24 February 2008


A few hundred people braved the rain and crammed into Tartine for the “art opening.” Those who came hungry ate heartily. Those who weren’t hungry graciously accepted the bowls of sancocho and homebrewed pineapple beer I thrust at them.

A week later the show got some press in the Guardian.

Despite the boost, my confidence sagged. Nobody seemed to be reading the artist statement. The stack of postcards next to the cream and sugar didn't dwindle. Eyes never wandered above the top row of the pastry case.

I finally got realistic: people don’t come to Tartine for the "art"

Uh... what show?

Then one day I overheard a conversation at the coffee bar between two strangers going back and forth about their favorite photos. “I like that one in the corner… it always reminds me that there is a bigger world out there.” The other nodded in agreement. “I like that one over the door – every morning I come in gunning for my coffee and I see that picture of the mountaintop and the clouds and I just relax.” I butted into the conversation and hugged the two startled women.

The show got more press a few weeks later; this time in the weekend edition of the San Francisco Examiner. Read it here or click on the image to enlarge.

I may still be two grand in the hole but I would call the show a resounding success - none of which would have been possible without generous help.

A whole hearted thank you to Chad and Liz, who provided not just the stage, but a family, a home, and an always inspiring place to work. To my ruthless editors and most ardent supporters: Dad, Mom, and Jaz. To my resilient curator, Brianna, and the professional crew at Photoworks. To my friends in the Sierra Nevada Santa Martha. Mono tells me that Teti always asks when his gringo is going to come back to the Sierra. Very soon, abuelito, as long as I’m still “fresco” with El Cholo.

And finally to you, my dear readers. Gracias a todos.

Update (March 15)

A week ago I got a call, and the brief conversation ended like this:

Me. You're joking?
Caller. Nope.
Me. I've never been on TV.
Caller. That's okay.
Me. I don't even have a TV.
Caller. So then we'll see you at the studio on Friday?

Click on this link to see the wandering cook "LIVE"


Blogger Hana said...

Looking forward to your future shows!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putito, your story still keeps my soul shaking... And it was great hearing it directly from you, we have to repeat, but this time,you come overseas... Keep well. Spanish Lawyer

5:17 PM  
Blogger Bellringer said...

I've been checking "Open Kitchen" every week or so (for many a moon) and am very happy to see you have returned ...

Here's wishing you the best ...

Jim (Loni's grandpa)

8:58 PM  
Blogger Rebex411 said...

Ah hoy! The journey of traveling and photography and food, and you are at the epicenter. Three of my favorite enterprises, as well. Meeting you last week at the opening of ROYGBIV was really nice. Tartine, your home 'away' from home is sacred and pure. I'm happy to meet someone so well-balanced and creative and curious as you, it all makes sense. Thanks for the news on the morning buns, and btw- turns out Indigo IS in the spectrum. :-) Ciao, R.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Ali Garcia said...

I had major chills reading your new entry. My last visit to Tartine, your pictures were down and I felt so sad. My favorite was the clouds that you put at the end of "thanks" . I would stare away while waiting in tartines forever long line.
I am happy you found home in the bakery because it wasn't complete without you.
Congrats on the show-

11:12 PM  
Blogger Angelaclown said...

Hola querido!.
No te puedes imagnar la alegria que senti de verte en tele! y con el Arte en Tartine!. Estas cosas solo pasan cuando hay mentes y carismas como el tuyo. Es algo q quiero aprender de ti..te envidio!... Me hubiera encantado ver tus fotos en la panaderia..pero bueno, ya conoci tu huella en Sopa y Seco, espero q pronto pueda ir a Tartine!...Shit!..tienes ese pel re largo..casi ni te reconozco...!!...Un saludo parcerote

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw your exhibit at Tartine and as I was tidying up my apartment this afternoon found one of your postcards. Its so beautiful. The pictures you took are amazing and full of emotion. Are any of them still for sale? If so, can you post this information on your blog.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hola Eric

Me alegra mucho que des al mundo a conocer los nativos de la tierra que llamamos Colombia. Ellos son portadores de una sabiduria universal que puede ayudarnos a cambiar la humanidad que anda en crisis. Tenemos mucho que aprender, necesitamos la naturaleza.

Te felicito viejo Eric y espero verte pronto en algun rincon de America.

Un abrazo.


6:22 PM  
Blogger Jessi said...

Hey, I'm currently in Chile, just met your marine biologist friend (I'm wary of using names on la red) and he recommended your blog. Your work is amazing, keep it up! If I'm ever in your neighborhood, I'll make my way to Tartine.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Blake Tucker said...

Congratulations, Eric. I hear you with the show at Tartine. I have had stuff at Humphry Slocombe for 4 months now, and still no bites! But it's good to be out there. And your press coverage is fantastic!

If you haven't shown at the SFO museum, I know a guy. Get in touch!

-Blake Tucker

12:55 PM  
Blogger mcs3000 said...

Eric - It was nice to meet you at Omnivore Books today. I love food and art so I'm going to really enjoy following your blog.

I hope you do more shows - your work is amazing! And I promise I will never sell your bread - no matter how much someone offers me. Cheers, Mary

3:46 PM  

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