30X50 San Francisco, California
I hope within this painting you can see the imperfect perfection of two people coming together and creating a life of success. It takes a lot of work for a butterfly to realized its metamorphosis, and even then they never see their wings and really knows what they have become.
In the 20 years, I worked in restaurants you have always been the hardest worker I have ever known. I chose this color palette because of the silverware. I know. Sometimes I can be mystical, beautiful, and aware and sometimes I am a realist. Sometimes life is beautiful and a celebration. Sometimes, every day for six days in a row, you polish dirty black and silver steak knives in the back of a kitchen because it needs to be done. It is important for me to hold space for and honor both realities.
It was only you and I that really ever knew that. That if we just stayed in the back polishing those knives after we pulled all those stretches and set up the rooms we wouldn’t have to talk to anyone else. It is how I got to know you, all of our rage laughs back there in hiding. 25 knives in hot tea water in a bright silver iced tea pitcher. Fighting with co-workers so hard all the glassware shattered in my hand at midnight.
This painting is the silver lining of all of those colors. The silver lining is having people like you to get through it with. Life was brutal sometimes in those moments. Heeled boots fishnet tights mini skirts polishing silver in the desert. It’s hard to imagine now. These colors and contrast, within their imperfect perfection, will always remind me of where we came from, how hard we worked, and the spectacular people I have met along the way. Your companionship and work ethic will always be a highlight of that memory reel. We don’t polish those knives anymore we create space and beauty for others. Even when it feels impossible and wrong.
You always gave me hope that I’d get out of there. I know every day you go to work and run a Nobu and it seems very normal but that is a big deal. No matter what happens in the future you will always possess that contrast of grit, fast-paced brilliance and Moxy to come out on top and free. Like the black and white push together so hard it shatters glass and makes a portrait of freedom.
So, essentially, I polished so much silverware and glassware in my life that I learned how to turn it into things like this, for people like you that know those feelings, but more importantly what it is to grow from it all and shatter the ceiling too. And what a gift.
May you stay sharp, and never be afraid to morph into the next version. Just make sure to look in the mirror & say congratulations on those wings.