“The Gayel Philwaki Episodes” is the written documentary of a group of guys who share a friendship and a dream in the vibrant hustle of young adulthood. Driven by the beauty and freedom of the arts, Orka, Bookie, Soup, Herman and Gayel climb the steep path to a shared momentum on the awesome side of life. Gayel Philwaki is the narrator of their tale and this is another of his writings."



Chelsea, New York's art gallery district, is an austere and somewhat uptight place. Especially in the winter. Inside, the paint of an established scene colors the walls as if hidden from the streets between the avenues. The roads are almost empty during the day, leaving the romanticization of the city's famed galleries for the opening nights, the late chats and champagne. It was on a Thursday that Orka and I decided to go guerrilla on the scene.



My ignorance, or unrefined taste if you will, made me indifferent to any kind of artistic endeavor I found inaccessible. My concept of beauty was a simple one, but this simplicity never seemed to extend to a red dot on a white canvas or four lines and a square. I shrugged at abstraction simply because it made no sense (to me). If this is blasphemy, then I apologize duly, but this is still the way I look at most of the contemporary art.

It was on a cold november day that Orka decided to visit the most established art scene in the world: the galleries of Chelsea. He was still an amateur painter, but at an early stage he wanted to know how his work would resonate in that circle. And admittedly, it was fun bursting through the prestigious gallery doors with a home printed portfolio and zero connoisseurship. Although Orka was serious about his art, the way he approached the establishment was relaxed and sober with a simple aim of getting out exactly what he wanted. Armed with his file we hence decided to hit and run every gallery and see if we could gather some useful information and if we were lucky we would get an appointment with a director. I tagged along as a supporter, curious to peak inside a world I knew little about.

The first receptionist we confronted, obviously protocoled to show every new artist the neon-lights of the exit, did exactly what her boss told her to do: she smiled and added the illustrative phrase "we don't take submissions". The next girl was even harder to deal with, leaving us awkwardly silent as she turned blank and oddly anxious. When Orka placed his file on her desk, it was as if we put a barrel to her head. After running down a couple of galleries we soon realized that spending the day talking to receptionists was a complete waste of time; we had to come up with something else.

We were lucky that a renowned brick artist had an opening that night and judging by the crowd that lined up outside, a mixture of hipsters, students and high-segment dope boys, it looked like the perfect crowd for Orka's early work. We skipped queue for the elevator and entered the reception through the emergency exit. It was a small room, heavily lit, overcrowded, naturally perfumed by a peculiar blend of sweat and plastic. We paced the room and there it was, our first real opportunity to lay the first brick...

To be continued.

Signed: Gayel Philwaki