a slippery tale of
fine art & private parts
* All names have been changed in order to deny a predator from receiving any more notoriety.
My husband and I are not politicians, however our profession is saturated with an equal propensity for smoke and mirrors. For those of us born into socially subjugated bodies (in particular us minorities in subservient industries), Election 2016 has thrust the relevance of our pain to the forefront of the public eye. As second class citizens, we have to regularly turn the other cheek for white racist entitled men in our day-to-day lives. Election 2016 has stimulated white racist entitled men to violate every last drop of public etiquette; no longer do we have to suppress our private pains in obedient silence.
President Donald Trump should open an Art Gallery.
The majority of gallery owners are white rich entitled men. Fine art is a breeding ground for legal insider trading, artificial inflation, tax evasion, and money laundering. Without gallerists fine artists - are soon-to-be poor starving artists. A gallerist’s laborers will never hold His Highness accountable for any entitlement, abuse, or bigotry they encounter or witness, yet a normal 9-5 is suicide for a natural born artist: there lies the Catch-22.
Following Election 2016 it has been torturous for my husband Jason and I, to watch our professional contemporaries protest Trump’s rise to power so passionately . . . while they continue to enable a tangible predator. Dollar signs will punt conscience right off of your shoulders and over the rainbow.
Tomorrow we will all wake up - and there will be a million dollars deposited in each and every one of our bank accounts. The previous night Trump found a lamp with a genie, rubbed it for three wishes, and his first wish was for everyone to stop complaining . . . Big money talks - but it also buys silence.
Standing up to a delusional old man - by posting some memes, coupled with confrontational status changes - is an irrelevant cure for the tangible and palpable injustices that humans directly around you are suffering. A monstrous accumulation of exploitation hovers around us all as a species : humans are polluted AF.
The same creative colleagues who demonize Donald Trump, have nothing but praise for a likeminded white racist entitled man (W.R.E.M.): whom they deal with regularly in our professional circle. Our careers no longer depend upon obedient silence in the face of this W.R.E.M. . #pussystabsback
The worst part of being molested - is not being able to speak about it freely.
This joint statement is long overdue and serves as blaring testimony of the abuse we suffered at the hands of this deplorable W.R.E.M. . Any “quotation in italics” can be attributed to my husband’s writings, found in the plethora of anecdotes inside various drawing journals that he has kept over the years.
In a nutshell, Jason’s ex-gallery kicked us out after they racked up an IOU of $20,000.00. “Brokeback Gallery” is lead by a W.R.E.M. - who continues his con today: building his current successes upon other people’s talents, consuming financiers support at an alarming rate, and milking mountains of hours from his unpaid laborers (enablers).
A lack of bureaucracy in the fine art field results in brutal and bigoted barricades. My husband Jason D’Aquino and I, don’t have the luxury of a company HR department, nor a group of coworkers we can kick it with at happy hour to commiserate over cocktails. There is no start-to-finish maze for the fine art professional to turn to - in order to protect workplace common decency and the respect most employees enjoy.
This account serves to assist emerging artists in navigating through an artistic career. Emerging artists need to reckon with the fact that their chosen profession floats in a lawless territory: spangled with sexual and emotional manipulation.
The loss of an artist’s primary gallery representation, is equivalent to the loss of your 9 to 5 cubicle setup, sans pink slip. Your severance package will be literal: my husbands ex-gallerist ripped his artwork from it’s secure perch within a glass dome, literally severed it in half, and shoved it into his grungy glovebox. Outside of the total anarchy that war inspires, I have never heard of a man bottomless enough to ruin works of art out of territorial anger. #ISIS
Prior to working with Brokeback Gallery, my husband's only escape from his depression was his pencil. Flotch provided a life of indulgence and debaucherous camaraderie that Jason never had before. Most importantly he gave access to various esteemed venues where Jason could make a living selling art.
Jason de-thawed his Buffalo, NY cabin fever, by jetting away from the 10’ of snow around the country with Flotch. Jason performed all of the actual hands-on work that needed to be done in order to show at the renown art fairs. As time passed, Flotch sponged intimate information concerning Jason’s psychological history.
Flotch has four years of training at university; majoring in mind manipulation which offered him warp speed access to understanding a person's most potent fears and compulsions. Flotch feeds on the forsaken with nothing to lose - otherwise known as poor starving artists.
Anyone with a drop of self esteem near Flotch - becomes demonized and the focus of his abuse.
It was easy for this con-man gallerist, with a psychology degree to prey upon my husband’s bottomless depression and deep rooted fear of being rejected. A negative potential sat festering inside of Jason for over three decades, before Flotch chose to diligently fertilize it. It was a match made in hell - Flotch had nearly consumed my husband entirely, by the time I'd come into the picture.
Flotch honed right in on Jason’s overbearing self doubt and dense sense of ‘not belonging’ - which he developed after being abandoned as a tiny infant by both his mother and father.
Flotch toys with lost souls as his canvas - using evil to mark his strokes. His own cognizance of the imputations of his corrupt heart and sterile core, chain him to a perpetual cycle of ritualistic torment. Flotch exists only to drain authenticity from the artists who surround him.
Flotch is the AIDS virus of the Art World, on a die hard mission to inject others with his poisonous programming - condemned to eternal stagnancy. Narcissistic illusions of grandeur lead him to actually presume himself emperor, and authority over my husband’s actions and thoughts.
