While our gallery’s doors are closed temporarily due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Catherine Couturier Gallery is pleased to announce a blog series entitled Safe in the Studio featuring a new gallery artist each week. Our artists will share behind-the-scenes information about specific pieces and offer insight into their artist practice. With each blog post, three works will be highlighted and discounted 20% for one week following the post’s publishing date.
Last week, Catherine Couturier Gallery featured gallery artist Kate Breakey. This week, the gallery shares the following post from gallery owner Catherine Couturier:
Let’s see. What have I been doing in the two months since the gallery’s doors were last open? I’m hard pressed to tell you, most days, and as those days have rolled into weeks and those weeks into months, my concept of time has changed just as radically as my daily work routine. Gone are the mornings rushing to work, my hair soaking wet because I had no time to dry it, only to realize I’m low on gas or my tire is flat. No more screaming, “Oh shit! I have to go” and darting out of the gallery to pick up a kid from school. My calendar isn’t full. The phone isn’t ringing off the hook with telemarketer calls. There is no doorchime to ding, alerting me to the arrival of a collector, or the mail carrier, or our favorite Fedex delivery driver.
Back in the good ole days (January) in my office
So then why am I so TIRED?
I’m not even just tired; I’m completely exhausted. This whole lockdown has just not gone at all like I planned. When I first grabbed my laptop and a stack of To Dos from my desk and closed the doors behind me, I thought, in my perpetually optimistic way, “You know? This will be a nice break. I can catch up on old paperwork and have some extra time with the kids. It will be great.”
And it has been great! Sort of.
Yeah, this is sort of how lockdown has felt
I was quite gung-ho those first two weeks. I organized my house, started going on multiple walks a day, and got the kids all set up for online learning. My dining room was converted into a war room, and as fresh bread baked in the oven, I patted myself on the back and thought, “Man, I’ve got this completely under control. I can do this without even breaking a sweat.”
Then the actual school work started and I realized that, no matter how cute, a five-year-old can’t actually handle virtual learning all on her own, and with an “essential” husband (who does way more than half of the daily running of the house. I literally don’t even know how to turn on our washing machine) keeping his normal schedule at Texas Children’s Hospital and a 13 year old with his own heavy work load, I was going to have to become teacher, cook, house manager, entertainment coordinator, on-site medic, psychologist, and countless other professions on top of trying to figure out what in the H E double hockey sticks to do about the gallery.
It’s fine. Everything is fine.
First of all, thank goodness for Erica Lee, the gallery manager. She has an ability to focus and stay organized, no matter the situation, and I have definitely been going to her with all my hair brained ideas for feedback, this blog series included. She’s detail oriented and gets things done, even if I can’t write a blog post until 9:41 at night because a bloodbath of a skinned knee situation with Stinkerbell set me back.
Don’t worry. She’s fine
So I wake up and help Charlotte with her schoolwork somedays, and somedays I blow it off. Somedays I get all my work done first thing in the morning then do crafts with the kids to while away the hours.
Somedays I feel like all I do is cook because somedays all the kids want to do is eat. And somedays, I scream, “Oh my god, y’all are on your own. Mama is going to read a book in the bath.”
OMG you just had a snack!
And somedays I all but crack from the strangeness of this life and decide to make a life-sized Easter Bunny out of butcher paper and chalk. Pictures with the Easter Bunny are just too important to skip, you know? Even in a pandemic.
But most days, I think of how to normalize this whole experience for my children…
I have the best friends who were ready with any mask we needed.
…and hope that somehow translates to this experience becoming normal to me. But maybe “normal” isn’t what I should be striving to attain. My “normal” life is full of a lot of stress that is blissfully gone, and while an incredible amount of anxiety remains due to covid19, I think, if I can just cut myself a little bit of slack for the first time in my life, maybe I can emerge from this hunker-down a little better equipped and a whole lot happier.
So, interspersed with work, I’m finding more time to play with these goofballs in the above-ground pool we purchased to save us from the painful reality of a summer at home in Texas.
Only after 4:30, of course, because the sun and heat are just way too brutal until then. And when I scroll through my camera roll to find pictures for this blog post and realize I took a LOT of selfies today (in an attempt to see how bad my roots have gotten), I’m going to share them, in solidarity with my sisters and brothers who have gone so long without salon services.
We are truly all in this battle together.
And, finally, just as with the floods and any other struggles my family has faced, I’m left with the same thoughts: The world is going to change on us, and so we have to change along with it. The rain is going to come, but it passes, and the sun shines. And, as those of you who followed through our journey with Hurricane Harvey might remember, #1234, we’re all here. And there’s nothing more important than that.
All that being said, I AM an art dealer, so let’s see some art! I wanted to pick three images inspired by my daily life, but, alas, I own no photographs of people sitting on a couch making fake cupcakes nor of a bespeckled mom reading the entire Cormac McCarthy library for the fiftieth time. So these will have to do:
Weegee, Dog and Bandaged Hand
I chose this image because my daughter (who will be 6 on Monday) has been angling for a dog this entire quarantine, plus she fell on the concrete today while running in the neighborhood so hard that I felt like I’d never wipe up all the blood. Charlotte is the only child in the history of children to hate bandaids, but still: this image speaks to the day I’ve had, and it’s interesting to think what Weegee might have photographed on the streets of New York these last few months.
Henry Gilpin, Mosel River, 1970/1988
I picked this charming little photograph (and it’s a STUNNING print) by Henry Gilpin because it helps me remember that I won’t be stuck…I mean SAFE…in this big city every day for the rest of my life. I’ll wander through small villages in Europe again one day. Until then, fine art photography will have to do.
Stanko Abadzic, Happiness, 2000/2009
And finally, this photograph by Stanko Abadzic is exactly how I feel. I’m happy at home, grown-out highlights and all, and I hope all of you can say the same, at least some of the time. We’ll be together again one day, my friends, and what a happy day that will be!
For more 20th Century photography, please click here.
The following three prints are available to purchase with a 20% discount in each size for the next week. The discount will no longer be applicable on orders made after Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 11:59PM.
Dog and Bandaged Hand
Gelatin Silver Print
8 x 10 inches
unsigned, from Peter Martin who was a close friend of Weegee and
published several celebrity photo magazines during the 1950s
Mosel River, 1970/1988
Gelatin Silver Print
4 x 6 inches
Gelatin silver print
11 x 15 inches
edition of 25 + 3 AP: $1,600 ($2,000)
For purchases or further inquiries, please email us at