Merry Merry

On Walton Street at Christmas (detail), 2020. Acrylic on board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Taxi cabs, wet pavement, and neon. Perfect Christmas season in the city.

Peace to all, along with hopes for a better tomorrow.

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192-Petals (2021). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left:

“Sure he says he’s gonna be there, but what’s to say he bails for a twist or a tip?”

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“Don’t forget that time he let out for the Iowa and nobody saw him for six months”

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“I got a guy on the inside of the building who says he’s got his comings and goings locked, no variations, no wandering aways. He’ll deliver that wedding dress for my daughter on time, mark my words.”

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Singing: “Oh, I…got a funny feeling when she walked e-een the room and I…as I recall it ended much to soon…”

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Singing: “Oh what a night!”

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Silently reciting verse: “The rosebud borne by the steadiest hand still gives its petals to the breeze and thus, by nature and fate’s expertise, its beauty and scent to the land…”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 – Back (2021). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left:

“He was the greatest, all time, bar none!”

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Silently to herself: “Are they really gonna do this again? Boxing…? So last century, boys”.

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“Greatest? Only because you never heard of Marciano.”

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“I think it’s a set up, Moe. I ain’t movin’ for it, I don’t care what she drops.”

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“C’mon Sparky, what are you gonna rope-a-dope all night with this dame? She put you on the card with that glove drop – now get in there, I’m in your corner and I got your back.”

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Silently to herself: “This glove is stained – I hope nobody notices as I drop it behind this table…”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 – Cabaret (2020). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise, from bottom left:

“The game is this: I’m still Roy, and that makes you the dauphin…”

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“Roy is so dramatic when he’s dressed up. So tell me Sleepy darling, does that mean you are an underboss, or lieutenant, or something?”

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“My dear, as I am an anglophile, and an avid viewer of really old movies, I prefer leftenant, If you don’t mind…”

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Silently, to herself: “I look great tonight, and I should; I spent all my extra money on this get-up; so why am I flitting about, three inches above the floor here, all alone? I should be home, but…the music, the food, the beautiful people… sometimes I just love this place.”

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Silently, to himself: “This section is so busy, so why am I alone? I should go home but, the customers, the kitchen, my rent…sometimes I just hate this place.”

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“Yer crowding me Louie, whaddaya want?”

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“I know we’re supposed to make Roy go bye bye tonight, but wouldn’t you rather kick that until tomorrow and romance that lonely beauty instead? I happen to know that she’s short of rent money and youz are holding heavy this week; and I mean you can’t take your eyes off of her – am I wrong?”

Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton, Reception (2021). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Left to Right:

“Right this way, folks!” Then, singing to herself: “Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears…”.

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“Oh, this is such a cozy place.”

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“You see all the art on the walls, Dad?”

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“Apparently there is some kinetic art as well.”

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“I mean, uglugk gluk gluk…”

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“Guffaw! Snort. Detour for the bar!”

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“Come my dear, your uncle and aunt are moving to table.”

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“…Aaaand then two of my customers were late, so I had to rush to get ready. I don’t know if I put enough pins in my updo. Charles likes my hair up but I don’t think it will last the night”

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Silently, to herself: “Like my relationship with this horse’s ass behind me.”

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Silently, to himself: “Now, If I can just make it through dinner without looking bored I can give her a peck and a cab and head over to see Neena at the club.”

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“C’mon baby, I’m hungr… Hey, whadja find?.”

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“Why, the most beautiful rosebud, of course….”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton, Dining Room (2021). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Left to Right:

“Bellow is so much more elegant…”

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“Perhaps, but Roth is so real, and vital; I don’t imagine anyone else can voice a character like he does.”

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“Boo. I’m from Chicago, I choose Bellow.”

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Silently, to himself: “Heathens! I’ll lay odds none of them has read Voltaire in the original French!”

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“Elegance? it’s Fitzgerald in a class by himself.”

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“Yes. I thought so, and then I read Waugh and was so moved I went out and bought a new wardrobe to match that ‘England between the wars’ vibe. Cost me a small fortune, so I started waiting tables after work…”

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“Oh, come on. If you must search for elegance on that tongue than read Oscar Wilde, there is no better. Otherwise head to the continent and pick up some Proust.”

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Silently, to himself, “Ugh, these people! I can’t wait to curl up with some low-brow fiction tonight.”

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“Pay no mind to how long the book is, DeLillo is worth the investment in time. Besides, you’ll be lost in the storytelling and won’t notice the hours flying by.”

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“Wallace was the same for me. I read the opus several times, even backwards and sideways and never found it tedious.”

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Silently, to himself: “Am I the only one in here that would rather watch a ballgame on T.V.?”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton, Kitchen (2021). Acrylic on Board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Left to right:

Silently, to herself: “Schnabel once used dishes like this back in the ’80s for those big paintings that helped make him famous…”.

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“Rothko is clearly, (or hazily, if you consider how the work presents) better – he started that movement when he passed from figurative urban vignettes to pure abstraction.”

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“But Frankenthaler refined it so. She dyed those canvases with a lighter touch, and expanded the palette in ways to create more movement and space. Those chunky blocks became passe’. Lets talk free form, lets talk freedom.”

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“I like flowers and Monet does them best, so he’s my guy.”

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Yeah, well how about Van Gogh’s irises? So punk!”

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“Pollack is great if you are listening to Jazz”.

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“No, no, no – Jazz is the soundtrack for Stuart Davis” work – much more symbiosis there than with Pollack.”

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“Hey, boss, can we plate this masterpiece I just cooked up?”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton Bar, Right (2021). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Left to right:

“Snorkie, Snorkie, Snorkie…what are you say…”

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“I’m tellin’ you Doc – ain’t no way she knows whose shoes those are!”

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Silently singing a Waterboys tune to herself: “I saw a rain dirty valley…you saw Brigadoon!”

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“Two Emerald Isle Cocktails, Marty.”

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Silently to himself: “Do I have any Midori?”

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“He’s looking?’

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“Not sure.”

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“He’s looking. Aaaaand in other news, this guy next to me is either going to propose or fall on me.”

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“I propose that I fall FOR you – how ’bout that, lady?”

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Ha! He really did that?”

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“Yeah, hit on his own wife, but he didn’t recognize her! She even asked him to say her name before she left in a huff. He was so drunk he couldn’t remember it. Meanwhile, he had another shot, and now he’s onto those supermodels next to us!”

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Dreaming of a fun place to hang out with interesting people: “Zzzzzz…”

-Danny Grosso