I watched as Flotch annexed Jason’s ability to escape into his drawings. Jason was socially taunted by Flotch’s other toadies and was financially punished by Flotch, when he spent his time extracting his feelings through drawing. All of the demons Jason used to expel from his head, whimsically with his pencil on all forms of old paper - were now crammed in; stuck roaming rampant through the hallways of his mind - just the way Flotch liked it.
Flotch instructed sharply on many occasions for Jason to “just stick to the matchbooks”.
Flotch is the biggest cockblock of creativity.
He refused to show any of Jason’s work that had emotional content and wasn’t on a matchbook.
Success was dependent first and foremost, by the level at which, an artist was willing to enable Flotch’s scams . . . but most importantly success at Brokeback Gallery was absolutely directly proportional to an artist’s lack of self worth. Self-Esteem is where I come in. ;)
But before me, there was the beginning. In 2010 at a Manhattan art opening, Jason was approached by a young man with a larger than life disposition - towering in opposition to his compact stature. ‘Napoleon’ tugged on Jason’s pant leg and told him, that he and his partner ‘Flotch’, admired Jason’s artwork and proposed a chance for Jason to show with an art gallery in the French Quarter.
Flotch, in complete contrast to Napoleon, stands as a lone tower of cowardice, cringing at the thought of being responsible for even his own shadow. Although Flotch clocked in at just under seven feet, he will remain the smallest man I’ve ever encountered. The crumpled curl of his shoulders, supports an acutely paranoid weight; a weight that only a man who has manipulated multitudes of innocents can carry.
A pure sociopath at his core - it is no coincidence that Flotch majored in child psychology only to abandoned his accredited career path. Using the tools he had learned to control the human psyche while receiving his degree, he had crafted himself into a professionally trained behavioral manipulator.
Flotch had received $20,000.00 base salary from ‘Bubbles’, and was hired to recruit an in-house roster of artists, curate shows, and create a website for Bubbles’ new gallery; where he would sell art for commission. Unbeknownst to Bubbles, Flotch had utilized the investment as the stage for act one of his con. Flotch secured the ability to evaluate the profitability of owning an art gallery, on that particular street in the French Quarter, using someone else’s dollar.
Any friend of Flotch’s is just a canary in his coal mine.
Just two months after receiving the $20,000.00 from his investor, Flotch neglected his obligations to run the gallery. He focused his efforts towards earning fat commissions from the traveling Art Fairs (i.e.Basel) with the exact same list of artists that he had recruited for Bubbles. Flotch waited until he could formulate a profitable roster of successful artists in Bubbles’ gallery, then proceeded to ditch Bubbles, and open his own gallery on the very same street. Flotch went so far as to create a mirror image of Bubbles’ website; literally page for page with verbatim copy, yet this time it featured Flotch’s fugly new logo for “Brokeback Gallery”.
Flotch’s deliberate and shameless thievery sent Bubbles into a passionate tailspin. Flotch initially avoided the wrath of his former investor/partner by dodging him socially. He viciously commanded that my husband and the rest of his peers were to treat Bubbles as ‘a threat’, he had ‘blown a fuse’ and was ‘certifiably insane’. Flotch was barbarically intent on convincing Jason that despite the track record of lucrative sales, Bubbles’ ‘mental issues’, would eventually crush my husband’s career.
‘You are the company you keep, Jason’, Flotch bloviated. ‘You need to be very careful in this business, who you align yourself with. . . . Some people are just dangerous, trust me I know this guy. Bubbles is a pariah and absolutely nuts! To align yourself any further would be ‘career suicide’.
Fast forward a few months and Bubbles was spraying a can of mace into Flotch’s face; after which he proceeded to pummel Flotch in front of a tent full of gasping gallerists, and upscale collectors at SCOPE / Art Basel Miami. Bubbles screamed at the top of his lungs during the attack, ‘GIMME MY FUCKING MONEY!’ It was surreal witnessing diamond encrusted patrons evacuate the million dollar labyrinth of artworks, towards the fresh breeze outside the tent - away from the stifling cloud of poisoned air.
Bubbles had feverishly driven all the way from New Orleans to Miami, in order to avenge the 20K Flotch had conned him out of. Flotch whimpered to Jason, “He got me - he’s ruined me . . . they’ll never let me here again, I know it” as he nursed his beet-red face and dribbling eyes. Jason snapped a selfie and noted that Bubbles had finally come off as ‘insane’, yet underneath it all, Jason knew something about this catastrophe felt a little ‘off’.
“How was my perspective so wrong? How did I not stop this toxic relationship sooner? How could I pretend to have not seen this coming?”
The cops began taking their report as Jason sat with Flotch in the cruiser, driving around Midtown Miami looking for Bubbles. The cops had also felt something was off about the assault - concluding it was a bit too ‘passionate’. “I mean no offense, but usually when we see something like this, it’s between two individuals with a little involvement intimately . . . like a relationship. So, nothing like that then?”
Jason watched, as Flotch placed a cough over a nervous laugh and mumbled “No...” - to the officer in charge. Bubbles was never found. Oddly enough Flotch never pressed assault charges against his slighted investor, or rather he could not: How can you possibly take someone you owe $20,000.00 to court and win?
