Dinner with “The Queen”
I have interesting friends.
OK…. OK… that is not entirely true.
I have incredibly bizarre, unbelievably talented, highly intelligent, disturbingly creative, unusually weird, outrageously fun, freakishly interesting friends.
Yesterday evening Devin Mohr came to our home for dinner.
If you know Devin, I can end this story here, for you will know what a glorious time we had; alas, you may not know Devin, therefore I will treat you to an introduction.
I had followed Devin Mohr’s work for a few years before I shot him a small note of appreciation, through FB chat, just a few months ago. I was pleasantly surprised by his quick and friendly response expressing his interest to collaborate. I was thrilled and within a matter of days I found myself parking in the grass near his simple, vibrant, green 2 story house, in a neighborhood not far from my own.
I had no idea what to expect, and if I had had an idea, it would not have been of use.
You can never fully prepare to meet an alien genius.
On our first day together Devin created me into a shamanistic creature, exuding peace and wisdom. His meticulous care in applying my make-up was an education in itself, considering I am a person who brags about finishing my performance face in less than 2 minutes. The images he captured in his kitchen, with lighting and backdrops he designed speak for themselves.
Devin Mohr’s talent is incomprehensible, but the best surprise about him is that he is an incredibly kind, generous, open and giving soul. On that first day I came home with little, unique gifts for my children, and a heart filled with gratitude for having met somebody who I knew would be a wonderful friend.
Only a few days after the first shoot, we found ourselves on hot, black cliffs of hardened lava that hover above the sea. Devin had fashioned body nets out of silicone from the hardware store and I was leaping over cracks in the earth, with another male dancer, in an attempt to fulfill Devin’s odd vision. We had such a fun morning talking, hiking in and out, wrapping our bodies in weirdness, crawling around in puddles, laughing and getting to know more about each other.
Artists are often brought into the discovery of their abilities due to adversity they have encountered. I have found the more adverse their circumstances, the more over-the-top what they are capable of producing becomes. Let it suffice to say, that this is true in Devin’s life and he and I have much in common. In this way our connection is empathetic and strong. One of the many things I admire in Devin is his honest ownership of who he is. His art reflects the beauty, horror, grief and humor of his personal journey and it allows for vulnerability that many people are not comfortable with offering to others.
My kids adore Devin and after having met him at our home one afternoon, would not cease to ask when he was coming back. I wasn’t sure if he had recovered from his first short visit because he was bombarded by the children showing him a myriad of their art projects, dried and living bugs and endless random questions about his experiences both in life and the arts. He was, of course, engaged and generous, which only fueled the fire. My daughter Cali went on a maniacal spree of wire working that caused her fingers to callous in a matter of days.
Yesterday Cali helped me shop for an array of ingredients for a good Mexican feast, she then put on a pretty dress, brushed her hair in an artful bun and kept checking the driveway for her friend Devin. He arrived right on time with his arms filled with gifts. He had bags stuffed with art supplies, beads, fabrics and an awesome lava lamp he made from a glass water bottle. We all loved the lamp and each kid made a claim for it, but ultimately we ended up displaying it in our entry, for all to appreciate.
Dinner was delicious and every one of us ate too much as we engaged in lively and interesting conversation ranging from children’s confessions of sticking peanut butter celery to the underside of the dining table, to the dreaded “thickening” that happens to ones body as time marches on. At one point Devin sincerely asked me how I prepared the chicken so deliciously moist. I said, “Geez, I don’t know, I’m usually the Queen of the Rubber Chicken”, to which he innocently responded, “Oh Boy! So Am I!” After pausing for a brief moment we burst into laughter as he joyfully proclaimed, ‘Well, isn’t that the truth on so many levels!”