Have you read the book THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO? I tried starting it about five times to no avail.
Then one foggy morning I was wandering from the bedroom to the kitchen and back to the bedroom, schlepping coffee and newspapers and assorted weekend paraphernalia back to bed. The news was (is) depressing and I should have known better than to try and read it. My new New Yorker had not yet arrived and there I was face to face with LISBETH SALANDER for the sixth time, the last salvation of literature on my bedside table.
OKAY, SISTER, I thought. I’LL TAKE YOU ON. I’ll show you that you can’t suck me into your bestselling tattooed shit. You’re all tough and Run Lola Run and no one can touch you because you ride a motorcycle. I get it. I’ve seen it and read it before. You can’t move me. JASON BOURNE was way before you.
I climbed back into bed with my strong and hot (like my man) coffee and tried to read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO again. Whatever.
And then, son of a… I got hooked. Lisbeth. What the F? You are AWESOME in the true sense of this much overused word. You kick ass in the way I only dream of, especially with a golf club. That’s justice, baby. I read for about 5 hours to finish your story yesterday.
With the ass-kicking spirit of Ms. Salander in my head, I went to work today, without the golf club. My assignment as a KICK ASS ART DEALER (sans tattoos) was to ascend to our ATTIC storage space and curate an exhibition from what I found up there for a specific artist whom I VERY MUCH ADMIRE. She was the impetus to overcome any of my fears as she had overcome her own in a way that Lisbeth would admire, and then some.
Sure, Boss. I’m on it!
I said all this knowing that I am terrified of heights and had only been in the attic once and that was really only halfway up the ladder. So really I HAD NEVER BEEN ALL THE WAY UP INTO THE ATTIC. This ladder is like a fire escape ladder. It’s high. HIGH! I have a fear of heights in the sense that high points create a sort of vertigo and disorientation that is as if the earth has tilted and we are all sliding uncontrollably into the abyss…
But guess who doesn’t have a fear of heights? Yeah, Lisbeth Salander. She wouldn’t be crying in her Swedish soup about having to climb a ladder and look at some art. She would have been up that ladder with one hand taped behind her back holding a taser just in case some jerk accosted her leather clad leg on the way up.
So, heck yeah! I was going up into the attic (sans taser, but I do have MACE in my desk drawer, so that’s kind of international intrigue spy-ish). I put on my running clothes, because it is dusty up there and I would have to crawl on my knees. My Nikes took me straight up the iron ladder and into the heart of our business. Row after row after row of beautiful paintings. Really, cubicles of visual jewels that would put many museums to shame.
I got the job done. I curated an entire show in my track suit, on my knees, twenty feet above our commercial business, because there was no time to be a wuss. It was time to kick some curator ass in a hot and sweaty, close space.
In the process I came across a box of paintings that hadn’t been looked at in a long time. Sorting through them, I found my next art purchase. A quick sketch by COLIN CAMPBELL COOPER of some swans, circa 1900. We have a hundred sketches by this artist, but it was the artist’s impulsive swan sketch that caught my eye. Not the cathedrals, not the more famous Orientalist paintings, not the European street sketches, not the work that warrants thousands of Kroner on the international art market. It was a simple sketch of swans on a blank page that got me. Go figure.
Thanks to STIEG LARSSON and Lisbeth Salander, I was inspired to kick some ass in our attic by curating an exhibition and procuring my next art purchase. It’s not a Dragon and it will never be a tattoo. I don’t know yet what Lisbeth’s Dragon means to her, but the Swans, to me, speak of childhood and peace and the magic of memories that come to mind in the space between waking and sleep (which decidedly does NOT sound very kick ass).
Thanks Stieg. And thanks, FRANK, for access to some of the finest art archives in the world. You create the space for us to kick some ART DEALING ASS, with or without tattoos.