The following year at Art Basel Miami while sitting at Flotch’s booth, Jason was approached by another gallerist named “Ponzi”. He conspicuously snatched Jason for a private saunter around the booths to discuss the possibility, of working with him in his new multimillion dollar gallery in San Francisco. Jason had heard of Ponzi’s gallery and although excited, he had been groomed to filter every personal opportunity through Flotch’s control.
“I immediately, out of a sense of delusional loyalty, told Flotch about the conversation with Ponzi . . . I was looking for his advice - or oddly enough his blessing / refusal. I was in luck, he encouraged me to work with Ponzi saying ‘Everything Ponzi touches turns to Gold!’”.
Ponzi and Jason arranged a solo show 5 months in the future. Two months passed, and then without warning Flotch threw him under the bus. Flotch said he had arranged a group show in Ponzi’s space scheduled one month before Jason’s solo opening. Jason was appalled with Flotch’s secret scheduling, which piggybacked and had somehow trumped Jason’s pre-existing personal debut at the space. He confronted Flotch about commandeering his contact, and Flotch chastised Jason for being short sighted. He commanded that Jason use the body of work he had diligently crafted for his scheduled solo show, in Flotch’s newly planned group show.
Jason was appalled but went forward with the change in schedule relying on the poisonous advice of his supposed mentor. Thirty days after the group show at Ponzi’s was over, Jason requested to be paid for the work that he had sold in the group show - in order to reinvest that money into framing the new series of works, which he needed for his slated solo show.
Ponzi replied “I don’t know when I can pay you.” Jason was livid. After some asking around Jason learned that Ponzi had ran a large scale drug dealing operation out of his ‘respected’ space in San Francisco, and had even been arrested for dealing heroin during one the of art openings. Prestige had devoured the context of who Ponzi really was.
Prestige will always trump what reality promises, and ugly truths have a way of camouflaging in spectacle - until they are perceived as a circus of harmless quirks.
“Ponzi, this is not the agreement, we have a contract that states I am to be paid for work sold 30 days after the closing date . . . that time is up now.” Ponzi retorted dismissively, “I don’t know what to tell you . . .” Jason returned immediately to Flotch - to discuss - and Jason was coached to “Get after it! We haven’t been paid by that Asshole either - the squeaky wheel gets the oil - so go make a stink for all of Us!”
Naturally Jason told Ponzi’s personal assistant ‘Creampie’, precisely what he thought of their schemes. Creampie didn’t like what she heard . . . “If you can’t pay me what you owe me for a handful of works sold last month, how can I, in good conscience, provide you with a whole new series of artworks for my solo exhibit?”
“It’s not my fucking problem . . .” Creampie slurred and hung up.
Jason was ultimately paid after persisting long enough, in fact everyone who showed with Jason including Flotch and his mommy, got paid. He was the people’s hero - but on the other hand he had to cancel a solo show for the first time in his career. Jason consoled himself with the fact that he had received a large pat on the back from Flotch, he had done right by his gallerist. He found comfort in the notion that he would never have to deal with Ponzi ever again.
Or so he thought.
At my first year with Brokeback Gallery at Art Basel, I got a true taste of Flotch’s blackened heart. A fellow artist ‘Bacon’ happened by, and the rest of the Brokeback boys began bantering over his ‘winning entry’. Jason asked what was up, and Flotch replied that the game was simple: everyone had thrown down five dollars into a jackpot - and to win all you needed to do was to photograph the ugliest person at Art Basel: extra points for “retards” and/or “cripples”.
I am a professional photographer and it is impossible for me to perceive anyone as ugly; true artists transform whatever they have available so that everyone can see the universal beauty inherent in everything and anyone. With professional lighting and/or makeup, I argue that every skull has it’s magnetic angles. I felt an innate need to stand up for the this unknown person who had been dehumanized.
I started by asking to see the photograph of who held the current first place for ugliest person at Art Basel - in hopes that I could re-humanize this innocent bystander to this group of bullies. Flotch was saturated with glee. Bacon shamefully muttered about how he did not want to share the image with me - as he shakily handed over his screen, “I don’t even know her . . . I’m a bad person for doing this . . . this is really fucked up . . .”
There, glaring from Bacon's king sized android screen was a semi focused photograph of one of my oldest artist friends from Miami Country Day School.
My jaw dropped - and I could not believe my eyes. She was dressed to the hilt in an outfit I would have killed for - pure rainbow decadence. I cleared my throat and said, “I know her” and Bacon’s face turned red. I pulled her profile up on Facebook and then his face turned from red to white. The rest of the boys cracked up and Flotch was overjoyed to be able to use my eccentric and authentically magical friend’s aesthetics against her.
I interrupted Flotch and asked him how often he had played this game, “Every time I can, just something worthwhile to pass the time” he chuckled. He was absolutely unfazed with the coincidence.
Fast forward to my second year at Art Basel. Jason and I, approached Brokeback Gallery’s booth and Flotch sat smirking at the table next to none other than Ponzi. Flotch had used Jason to voice his own displeasure with Ponzi’s con - and then proceeded to reconvene with Ponzi to do business behind Jason’s back. Jason was crushed. I could not wait to write this loser bastard out of our lives.
