Barbara Gal: Old Men

Next Gallery

November 1 - 17, 2019

  • Opening reception: Friday November 1st from 6 to 10pm
  • Final Friday Party: November 15th from 6 to 10pm

Men have always been important in my life. I was raised by an amazing father. I have a mob of sons, grandsons, brothers, in-laws, uncles and cousins. Perhaps the topic of another project. This show is about some of the other men in my long life - husbands, friends, teachers, lovers and mentors who had a part in making me the woman I am today. These men were in my life for a few months, a few years or half a century.

On display will be handmade and altered books, art I made for and about them, art of theirs from my collection, and other valuable and not so valuable objects. It has taken me a lifetime of collecting, and many months of sorting, scanning, printing, and creating, to assemble an exhibit that will tell this part of my story. Barbara has been a member of NEXT since 2011. She is a photographer and maker of artist books.

The Exhibition: When I was nineteen and engaged to be married, I looked forward to a partner for life, a marriage “til death do us part”. It became obvious very early on that this was not going to happen, but I hung on for 12 years before I got divorced. In the more than half-century since, I have been lucky and unlucky to have had many men in my life, rather than the one forever man of my young dreams. When my last long relationship ended a few years ago, I decided to look at these husbands, friends, teachers, lovers and mentors, to figure out what I had learned, what I had gained, and what I had lost with each one. I sorted through years of slides, photos and digital images. I dug out old art from my collection in storage. I plowed through boxes labeled “60’s,” “70’s,” “80’s,” and “Letters.” For the record, I keep way too much stuff! Finally I opened the infamous box labeled “OLD MEN,” which has been the dumping place for valuable stuff and sentimental junk for many years. Then I began the work of creating this show. Some of the books were already done, some of the art already framed. Other books had been started and set aside to be finished later. Some books found their forms as what I had saved fell into place. Some of this work was easy and fun. Some was difficult and sad. These men were part of my life for a few months, a few years or half a century. Four of them have died, one while I was working on his book. Others I lost track of years ago. But each had a part in making me the woman I am today. For better or for worse.

NEXT Gallery
6851 W. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80214
Fri: 5-10pm; Sat/Sun 12-5pm