While I was traveling for work this past week, I stopped at an airport newsstand to see what reading material I could get as a back up to the book I'd brought with me, and instantly noticed the cover of the travel magazine Afar, which proclaimed that the new rule of travel was to "go solo." While I'm lucky enough to have a travel partner whom I love and love to travel with -- my fantastic husband, Charlie -- I admit that I also really enjoy traveling by myself. Afar notes that "traveling alone is always thrilling, sometimes scary, and often hilarious." Absolutely true.
I recently traveled to Portugal by myself for a long weekend. After exploring the stunning beaches of the Algarve region replete with sea stacks (sea stacks!!), I drove to the Portimão marinas of the southern coast hoping to find interesting hulls to photograph. As I got out of my rental car I saw three older men standing by a fishing boat that was undergoing repair. They regarded me with curiosity, clearly wondering what my camera and I were doing at the boatyard. I managed to ask if they spoke English (head shake no in response). I told them that I didn't speak Portuguese, and then, so as to explain my intent and suddenly at a loss for most of the scant amount of Portuguese that I'd learned on Duolingo over the two weeks prior to my trip, I blurted simply: "Eu gosto barcas" ("I like boats"), pointed at my camera, and mimed taking a photo. This linguistic brilliance not only got me the desired access to the marina, it somehow convinced one of the men that I spoke Portuguese despite my assertion to the contrary, or at least that I understood it well enough to comprehend his rapid fire discussion of the boat he was standing near, which I understood to be his (pictured above; for me it has more of a sentimental rather than artistic appeal). We had a lovely seven minute conversation consisting of his fluent Portuguese - of which I understood perhaps only every tenth word which always seemed to be peixe (fish) - countered by my miserable attempt at using what little I'd learned of the language. (During my four days in Portugal I relied mostly on "olá" (hello), "obrigado" (thank you)", desculpa (sorry), "bom dia (have a good day), and the exceptional English and generous nature of Lisbon locals). Once I finished shooting the boats, I swung back to say a final "obrigada" - at which point one of the men called me over so that he could enthusiastically show me the photos of boats that he had taken with his phone. Todos nós gostamos barcos - we all like boats.
I’m excited to be showing several photos from my boat hulls series at the Art New York art fair at Manhattan’s Pier 94 (55 & 12th) from May 3rd to May 8th during Frieze week, when the Frieze art fair returns to town. For more information about the fair including hours, or for the list of exhibiting artists (which is equally thrilling and daunting) see the fair website at artnyfair.com. Sister art fair, CONTEXT New York, will be held adjacent to Art New York, providing more than 200,000 combined square feet of exhibition space with almost 150 galleries from almost 50 countries. As with Aqua Art Miami, I will once again be exhibiting with Studio 26 gallery, and will be at the fair much of the time – I hope to see you there!