At dinner, after Flotch and Ponzi’s reunion had finished, Flotch boasted that he planned to poach Ponzi’s assistant ‘Creampie’, whom he referred to as simply ‘the jew’.
Flotch’s love life was a self imposed nightmare. Jason had always helped cover for Flotch’s multiple tiered dating system - where he spun a web of girlfriends with a continuous wheel of gas-lighting and misogynistic manipulation.
‘So I’m thinking about fucking the jew' Flotch said to me. 'Do you really think messing with Ponzi’s gallery assistant is a good idea - don’t we have enough trouble?' I asked. Flotch explained that ‘fucking the jew' would be a big benefit; he was interested in her contact list of art collectors. Anti Semitism and bigotry in general, are the basis of Flotch’s personality. I've actually never been around him when he wasn't spewing bile.
At one point with a straight face, he literally asked Jason to hand paint a sign that read, “Brokeback Gallery - no jews , no coloreds” to hang at art fairs. “Get a gallery girl to get her black book” Flotch explained. In the seven years that Jason worked with Flotch - he witnessed this predatory romancer plow through women, dating them just long enough to be able to covertly steal their art collector contacts.
Flotch constantly brags about fucking and ditching a specific list of women for their contacts . . . This list includes one curator / author from New York, one ex-curator from Seattle, one curator from Portland, and now he's on to Creampie from San Fran - all high profile professional female colleagues of Jason’s.
It has been nearly impossible for me to see these otherwise powerful and progressive women, whose power in the art world is akin to that of Hillary Clinton’s, covet this awful anti-Semitic misogynistic shrimp dick.
Clearly they must not know! This testimony is important in particular to women! Human beings in general should steer clear of Flotch’s infected body, mind, and soul. If ‘grab ‘em by the pussy’ got these same women feverish: THEY DO NOT WANT TO KNOW what I have heard and seen Flotch say and write about their bodies/accomplishments. Listening to Flotch relate these women’s physiques, to bloated beached whales, wrinkled elephant carcass, and burritos was unbearable.
It didn't stop with women . . . when Flotch first introduced me to Bobby, his best friend since childhood, he waited until Bobby left and then proceeded to tear him apart physically. He kept harassing Jason to bully Bobby about his haircut. Flotch demanded that Jason tell Bobby that he was balding and to just shave his head already, get it over with and die alone and ugly. I was not prepared for this overt cruelty. Jason refused and told Flotch that Bobby had a hot as hell girlfriend and that he should stick to the curating. This sociopath treated even his best bro - like absolute shit.
And get this - no joke - Flotch had actually attempted to pimp Jason out, to further his contact list; telling Jason to gain other women’s trust via sexual encounters. “Get the contacts and forward the cause” Flotch said, as he commanded Jason to fuck ’Lucy’ - a particular blogger who had gained powerful traction in the Art World. She had published a couple articles about Jason’s work and Flotch had taken notice.
He barked, “I think you should fuck Lucy . . . She could do a lot for us”. The situation made Jason super uncomfortable, and when he refused to do Flotch’s bidding, Flotch made sure to embarrass the fuck out of Lucy at the bar in front of Jason. Lucy promptly told Jason “I don’t think we should be friends anymore”.
Any opportunity that Jason had for advancement was to be used for Flotch’s personal benefit. The full picture of the man that Jason had aligned himself with, was coming into focus and it wasn’t acceptable. Flotch was Jason’s source of income, and it became obvious that Flotch wasn’t helping Jason move forward; instead Jason realized Flotch had been using him as a pawn. Jason’s participation in Art Fairs was leveraged against his complicity in Flotch’s manipulative social schemes. Jason was to be kept where he was most useful - subservient.
At some point it became clear that Jason had gone from doing all of Flotch’s bitchwork - to being Flotch’s bitch. You see, most disturbingly of all, Flotch prided himself in sending photographs of his dick - ritualistically - to my husband for seven years. Most of the times he sent more than one angle from the same session; his hand always grasped tightly at the base of his penis, in what looked like a near futile attempt to maintain an erection . . . Most disturbingly of all was how close his dick was in the photograph to his pet cat or dog.
One of Flotch’s concubines that he simply referred to as ‘the asian’, described to me that Flotch had an entire folder of pics dedicated to his pathetic appendage on his cellphone . . . and that Jason shouldn’t feel alone in sexual harassment.
Each time a dick pic from Flotch arrived, Jason would respond with a single word : NO.
The international Art fairs, such as Scope, Pulse, NADA - have an exclusive admissions process; the first basic requirement is that you have a brick-and-mortar gallery. Flotch conned his way around this by emptying a friend’s apartment, putting a bunch of art on the walls, and filming a couple of mock openings at this faux space. He bragged about it often, his little scam actually succeeded; he was super proud of his conniving behavior.
Flotch’s history of fraudulent and opportunistic behavior began with his cupcake shop. He had fooled everybody: the cupcakes were not homemade. They were bought from a bakery that manufactured them and delivered them daily to Flotch’s doorstep. Every morning Flotch had lit a cupcake scented candle, in order to complete his scam. Yet, his true goal ran deeper than just charging an arm and a leg for repackaged pre-made wholesale confections.
