In Memory of Marijana Bego
On January 30th, a Memorial Service will be held at the Bego Ezair Gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York, for Marijana Bego who died on 22 December 2012.
Since I cannot be there in person, I have written this blog post in memory of Marijana:
At my first meeting in 2011 with Marijana Bego at the Bego Ezair Gallery in New York, she asked me if I would be interested in having a show of my artwork in her gallery. I instantly said yes to this wonderful opportunity and it was later agreed my exhibition would be held in October 2012,
to be titled “Reinvention.”
This was my first art exhibition overseas and I faced a number of tough challenges dealing with shipping of the artwork from Stockholm, Sweden, to New York, U.S., POA’s (Power of Attorney) and U.S. import and customs regulations—during what astrologers termed a ‘monster’ full moon (it was advised that one should stay away from airports and avoid complicated endeavours at this time) —the above leading to several days’ delay in delivery of my artwork to the gallery.
An email from Marijana informed me the artwork was finally delivered and my paintings were hanging on the walls of the gallery: “Don’t worry about anything,” she wrote.
I arrived in New York on October 7th with a throbbing tooth about to crack and feeling apprehensive that unanticipated complications would arise before the Opening Reception on the 10th. The morning after I noticed a short text on the mini shampoo and shower gel bottles in the hotel bathroom: ‘Believe in Miracles.’ I took this as a sign the Reception would go well.
The days prior to the Reception were spent in intensive work meetings in New York and Connecticut. When my U.S. colleagues started congratulating me on the show—without having been to the gallery yet—I was again reminded of how big an opportunity Marijana had given me: just the fact that my artwork was being exhibited at a gallery on Madison Avenue in NYC was enough
to warrant admiration.
When I arrived at the gallery on the 10th I saw that Marijana and her team had done a wonderful job hanging the pieces together. The Reception went well and I was congratulated and complimented on my work. A colleague later aptly summarized the event: “It felt like being in a Woody Allen film.” One visitor told me though, that— “You won’t sell anything until after the election.” She was right —the then uncertain outcome of the Obama - Romney election was apparently making people hesitate in committing to any investments and none of my paintings were sold then. As Marijana later said, it took longer now to close a deal. However, she was so pleased with the feedback on my artwork that we agreed the paintings would remain in the gallery for a couple of months and
would also be featured in another show.
Back in Stockholm just a few weeks later, I watched on TV how Hurricane Sandy struck the Eastern coast of the US and the horrific damage it caused. My thoughts were with Marijana and my paintings still in the Madison Avenue gallery, I also wondered what had happened to the other two of her galleries in Southampton and Greenport. I sent a letter to Marijana who later wrote back telling me it had been good timing leaving when I did. According to the original plan, I was scheduled to return to NYC to pick up my paintings at the end of October and would have been there when Sandy hit New York. I felt thankful Marijana had decided
she would keep them for a while.
I had very little communication with Marijana during December, so when I opened and read an email titled “Marijana Bego” on December 23rd, I was shocked to find out that Marijana was dead. My thoughts were with Marijana’s family, friends and associates, as well as with all
the other artists that Marijana worked with.
Even though I did not know her well, Marijana has played a major role in my life as an artist by presenting me to the American art public only two months before she died. For that I am deeply grateful to her. I know other artists Marijana worked with share this appreciation for the opportunities she gave them to exhibit their work in her galleries, and I feel certain Marijana’s dedication to art will be remembered for many years to come.
With Gratitude to Marijana Bego, Rest in Peace.
Posted by Caroline Freudenthal
Stockholm, January 29th, 2013