— I lead a rich and full life, and I like routine, which on most days (when not teaching) means going into the studio in the morning, handling email, then making stuff. Then lunch, more studio, figuring what to make for dinner and shopping, more studio, then the important 5 o’clock gin while doing something like arranging a fantasy football line-up on DraftKings.
And my routines have sub-routines. Lunch, for example, means eating while listening to an audio book and playing fantasy solitaire. Every day this last week the sandwich was saucisson sec on a baguette with lots of butter, and 2 clementines. Let me explain fantasy solitaire. My father once told me how there used to be a casino game, turn of the 20th century I imagine, in which one bought a deck for $50 and was paid $5 dollars for every card played above the line, going through the deck once, a single card at a time. So I keep a Post-It tracking my winnings or losses in the cards’ box. Of course because of the odds, I always ended up in the red. Last summer I created new rules (I own the casino) that permit a fantasy side-bet of any amount, which I win if I get more than 10 cards above the line (plus the $5 cards). I need to imagine/place that bet after the initial round of cards is displayed but before flipping the first card. Inevitably I can recoup my losses with some outrageous bet. I get a minor gambling jolt from the game, and the audio book allows a proper amount of distraction from its onanistic tedium.
Dike Blair was born in 1952, he lives and works in New York. He has mounted solo exhibitions at Gagosian (New York), Linn Leuhn (Dusseldorf), Feature, Inc (New York) and Karma (New York). His work has been exhibited in group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). In 2015 Karma published a collection of his gouache paintings in conjunction with his solo exhibition. In 2010 he received the Rome Prize and in 2009, a Guggenheim Fellowship. Blair says one constant in his work is the subject of light, remarking that his paintings are personal while his objects tend to be more formal. Dike Blair studied at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1977. He is also a senior critic in the painting department at Rhode Island School of Design.