He was approached by an investor that wanted to buy his cupcake store. Flotch swiftly sold it to him, then turned around and sold the same store to another investor right around the corner, blatantly disregarding non compete clauses in the contracts. This was the beginning of a long string of cons that Flotch would use, to commandeer other people’s hard earned money and power. ( SEE THE EMAIL )
Flotch views people as his personal playthings. He loved to brag about how he recruited Napoleon (whom he only ever referred to as “The Midget”). Flotch ran an ad in Portland for a “Reality TV show audition” that needed a little person to round out their cast of ‘freaks’. “It was hysterical! It looked like Wizard of Oz out there. There was a line around the block of midgets at my command. One guy even looked like his head was on backwards - just fucked up looking - down the line. It was unbelievable!” Flotch exclaimed.
Of course by now you could have guessed : there was no reality show. This was just Flotch manipulating the dreams and goals of real people as if they were puppets; preying on faith as he stalked those in need, a true predator of hope.
In an interview printed in the Portland newspaper, Flotch had been quoted bragging about the entire “midget casting call” scam. Napoleon had been working at Flotch’s Pizza restaurant, (where the reality TV show was supposedly taking place), for a couple weeks under the assumption that they were prepping for filming. He found out that he had been conned only after reading Flotch’s braggadocios explanation of the prank in the newspaper. Flotch loved recounting this story and reliving the glory of his manipulations ‘over the midgets' ...
Everything Flotch commits to is centered around gaining power or publicity via a vulnerable person or targeted minority group. He successfully plotted a stunt to enrage the highly involved and tight knit transgendered community in Portland - in order to reap the benefits of the notorious media coverage that would follow. The idea was triggered by Portlandia, ( in which Napoleon had a cameo. He labeled the breadsticks he served out of his pizza joint “Tranny Sticks” and featured them alongside a photograph of Napoleon dressed in ‘drag’.
People in the transgender community were offended and outraged (as anticipated), while Flotch bragged about how amazing it was that he could extend the media coverage to last just a bit longer . . . via a pre-drafted written apology that Flotch ordered Napoleon to read to the press, on his behalf. Flotch went so far as to say that he actually sent Napoleon to do the dirty work of apologizing to the press because: “Freaks would relate to one of their own, better than to me”.
The amount of damage fraudulent narcissists cause in a lifetime is unquantifiable.
The concept of being conned is something Jason never wanted to process. His psyche had built a wall around judging other’s character, in order to protect his heartstrings from admitting and accepting his own origination from a con woman . His biological mother who had abandoned him in infancy, had married to receive a downpayment on a house from her in-laws. She left abruptly one day and his father came home to an empty house. She kept the deed and her in-laws never saw any profit after the sale of the house. Soon after, she conned her second set of in-laws to cosign and supply down payment for another mortgage, and again, never made a payment. They had prolonged their retirement, due to the overtime they needed to work in order to pay off her debt: and just that’s the tip of the iceberg.
If it was normal for Jason to enable his own mother’s scams - imagine the damage a trained psychologist could do with this sensitive information. Flotch took advantage of this dynamic, and espoused Jason’s unrelenting sympathy and empathy, to his advantage. Jason was a prime target for turning the other cheek to Flotch’s abuse. Jason had to grin and bear it through his own mother sashaying in front of the mirror, in various assortments of lingerie, asking him which outfit, or lack thereof, made her look sexiest and hid the most of her fat.
How could Jason begin to know, that Flotch’s incessant need to take his pants off and try to touch Jason was anything but familiar. The list of cons and sexual abuse that were digested by Jason via his biological mother, Flotch, and multiple other losers, is long. I saw this toxic pattern and immediately set to help Jason navigate through his innate desire for self reflection and autonomy. He began to see through the ‘stockholm’ dynamic he suffered with all of these toxic manipulative cons.
Jason’s aunt and grandparents raised him and instilled an ability to relate to love, security, and happiness - thankfully. They displayed morality - educating him that his actions had consequences. Flotch on the other hand had absolutely no regard for anyone’s feelings - and boasted his tally of people that he affected by his nasty actions. He proudly gurgled his favorite ‘coming of age’ memory at the dinner table, the first night I met that sleaze.
One record hot summer when everyone couldn’t bear to stay inside, Flotch chose to defecate in the public pool - as moms, dads, and children floated innocently in the water. It was not an accident, Flotch had intentionally contaminated the pool for everyone. The following day Flotch returned to the pool, a sign on the gate read “OOPS, POOPS. The pool is closed for sanitation”. Flotch bellowed out, that he had his first feeling of ‘being a man’ and that he instantly became addicted to feeling in control of large groups of people of all ages (with just his anus and a piece of shit). Actions usually have consequences and Jason soon realized that Flotch was not born with the ability to feel hurt, sadness, and regret.
Flotch never contributed his own money or hands to create anything. When Brokeback Gallery was just a concept, Flotch set to trying to find out just how much cash Jason had in the bank. Jason felt extremely awkward as Flotch started dropping hints about wanting Jason to pay 1/3 of the cost to open the gallery. He was rabidly persuading Jason to split ownership with himself and his longtime partner Bobby.
