I keep visualising Hauser & Wirth! Why can't I let that one go?

Jonathan Grossmalerman, from the April 2014 issue

By Jonathan Grossmalerman

I'm the one in the water

Oh Misery and Humiliation! You two dirty sneak thieves! How did you even get in here? Had I not fastened tightly the latch of my tiny heart? I mean, I’m a pretty optimistic guy, but searching for new gallery representation is really putting me through the wringer! I’m just glum of spirit… bummed out… down in the dumps. Firstly, is it actually possible that none of these young gallerists has any idea who I am? Me? Jonathan Grossmalerman? Don’t try and hide it! I know a blank stare when I see one! Secondly, someone could really have given me a heads-up that no one uses slides any more. It would have saved me a great deal of embarrassment. No end of it. I really can’t stress that enough! Really! Is there no one looking out for me at all? Imagine my shame, as that pretty gallerina’s second blank look of the morning flashed at the slide sheet dangling ungracefully from her delicate hands. Upside down. It was bad. Really bad.

Oh! Hélas pour moi! How has it come to this? How do I find myself in this godawful predicament? What is an artist without a gallery!? Can one even call oneself an artist without a gallery? I suppose you can call yourself anything you want, but you and I both know that the real answer is plainly obvious indeed! And not the answer that some of you are hoping for! No. It’s the bad answer. The other answer. The one hiding in the shadows!

And even he has a gallery! Albeit a small one in Bushwick that also sells dumplings

Personally, I blame ArtReview! It is evident that something fishy is going on there. I mean, explain to me how my own private musings, detailing the well-founded animosity I harboured towards my ex-gallerist, Maximillian Bingeweary, would, despite their being published in an obscure British art journal, somehow find their way into his office? All the way to New York’s Chelsea district? Thousands of miles away from ArtReview’s offices in Yorkshire. Hmmm? No, that is a bridge too far. I smell a rat and I don’t like it!

But I suppose that’s all water under the bridge now. There is no profit to be found in mulling over the past. After all, however down in the dumps I might be at present, it’s still up to me to turn these lemons life has handed me into… a pie… or… well… some other thing one can make with lemons. I mean, no one else is going to do it for me. I’m referring to getting me a gallery, of course. Not baking a pie with lemons or anything. That was simply a metaphor. Anyway, back to the smoking detritus of my career… I must shake myself out of this torpor and do something!

Anything!
But what!?

Positive thinking! Yes! I will visualise the gallery I would like to show with… Goddamnit! It’s Hauser & Wirth again! I keep visualizing Hauser & Wirth! Why can’t I let that one go!? OK. Fuck positive thinking. Maybe I simply need to calm down. That’s what my studio assistant Neal thinks. I should just stop worrying about it. I suppose he has some sort of point. After all, I’ve only been without a gallery for a few months.

I imagine it could be argued that in the grand scheme of things a couple of months is not that big a deal. But then again, Neal has proven himself time and time again to be a complete fucking moron! And even he has a gallery! Albeit a small one in Bushwick that also sells dumplings. Why the fuck should I listen to him?

What I need to do is snap out of this depression and get my gumption back! My sizzle! My razzle-dazzle! The je ne sais quoi that makes me so attractive to men and women alike. I can already feel it coming. Perhaps I’ll write a couple of emails to a museum curator and/or a gallerist and wait patiently for a response. Yes! That’s what I’ll do. It’s amazing what an enormous sense of accomplishment simply writing a couple of emails gives me. Provided I get a response. Oh, dread! What if no one responds to my email!?

Maybe I’ll just make myself a little drinkywink. Yes. That’s what I’ll do. That’s the stuff! I imagine the staff of Hauser & Wirth are beginning their workday. I wonder what they’ll do. What dreams will they fulfil in that fun factory of the imagination?

This article was first published in the April 2014 issue.