In my former life I lived in Aspen and skied all day and partied all night. Oh, wait...that must have been someone else. Actually, I worked really hard, skied and hiked as much as I could, and relaxed on the couch at night. I would, however, go out occasionaly.
On one such occassion, Big K and I attended a charity benefit with a silent auction. One of the auction items was a hand-painted portrait by Gino Hollander. We had no idea who Gino Hollander was, but thought it would be cool to get some artwork for our new home. So, we bid and ended up winning.
Soon after, Gino contacted us to meet me and discuss the portrait. Not knowing what to expect, we arrived at a comfortable home in a glade of trees by the river. The large outdoor deck was covered in half-finished canvases. We met Gino and his sweet wife and ended up visiting with them for hours and learning more about Gino. Gino was an elderly man and had spent his life having advertures all over the world, beginning with a 1000-mile bike ride at age 13. He served in World War II with the 10th Mountain Division ski troops and then moved to Spain after the war to raise his 3 children. Surprisingly, all 3 children became artists of some sort too. His wife is a writer.
If you are interested in learning more about Gino, his family, and his fascinating life look here or here
Here are some examples of Gino's portraits:
Gino loaned us this painting while my portrait was being completed:
We got the phone call that my portrait was ready, so Big K and I once again headed back to Gino's house. Again, we didn't know what to expect. Gino brought in about 10 portraits of me and let me have my choice of all but one of the paintings (that one was being sent to an exhibition in NYC).
Here's what we picked and what is currently hanging above my mantle today:
I love it and I especially like the fact that it doesn't look exactly like me. It's a large painting, about 4 feet high. I think I would be embarassed to hang a giant portrait of my exact likeness in my home. Just not my style. I wish it was my style to be able to decorate my living room in such a chic and cool style to match the artwork, but I'm just not that cool or chic.
Speaking of cool and chick, Gino's works are also in collections owned by the likes of Calvin Klein, Jackie O., Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Henry Kissinger, and Luciano Pavarotti.
So there you have it...my little brush with fame while living the life in Aspen!