Jason was more than wary of the notion of entering into a business partnership with Flotch at this point - he had a proven track record. Flotch told Jason the deal would be lucrative for all involved, but not without Jason’s help: he pleaded with Jason to “work on” Bobby to ensure that he would invest as well. As soon as Jason and Bobby were finally warming up to the idea of becoming partners with Flotch, he pulled a bait and switch : “Listen, 33% isn’t going to do it for me - I can’t live off of that . . .” the rest of the conversation trailed off in a foggy haze of bullshit as Jason realized that it had taken less than one day, for Flotch to move the goal post further in his favor. The second Flotch smelled the smallest scent of subordinate participation - he pounced.
Jason finally told Flotch “I’m out”. At this point in his life he had been considering relocating to New Orleans because Flotch has a way of making lost souls feel at home, and an integral part of his carefully manicured entourage. Flotch enjoys playing the god figure who can pull all of the strings over this ‘forsaken family’ he governs. Jason’s outside gallery contacts were whittled away by Flotch, until he was totally financially dependent upon him.
Jason felt like a sucker . . . again and again and again around Flotch.
In the middle of all this emotional crisis he was experiencing - Jason and I unexpectedly happened to fall in love. After writing oodles of letters to each other, Jason and I decided to meet up for the first time since 2005. We had met in passing through a bimbo we both knew back in the day . . . And said absolutely nothing to each other but clearly that split second gaze had spoken louder than any words. Our Missed Connections style reunion began with my trip to New Orleans so that I could help Jason open the Brokeback Gallery.
“This girl was brilliant, beautiful, strong, honest to a fault really - and above all - she was real. I was instantly terrified to introduce her to Flotch, I did not trust him anymore, but I knew that the time would have to come . . . if I was to stay with Brokeback Gallery.” Jason was amazed that I was psyched to cooperate professionally with him for our first ‘date’, but he had serious apprehensions, so he began to warn me about Flotch and his poisonous ways:
But I'm a Nasty Lady whose forte is pacifying bullies.
I thought nothing of it, and brought a carload of photography equipment and my 27” iMac to document the opening party and catalogue art for the Brokeback Gallery website. Upon my arrival I joined the boys for drinks after a long day of hard work.
Flotch leaned across the table full of artists - and his very first communication with me was, “What type of nigger are you again?”
I locked eyes with him and asked him if I had heard him correctly. He repeated the question and I replied that I had a Cuban father, and mother from Miami of Irish Jewish descent. He looked at me confused and disgusted with my ability to remain unaffected by his bigoted bullying. He chortled, “Well I don't know anything about that but basically what you're saying is you’re less nigger and more mexican - what we would call ‘an octoroon’.
I contemplated how long it would take for Jason to say he’d had enough of this monster. I hoped he would make that decision on his own before my conscience couldn't digest anymore of Flotch’s toxin.
Jason and I spent over a week in New Orleans, painting the gallery walls, hanging the art, photographing all of the work, organizing the price / inventory lists, designing the postcards, logos and online fliers for the grand opening event at the new space. Flotch was aglow with all of the work that was being done by all of us.
However as soon as tourist season was over, Flotch threatened Bobby that he was going to give up on the gallery. Bobby was devastated and refused to give up on his lifelong dream; so Flotch quickly sold his share of ownership in Brokeback Gallery to Bobby and left for San Francisco. Bobby had originally agreed to owning 1/3 of the gallery so that he could have time to create his own art and now he had to cover all of the bills by himself. He was in over his head. Bobby confided in Jason and I about the predicament that Flotch had left him in.
Bobby was forced to agree to allow Flotch to control all of the traveling art fairs conducted under the same “Brokeback Gallery” name and owe Bobby nothing. The fairs are the most profitable, lucrative, and beneficial part of the gallery business. They hold the greatest propensity for cooperative advancement, and access to the wealthiest clients from all over the world. The deal was atrocious, especially being that they were best friends since boyhood . . . but not out of character for someone who was upset when my father purchased one of his mother’s artworks for their anniversary - because Jason didn’t call him first so he could commandeer his mother’s profit.
Jason and I were sympathetic to Bobby’s situation and came up with a contract to benefit all of us. Although Bobby could not afford to compensate us monetarily due to the financial pickle Flotch had left him in, we proposed partnering up. All three of us hammered out a proposal, hopeful for a successful future in our collaborative agreement.
We all agreed that Flotch would return to Brokeback Gallery to regain ownership as soon as all of the kinks were ironed out, the risks were overcome, and we turned profitable - and if he did return when the going was good - it would have to cost him $$$$$.
I replaced the stale MySpace styled website that was formerly wasting all of Brokeback gallery’s social engagement potential - by featuring just one item ( a photograph of a man on another man’s lap ), with an improved user friendly website for Bobby’s gallery. I spent hours designing a brilliant new look for Brokeback Gallery using an arsenal of clean photographs I had taken of the currently available catalogue coupled with engaging digital marketing, and wizardly branding.
I crafted a dynamic e-commerce platform for Bobby and his roster of artists, We Had an agreement to cross promote each other’s products and artists for a mutual benefit. Our goal was to keep Bobby from bankruptcy after Flotch had abandoned him.
Flotch invited us over to his home and inquired whether it was our intention to help Bobby run the gallery now - he was less than enthusiastic with our affirmation. Then Flotch ridiculously proposed that we drop our LLC, and our DBA from any affiliation with our Fine Art Print company - and move forward with his new company called “Brokeback Clothing Company”.
