Art Is Rent and the Residence Gallery

Featuring works by Quad Cities artist Donnie Bobb avail. thru Jan. 15, 2018.

For years, I thought an art gallery was a place owned by an uptight rich lady who dyed her hair jet black and dressed like a polo-playing assassin. And in order to get your work into her gallery, Elizabeth Bathory herself had to find you struggling away in a basement somewhere or see your portfolio lying open at the top of a garbage bin.

“It’s so beautiful; it inspires me to bathe in the blood of the innocent.” — Elizabeth Bathory about this painting by Donnie Bobb

While the New York Times waited until 2016 to address the current generation of DIY galleries (in an article that uses the phrase, “redolent with cat litter”), these spaces have dotted the physical and conceptual landscape for at least a decade. As they continue to increase in number and popularity, so do they rise in legitimacy.

Simply put, the idea itself is just a logical progression: from the refrigerator exhibitions of pre-K traditionally the work of Mom and/or Dad as a practical method of display that allows for daily viewing – or the mantlepiece gallery you designed in time for grandma’s visit, complete with little tags including the title, medium, and price of each piece. Just like a real gallery.

Because that’s what you thought made a gallery “real,” along with the sharp architecture and icy decor. Likewise, you weren’t a “real” artist until a Medici hung one of your paintings in his master bath.

This painting is fresher than that reference.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, such an idea seems uncivilized and downright unAmerican. Enter the home gallery, an embodiment of practical fortitude nurtured by do-it-yourself culture and the ever-present instinct to stick it to the oppressors.

I’ve written before about the democratic nature of do-it-yourself, and I’ve also discussed how DIY artists will often make their homes in their workspaces and vice versa as a means of saving money. There is the added benefit, however, of living in a space where one is constantly surrounded by artistic expression.

It’s inspiring…

Untitled #10 billion

and intriguing…

Heavy Petting. Presented without comment.

and invigorating…

Invigorate™: Not just for gasoline.

AND a residence or home gallery is so much more special than a commercial gallery. It’s a more intimate experience with greater access to the artist. Think of it as dealing directly with the farmer instead of choosing off the shelf at Target.

Speaking of farms: Bullies!

Donnie Bobb’s latest show celebrates the residence gallery twice over.

Firstly, all works for sale are on display in the artists’ living room, where you can enjoy them at leisure in a comfy chair and probably a cup of coffee. There’s usually coffee.

There’s also room to dance. I’m just gonna let that dangle.

And nextly, profits will go toward maintaining the home and gallery of the recently departed Chuck Knudsen, long-time title holder as the Quad Cities’ Most Talented Artist and the undisputed champion of absurdity.

He was the most wholesome scoundrel who ever lived; this might actually be a portrait of him.

This show is a unique event. Come check out some new works by a local artist, learn about the local arts and DIY communities, and nourish our community’s cultural legacy.

To schedule a walk-through at Donnie Bobb’s Davenport residence gallery, please call or text the number listed here.

Full disclosure: some of his paintings might be haunted.

If you have a home gallery of your own and you want me to write about it, or if you just think your artwork is lonely and needs a friend, let me know via comment or email.