Tuesday, January 7, 2014

West Portal's Awesome Man-Seum

Feb 3, 2011, 2011, Midnight
Anyone can get a bunch of art to hang in their homes, but few people turn their residences into actual works of art. Gregangelo, who Sara Faith Alterman wrote about a few months back, has a pad that he's spent three decades turning into a museum (which, by the way, is also called Gregangelo) with the help of many local artists and folks involved in his Velocity Arts and Entertainment crew. On a recent Saturday afternoon, Sara, her fiancee Sam, and I trekked up to the fancy pants part of West Portal to check out the Gregangelo Museum. Sam and I had never been inside before, and the affable Greg (for short) gave us an in-depth, three-hour tour of every last kitchen nook, crawl space cranny, and secret trap door room, most of which went far beyond my wildest imagination. (He even showed us his roller skates, which is his method of choice for getting around the city).
Each room is in a completely different theme, decorated to the nines with sculptures and paintings and thousands of knick-knacks. The coffee table pictured above is from what was technically the third room we saw. It's covered in a tower of candy, some of it fake and some of it very real (Greg gave us to-go bags to take sweets away with us.)  

Greg is an awesome host. He's a great conversationalist, who seems as interested in his guests as they are in him, and he knows how to give good spread. Here's a little tower of yum that he had waiting for us when we arrived (and that's Greg in there, too).
 There's a lot of Ancient Egypt going on at Gregangelo's. There are pyramids and paintings everywhere, like in this bedroom, where everything is a different shade of emerald or gold.
 When Greg has a color theme in mind, there's no limit to how far he can saturate a room in this hue. This photo's blurry, but this was one of my favorite parts of the tour. Everything in this section is orange, and when you crawl in (literally, like on your hands and knees) Greg can cue a record player by remote control to play "The Girl From Ipanema." Sam is holding one of many hundreds of bouncy rubber balls with long rubber spikes found in the room.

What is this, you ask? A time machine, obviously. Every artist's home should have one.
If I could go back in time, I would like to collect this painting by Margaret Keane, the famous San Franciscan whose work is all over the museum. Greg told us a good story about a paint-off between Margaret and her then-husband, a contest to prove that she was the actual artist behind the Keane works.
 The Gregangelo museum is visited by a lot of kids (and, from time to time, bachelorette parties, from what we heard). There are so many little details in each room that children - and those with a childlike sense of stokedness - have a lot to look at.

My favorite part of the house, though, is up in the attic. That area represents the cycle of life, and involves a lot of crawling and spinning around, mirrors, glowing lights, and generally, very psychedelic stuff everywhere. The last part of this wing is a pyramid room, where unfortunately none of my photos came out. I can describe it, though; it's like being in your own private laser light theater. (Which = sweet!) Greg played some wild new age jams through the speakers and we were instructed to lie down on pillows as images of stars and planets were projected in the dark over our heads. It was, like the rest of the Greganglo experience, completely surreal. I hope we can have a Bold Italic event at the Gregangelo pad; it's like no other museum in town. 

No comments:

Post a Comment