Jason stared at me in amazement , and then asked Flotch “Why would we do that?”. Flotch retorted, “Because my name has legs. It has the recognition necessary.” he said as he flamboyantly gesticulated whilst deliberately mispronouncing our company’s name. “Get rid of whatever nonsense name that is, call it Brokeback Clothing Company and we can discuss monetary compensation later, you know, once it's profitable.”
This was Flotch’s con laid bare for every business he’s ever started. He starts out friendly and informal, and returns to prove it’s his only once it’s profitable - thereby seizing ownership/control after all the work has been done. We refused his offer politely and Jason had asked if we could collaborate rather than dissolve our name. Flotch was appalled and said no. He absolutely wasn’t interested in working with us. There was only one way to collaborate with him: bow down, give up all of our individuality, hand over the goods, and the rights to those goods.
Then we asked if we could please have the login information to update the BrokebackGallery.com website for the brick-and-mortar location Bobby now owned. Flotch chuckled and said absolutely no way. Bobby, Jason, and I could not use either the existing website attached to the brick-and-mortar, nor the existing email account full of the collectors’ contacts needed to make the gallery work. We had to start everything from scratch during the slowest season of the year.
Flotch chuckled and said “This is between you all and Bobby, if you want to make your own site : make your own site. If you want an email account : make your own email account. I want nothing to do with it.” So we created brokebackgallerynola.com that evening. Our business surprisingly thrived. The gallery made enough money to survive the slow season. Our site did so well in fact that Flotch started to use it here and there for his own communications and self promotion. His preexisting site was gathering dust and our new one was dominating SEO for Brokeback Gallery searches.
Flotch was furious with our success, and his lack of control over it, so he plotted a coup.
Things started off normal with his usual request to give two of his concubines a place to stay at our apartment for a few days while setting up for Art Basel - he had to save on hotel costs. We chauffeured them back and forth in traffic for hours, so he could save on rental cars and parking costs. He asked that we receive several heavy shipments of oversized fine art packages at our residence the months leading to Basel. Then he asked for us to deliver these packages across the half mile of sand to the back of the Scope tent, one by one.
Flotch needed a safe and secure place to park his trailer for the entire week of Art Basel - we arranged for a space with 24 hour surveillance free of charge. This drained ogre demanded enough cocaine to choke a horse - all of these connections and favors were done in order to ensure that Jason’s art was allowed on the walls. Flotch’s wishes were our command.
We approached the booth after fulfilling all of his burning desires. As soon as the show opened to the public, he quickly made it clear that something had changed indefinitely. He refused to allow Jason to hang any of the art he had carefully crafted in preparation for Basel. This was a stark 180 degree shift from the past years where Jason had personally hung the bulk, if not all of the show whilst Flotch wandered aimlessly pretending to be holding meetings on his phone. Flotch’s anger was palpable . . . something was up.
No matter how Jason approached Flotch during the Scope Fair - Flotch wouldn’t reveal what was wrong and why he was treating Jason like a stranger. Jason quipped at Flotch, “Having control issues in your old age?”. Flotch’s response spoke volumes: he smirked deviously and waited until he was close enough so only Jason could hear, “. . . Maintaining Control”, he hissed as his sunken eyes squinted to match his crooked smirk.
Despite Flotch’s newly minted ostracizing behavior towards Jason and I at the Art Fair, Jason completely sold out his artwork. Yet each day of the art show brought with it more drama between Jason and Flotch; it was as if Flotch was trying to engineer an excuse for a break in ties between Jason and himself. Like a loser boyfriend too pussy to dump his steady beau straight up.
The year previous - I had invited Iggy Pop to visit the Brokeback booth at Scope. Flotch was agog and ran immediately to the front desk to arrange a chaperone for his special guest. Yet it turns out that the beach isn’t a hot location for A-List would be art collectors. Iggy Pop was unable to make the half mile walk without paparazzi and fan harassment - so he declined to come and asked if there was a private studio he could visit. Flotch was crestfallen and made it very apparent.
He leaned on me relentlessly for Iggy Pop’s contact in order to produce his ‘Detroit themed’ show for the new space he was running. This year he had aimed to curate art shows that exported artwork from greatly established artists in the cities he had selected to exploit. Flotch is a typical W.R.E.M. - practicing a form of gentrification within yet another form of gentrification - carting off Detroit’s artists to the most heavily gentrified city : San Francisco.
I have the privilege of chilling at Iggy Pop’s house because I know how to respect someone else’s authority and privacy. I had explained as delicately as possible to Flotch that I would act as medium between Iggy and himself and he tweaked.
Flotch stomped off in a huff grumbling to me before he turned away, “No. Don’t bother. I have my own ways.” I refused to hand over this exclusive contact information that I earned with my kickass creations and righteous personality . . . my inability to comply with this scraggly cultish leader was the last straw.
The next day Flotch had abandoned post at the fair when we showed up. Within 15 minutes I had made two sales. The third sale was the final blow to Mimi’s ego, ( she was Flotch’s toady running the booth at the time ) and her cocaine problem kept her sweaty, bug eyed, and unable to close any deals.
My final sale was to a corporate art buyer who had a serious interest in Jason’s work. She and Jason had both just lost their Boston Terrier, and were deep in conversation when I offered her a steep discount . . . if she bought two of Jason’s fine art prints together, instead of just one. I was super happy to seal the deal with this potential repeat customer.
