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The Party - or - The 25 Gays of Christmas

When I was a small child my parents bribed me to stop sucking my thumb. They said that I could have whatever I wanted if I did. I asked for a dollhouse. I stopped sucking my thumb and I got my dollhouse. Unfortunately, their funds must have been limited as I didn't get the house with the lights and real looking furniture in it but, instead received the metal house with the pre-fab pressed plastic furniture. I felt limited, even at that young age, because the interior metal walls pictured many of the furnishings and appliances that were also supplied as detail-less plastic 3-D replicas – one had to place the furniture where it "belonged."

My partner, Chris's mother, Liz, and grandmother had collected dollhouse furniture for years. When Nana passed on and Chris's mother took possession of all the houses and furniture, she had the dream of taking her favorite house and turning it into a showplace. What furniture she didn't use in this dream house, she wanted to sell on eBay. Since most of the many, many boxes of the best quality dollhouse furniture was purchased at Marshall Fields State Street Store, when they still had one of the largest toy departments in Chicago (1950-60), Liz thought that her collection would be worth even more money than she paid for it.

Liz passed recently (2004), and never got around to finishing her dream dollhouse or selling her huge collection of furniture and accessories on eBay. Chris and I have since taken possession of the collection and went straight to work categorizing everything. We wanted to follow through with her dream. It's good that Liz died before she actually tried selling the furniture, as she would have found that her dream was nothing but a pipedream. After Chris and I had gone to the trouble of listing hundreds of small pieces of furniture, we did a search on the Internet and found that dollhouse furniture does not seem to increase in value. The price then per piece is very similar to the price for the same piece now. With both our busy schedules, we just didn't think that the time it would take to try to advertise, sell and ship all that miniature furniture would be worth the effort. Chris was bummed, but I got an idea!

I decided to start with the largest dollhouse – the one that was her dream and had wired with lamps and chandeliers – and turn it into an art piece. Of course, this is quite a departure from my usual painting, but, from a child, I have always wanted to create the dollhouse that I never had. I also loved Chris's mother very much. She was a good polish woman who had problems with My and Chris's relationship at first. She talked to Priests and read books after it seemed that Chris and I were into our fifth year or so and that her son was gay to stay. She went from helping him out to helping us out. When my mother stopped being a mother, Liz tried to help me fill that gap. When Liz passed it was not like losing a mother-in-law but, more like losing a mother. Even at the beginning of my relationship with her son she was nothing but gracious.

I have tried to create a house that would go beyond her wildest dreams, but I have also turned it into a controversial art piece. Normally, I would have been photographing the progress of this project, but it seems to be quite time consuming and is taking longer than I would have ever thought. Eventually, I needed a break from glue, cuts on my thumb, and tiny bits of paper so, I decided to take a break. During this break, I figured that it was time to share the process of my current artwork.

The price of the materials used thus far, including paper, furniture, house structure, ink, varnish, fomecore, glue, paint, etc., is around $2,000.00.

Eventually there will be a short story that the house illustrates. There will also be stereo sound that will take you from room to room added to the interior of the house.

More will be added to this section as the project progresses.

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