I spoke at the opening with Ethan about my thoughts in the moment. I will include a transcription of these words at the bottom. I wrote those words earlier that day, but I couldn't imagine what that night was going to be like. As with paintings, it takes time to process and gather my thoughts. It's been a little over a month since the opening. I still don't think I'm ready but I'm going to try.
I like to live by the saying "keep your expectations low, but your standards high." I found myself with the expectation that attendance would be respectable, but fully prepared myself with the possibility that the crowd could be very thin. And that wouldn't be an issue. I still would be completely proud of the work that went into it. That wouldn't have been a measure of the success in my eyes. That being said, I did not prepare myself for what actually happened.
Ethan and I covered the doors to obscure the view of the show until 7:00 pm. We took pre-opening photos right up until then and were surprised to see that there was a line of people waiting outside the doors to see the work. It was within half an hour that our playlist was completely drowned out with the cheerful chatter in the gallery. I was told by many people that our opening had the highest attendance they've seen in that Student + Alumni Gallery. I never could have expected this, and this isn't because of anything Ethan or I did specifically, it was completely because of all of you in attendance. I owe every enjoyable minute of the opening to you who attended. None of it was possible if it was only me and Ethan behind the wheel. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity No matter how much we prepared, without the plethora of opportunity CIA offered this show, it would've been much different.
The contents of the night have been indexed. I will never forget. Every face I saw was noted. Every hello was noted, if it was the first one, or the thousandth. Every hug and handshake was noted. Every supportive word was noted. I live in these memories as motivation.
I am always thinking back to this night in disbelief. I really can't put into words what the feeling is. I was stunned by the support, and I know that this feeling was shared. I would reminisce with Ethan often in the weeks after. We both would be stunned by the smallest aspects of the night. Every time I hear a song off of Fashion Week by Death Grips, I am brought straight back to the last Friday night in February, and I would be prompted to talk to Ethan again. This show will always live in my mind like this because it has set the bar so far. I promise there will be more.
I don't know what I did to gain the love and respect of so many in my life. I truly make my work with you in mind. I live to make others proud, to make them think, to make them look at art, learn about it, and talk about it. I live to leave behind a body of work that says something useful or unique, something of value. I live to leave behind something that stands out with the Peralta name tied on the end.
As Ethan and I have often said when nothing else sums up our thoughts: "We really did it. We really did that."
You did it too, you did that too.
Love, Maxmillian 6 April 2020
Photo by Owen Zubek
"I'd like to preface this by saying I'm really nervous. All these eyes are terrifying and they are currently piercing my soul.
Anyway, welcome to the show! Ligne de Vêtements. It's been a lot of hard work to put this show together and it's a relief to see everything on the walls on time. Me and Ethan wanted to take some time to thank people to make this show possible. So here's my bit.
Thanks to Kayli and Nikki. They were the ones who accepted our show proposal and let us house our work in here. They were great resources and none of this would be possible without them.
Thanks to Maeve, Nolan, and Evyn for curating and hanging the work, and applying the vinyls. Evyn and Maeve are masters at applying vinyls. It would be level on the first try every time. So thank you. Thanks to Darius Steward, Nate Rouse, Brandon Secrest, and many others who took time out of their day to help curate the show and give us advice on how to talk about the show.
Thanks to Cooper, Tony, and Mike-the painting chairs and professors-for their expert guidance on the art of painting, both technically and conceptually, as well as helping me effectively talk about my work. Cooper was this shows appointed faculty to help get on our ass to make sure the show was running smoothly. Thanks to my friends and family who helped market the show by posting about it, and showing your enthusiasm for tonight to me and Ethan. Even if that meant peeking into the gallery before you were supposed. Yes, I'm talking about you too, dad. By the way, my mom and dad are here. They are the reason I am the way I am. So you can either blame them or thank them for that. That's up to you.
Thanks to my brother JP and my friend Owen for taking install shots and pre-opening shots. Also thanks to Ethan's family for providing wonderful refreshments. And thanks to Ethan. You're one of my favorite artists and it was a pleasure to work with you. I'm so proud to see you, from the Illustration department, in this gallery space. Hopefully this is the start of something new for that department. You made me work harder and most of all I wanted to make you proud. I was told multiple times never to do a show with one of your best friends because it can be terribly stressful on the relationship, but I think we proved it wrong, buddy. Because we are also roommates and I've been told not to live with friends either for the same reasons. I dedicate the show and my work to you, buddy, and when Martha isn't looking I'll give you a hug and a little smooch.
And finally thanks to all of you who came. We made the work to be seen by these terrifying eyes that are piercing me right now. If you've never met me, introduce yourself. Without all your support me and Ethan wouldn't be able to deliver such a stellar show! I'll turn it over to the other artist of the show! EBow, EBowshizzle, Stinky Rat, Ethan Bowman himself! ..."