Mimi rang her up, asked if we could hold down the fort, as she waddled away with her cellphone to her sweaty ear. When she returned she spouted a long series of jittery ramblings until she blurted out, “Flotch just told me that he doesn’t want you guys here anymore . . .”
Mimi had no competition for commission - we weren’t asking for any. We were making her and Flotch money, yet they insisted on kicking us out. She asserted that the discount that we awarded the third buyer on a bundle of Fine Art Prints (created by Jason and I) was criminal. Quite literally a $150 discount on one of Jason's Fine Art Prints - sent her and Flotch into a tailspin.
On the final Sunday at Basel I had three separate appointments with high profile art collectors to visit Brokeback Gallery’s booth. When we arrived with our last collector (IBM’s forensic accountant) to Brokeback’s Booth, Flotch was sullen and dismissive. He purposely made her feel unwelcome; her questions regarding the artwork were met with short mumbles.
This was the moment when Jason couldn't take it any longer - he asked Flotch if he would care to step outside for a moment like two men and talk this out . . . He proceeded to tell Flotch how important sales were for us right now, we really needed the money. He asked Flotch what was causing his inappropriate, unprofessional, and just plain weird behavior - Flotch responded quite literally with a floppy arm tantrum.
He disregarded every single trespass and vulgarity for which Jason was seeking explanation - after all of these years he had dedicated to further the Brokeback Gallery. He labeled everything Jason said as “wrong”, immature, and selfish. Then and there, he displayed his truest intent, he offered Jason a chance to return absolutely everything to normal on one condition . . . he demanded that my soulmate abandon our relationship for good and steal Iggy Pop’s info on the way out.
Jason refused to consent to Flotch’s sadistic commands - his patience was lost. He bellowed out his final blow, “Katy is a nasty woman. Mimi said that Katy exposed her pussy last night, I can't have that lunatic around anymore, she's bad for sales!”
Isn’t that ironic? The same gorg who sent my husband dick pics for seven years had the audacity - to allege that I had flashed his ratchet crone Mimi, my precious pussy.
In accordance with a literal psychological projection, he warranted our immediate termination.
Jason’s seven years of being brainwashed by Flotch are finally over. Jason was psychologically overwhelmed from all of the abuse he had enabled and experienced at the manipulative hands of Flotch. He had to literally deprogram himself from feeling guilty for this deplorable. I inspired him to focus on the fact that he had sold out at Basel, and at least we still had the the brick-and-mortar point of sale at Brokeback in New Orleans.
Then on Christmas 2015 the impossible happened . . . we were unable to log in to the backend of our website. It seemed the password had changed. No biggie right? Just login to my email, after clicking ‘forgot my password’ and . . . NOPE. I found out our email had been hacked too! Everything we had built up for two years in the social media and search engine spheres for Brokeback Gallery - had ceased to function all at once and without notice as to why.
Flotch gave his oleaginous servants Magoo and Mimi, the green light to change all of the passwords we had created on all of the platforms I had designed - on Christmas morning. He had pirated the very same platform he had said he wanted “nothing to do with.” Magoo pirated our digital point of sale and flaunted finger painted products in place of our Fine Art Print products. He ignored every plea that I had to regain what was rightfully mine, and continued to use my platform spitefully. After hours of communicating with our hosting server I regained control of the digital platform I had spent years working on and with.
Flotch’s employees made multiple counter attempts to regain control over our property. I was beyond stressed out. I could only assume that all of our inventory at the brick-and-mortar had been destroyed like the matchbook Flotch had torn and stolen from Jason.
Both Mimi and Magoo ignorantly committed third degree felonies because Flotch assured them that everything they were doing was perfectly legal. Flotch is very careful to keep his own pansy hands from getting dirty.
We had signed contracts - that proved our creation and ownership over brokebackgallerynola.com. Their coup wrecked our brick-and-mortar point of sale during the height of the tourist shopping season, after a rough long slow summer. Moreover, we lost our two year list of clients: the email account that I had created was completely deleted by Magoo and Mimi . . . all of the contacts and communications we had built slowly from the ground up were completely eradicated.
The contract that we had in place with Brokeback Gallery was broken in the most unprofessional way imaginable. Monetary compensation for two years of work and the loss of both a digital and brick-and-mortar space from which to vend Jason’s art along with our Fine Art Prints merchandise had evaporated. This fuck job left us beyond broke.
No matter how many times we attempted to receive a response from Magoo or Mimi as to why they had committed the felonies - they firmly ignored our multiple requests for civil conversation. Flotch's lawyer sent a quick message to us via his iPhone that read something like: No you’re the puppet / so sue me. As I mentioned before, Jason’s original artworks were being ripped up by Flotch; we feared for our entire inventory inside Brokeback Gallery, all our original artworks and products were at risk.
We dropped everything, packed up our three pups, jumped into the car and drove from Miami to New Orleans . . . Praying to retrieve our possessions before Flotch had preyed upon them and destroyed it all.
( This tragedy resulted in a miraculous ending for Jason and I, but it is so super positive and spectacular that it’s not going to be revealed within this putrid testimony. Stay tuned to hear the good news now that the worst is over . . . )