Sunday I woke up with a pretty bad food hangover. GPDC had allowed me access to too many delicious and horrifyingly bad-for-me-foods. Woof. Shit, shower, shave. I was at the venue in time to see Hunter “ProTour” Slaton interview David “Sometimes Wears a Hat” Ochoa. Ochoa was hatless for day two.

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Hunter’s purple, blue, yellow, and red plaid shirt added a spark of color vibrancy echoed in two surrounding purple shirts and the CFB fireball logo in a world of gray, black, and diarrhea’d land cards.

There’s a fair bit of stress when thinking about how to spend day two when I hadn’t qualified for day two. I did not want to play in the Super Series Sealed tournament, nor the Super Series Standard tournament a couple of hours later. I feared Magic burnout. What to do, what to do?

What’s the other thing I do all the time? That thing that fills me with unparalleled joy?

Oh yeah, art.

Forker and B-Mac were in the SS Sealed tournament. Bones was watching the World Cup match later in the day at some bar. Everyone else I knew had day two’d. I went on a solo trip into DC.

To get to Washington D.C. from Grand Prix DC you must drive 30-40 minutes from Chantilly on a fairly nice highway. The road is filled with New Jersey and Massachusetts quality drivers. Upon arrival at the Nation’s capital it’ll be nearly impossible to find a parking spot. There are some parking garages. The garages are expensive and the ticket machine won’t be working so you’ll have to wait in line with other cars while people count out exact change to hand to a stressed out short man with a thick accent. He’s doing his best. Please be patient.

The National Gallery of Art was my first art-stop.

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I don’t remember this artist’s name. This red faced portrait is striking. The shadow behind the head, under her head-blanket, is really weird and deep. I don’t know how I’d explain this painting to someone with out a photograph. I don’t know how to explain any painting without a photograph of the painting. That’d be a good documentary (people explaining visual art to people and never showing them the art). I love that idea. It’d be a great web series. It’s mine! Don’t even think about doing it!

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André Derain always gets me. He’s the best of this kinda painter if we forget Van Gogh ever made paintings. Derain’s paintings kick Seurat’s paintings’ asses.

Then I was floored by these old Italian master drawings.

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This is by Raphael or Donatello or Leonardo. Drawings, sketches in particular, are my favorite kind of art. A sketch makes the case for several possible finalities. Potential is an inspiring thing.

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Goddammit. So good. The form, composition, detail, speed, and expression of this drawing—they’re all spot on. It’s beautiful and challenging without being pedantic, redundant, or obnoxious. It’s sort of funny in a charming way.

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Two remaining Ninja Turtle mentions. Here’s a Michelangelo drawing. How has this piece of paper survived all these years?

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Something about ancient sketchbook drawings has interested me since professor Drew Beattie mentioned it in the drawing room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was at Cooper—this is Leonardo figuring out form, light, etc., and not anything more than a sketch, notes, etc. to this artist, but today it cold be the composition for a painting. Does that make sense?

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Oops, my mistake. This is the Leonardo sketchbook page. I don’t know who drew the other work. Leonardo is the best.

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This Raphael study  has been worked and reworked a billion times by the master as he tried to perfect the composition of a painting he was working on.

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Drawing is visual thought. Why’d this artist break through the left border with figures and a cloud? The form of the paper/image must’ve had something to do with church architecture. Nowadays people don’t believe in God so there aren’t any more religiously functioning churches. The past was weird.

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We’re gonna plow through these. I think this is a Veronese. I’d never previously seen one of his paintings.

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Dunno who the heck fire this is.

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Or this.

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This guy going in for a hummer or maybe stealing a shell bracelet or maybe both, is pretty suggestive. Lots of visual clues here. Clues to what? I dunno.

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This painting would be an excellent Magic card illustration.

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As would Ambassador Oak over here.

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Both Tiepolos are awesome. I can’t tell the difference between the two. All Tiepolos look the same to me. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo is probably the better Tiepolo. He’s the original.

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The wall paper is sick in the Tiepolos room. The pattern on the wall and the frame are nuts together. This is the best room in the whole museum.

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I took a photo of this so you guys ‘n gals wold know where I want you to build my next studio. Thanks.

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The wallpaper doesn’t have the same affect in non-Tiepolos rooms.

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When I write scripture I like to sit weirdly and as close to a cow as I can. Or a bull. Whatever. This is a weird painting. I took the photo because I love the fabric and am pretty sure I copied the green/purple/pink part in a recent painting of mine.

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I think this is that Raphael painting those studies were for. Maybe I’m wrong. I can’t really remember. This was three weeks ago. This painting takes your breath away.

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There’s a lot of goofy shit going down in this painting.

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None of it’s as goofy as this horse’s face.

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This painting draws me in. It’s gotta be the use of the soft colors. They’re so strange.

Eventually I went back and checked in with my bros. There were more museums to visit but a man can only take in so much art in a day. I tried The Hirschorn but it was closed for installation of their next show. I don’t really care about history museums or non-art cultural museums.

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Hugh was still doing alright at this point in the tournament.

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Then Hugh played Morgan and lost 🙁

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And I played this guy, a PTQ rematch from the week before. I lost the match and learned an important lesson when playing Ad Nauseum. If you Thoughtseize and your opponent’s only win condition is in their hand you always take your opponent’s only win condition. That win condition is Lightning Storm. Always take that card.

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This dude had a sick Cranial Plating tattoo and was super excited to show it off. His first day two was achieved with Infinity (Affinity, Robots, whatever) and he wanted it immortalized on his shoulder. I guess it’s not immortal, though. It has the same expiration date as he does.

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Lars Grant West did this sweet ogre drawing on the back of a proof for me.

None of the bros in my car made Top 8.

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I took one last poo and got ready to go back to NYC.

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On the way home we saw this great Morman vanity plate and talked about how weird religion is (very weird).

That’s the story of GPDC. I didn’t do much winning and had a blast.

Thanks for reading!

Matt

Matt Jones (born 1980, Rochester, New York) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY.  Matt works between a variety of inter-related genres that explore mythology, archaeology, ancient history, theoretical physics, comedy, and the paranormal—all developed and inspired by research and personal experience. Together his bodies of work form a way for Matt to evaluate, negotiate, and play with the world around him. You can check out his art at www.mattjonesrules.com.

Matt’s played Magic since early 1995, took a break for a decade or so, and came back to the game the weekend after the Scars of Mirrodin release. With Hugh Kramer he formed New York’s Team Draft League and is one of the original writers for Hipsters of the Coast. Matt’s been sober for seven years.

 

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