP. The drunk dude was still drunk so my other friend decided to call his cell phone under the table, repeatedly. Over and over the phone would ring and the dude would pick up while slurring "WHOOO ISSS THISSS, WHHY DO YOU KEEEP CALLLING MEEE." As he was practically crying with frustration, we were crying with laughter and friendships that last a lifetime were born. Except for the drunk dude who later accused me of stalking his ex because she gave me her email (without me asking for it), and I actually used it.
Jeremy and Claire I heard about for years before finally meeting. We are all from New Jersey and the sad truth is, we stick together no matter where we are. More than that, though, New Jersey people tend to always understand each other when sometimes it feels like no one else does. Through the years we had crossed paths, most notably them attending a party at my house. But as is the case with parties sometimes, the question "wait, whose house is this?" fails to get answered. Meeting them was like hitting friend paydirt. You could pretty much play six degrees of Jeremy and Claire and hit a winner within two or three. This includes getting to know Aaron again in different-yet-same circles and meeting THIS co-owner Dan Monick.
From there it spirals exponentially to form a network of friend that feels an Army strong. If someone has a question, someone else has an answer and if someone needs a favor, someone else has the time or resources. This is the Los Angeles we know, one where "it's hard to meet people" makes no sense. I don't know Justin, but I do know all I have to do is introduce myself and I will, just like anyone else who shows up on Friday. So don't miss THIS, because These Friends could be yours too.
These Friends, Friday February 12, 2010 7-10pm 5906 North Figueroa St. LA, CA. 90042. THIS website
(The flyer was in this spot but it looked like a blur of words, so I switched it for a photo. Check the site above!)