I have known Christina Rees since circa 1996. We worked together at the dearly departed Met. We worked together at D. Now she’s the curator of The Art Galleries at TCU. In all the time I have known her (to my recollection), she has always had flowing, wavy-curly hair. I took a survey. This other guy (whom I won’t name but whose name rhymes with “crack”) and I both agreed: Christina’s hair was attractive. And it was black. The survey definitely revealed that it was black. Or dark. Now, however, things have changed. Several people in the past few days have asked me: “Did you see Christina’s new picture on Facebook?” You can see for yourself the look that Christina is rocking. I took another survey. That other guy and I once again both agreed: that is a blond mohawk. I asked Christina about it in a Gchat. Enjoy:
Christina: never done this
1:11 PM me: Hang on.
1:13 PM Okay, you ready?
Christina: Can’t we just talk on the phone?
me: That’s so 2011.
me: Plus, then I have to transcribe the interview. And I’m lazy.
me: First question. Not to put too fine a point on it. But what the hell happened to your hair?
1:14 PM Christina: You mean, what did I choose to do to my hair.
1:15 PM me: Okay, okay. What did you CHOOSE to do?
1:16 PM Christina: I CHOSE to think of this as “now or never”. I’ve always wanted to do this. Since I was a teenager. You know me and the whole punk/new wave thing. But I couldn’t do it back then.
I could have, actually, but my mom’s disapproval would have been so heavy I couldn’t have enjoyed it.
1:17 PM me: Technically, what is it? Because it doesn’t look like a classic mohawk to me.
1:18 PM Christina: I don’t know what it is. Maybe a subversion of a quiff?
A mohawk has totally shaved sides. I’ve got a bit of hair on the sides.
me: Who did the do?
1:19 PM Christina: I’m sure some people would call it a fauxhawk. (sp?)
1:20 PM This awesome chick at the Aveda salon in Fort Worth. Baily. I brought her a lot of photos.
She listens. She’s calming. She’s wise.
1:21 PM Remember Annabelle Lee from Bow Wow Wow?
1:22 PM My older brother had a friend who got a mohawk in high school and was suspended for it. I went to that school.
I also have tattoos. Another thing.
1:23 PM me: New tats? Where and of what? Remember: I am a journalist. You are required to answer those questions.
1:24 PM Christina: On my forearms. One is Jasper Johns’ Target. One is a text piece by my artist friend Terri Thornton. One is a big racing stripe of unbroken Helvetica listing all my dogs’ names, alive and dead.
1:25 PM I can send you a pic. It’ll be backward because it’ll come from my laptop camera.
The blonde thing I can’t explain. Never done anything like that. I am psychologically not a blonde. But while it’s this short….
1:27 PM Look, my job is very much driven by aesthetics. I’m more comfortable in my own skin now than ever before. I love this job. I can be myself more than ever before.
1:28 PM me: So, essentially what you’re saying is, since you became the curator of the Galleries at TCU, you’ve gone insane. Got it.
1:29 PM Alright, tell me how the new(ish) has been going. How long have you been running the show over there?
Christina: I know. But I’d say I’m more sane than ever. At least I feel that way. The dissonance is evaporating.
1:30 PM me: That is the name of my third album. “The Dissonance Is Evaporating.”
1:31 PM Christina: I’m in my third year. My primary job is curating the big satellite gallery, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts. It’s progressive. It’s international. It gets a lot of press. I also run the on campus gallery, and I teach. That’s a shitty name for an album.
1:32 PM I mean “on-campus”. You know what I mean.
1:34 PM I do five major exhibitions at year at FWCA. We need money though. We’re a non-profit and our original grant is up.
me: As soon as people read this on FrontBurner, the funds will pour in. Surely.
So I didn’t know you were teaching, too. How do you enjoy that?
1:35 PM Christina: Did you really expect me to not go to bat for FWCA? It’s my life.
TCU needs it. The region needs it.
1:36 PM I love teaching! I love those kids! I teach senior BFAs.
They’re smart and adorable.
1:37 PM I help them put on their big graduation show in the art building, Moudy. It’s really satisfying.
1:38 PM me: They must think you’re the coolest teacher on campus, with all the tats and wild do and whatnot. What word do the kids today use for “cool”? “Rad”? “All that and a bag of chips”?
1:39 PM Christina: I wish I knew. I can ask them later today in class. I tell them I’m old enough to be their mom.
Because I am.
me: Oh, come on. You’re only, what, 45, right?
How old are you?
1:40 PM me: Old enough to be your dad — if I got started really, really early.
Christina: You’re 47?
me: I will kill you.
Christina: I can’t reach me through this computer.
me: Ha! I would need a time machine to be your father.
1:41 PM Christina: You can’t reach me. Wow, that was Freudian.
me: Okay, two final questions.
me: 1. What do you have upcoming that folks need to know about and go see?
1:42 PM Christina: Holy cow. Everything! The show we have up now is fantastic. This young Houston artist who makes massive drawings of his pretty troubled past. He just got a heart transplant a few weeks ago. He’s 35.
1:43 PM All my shows are great. Seriously. I do not mess around.
The artist is Michael Bise.
1:44 PM me: I will provide a link.
Christina: I do mix it up though. I like to show regional artists and international artists.
me: OH! Wait. I have three questions. So …
1:45 PM me: 1.5. What does your mom think of the new look? I forgot to ask.
Christina: That’s the question of the hour.
She loves me but absolutely will not comment on it. She’s the only one.
1:46 PM She’s super cool though. She MOM.
me: No comment? That’s tough love.
Christina: No kidding. See, that’s why I had to wait so long.
me: Okay, final question.
Christina: Yes, boss?
1:47 PM me: 2. When is your husband going to reciprocate my mancrush and let me hang out with him so I can giggle while he says randy things in his British accent?
Christina: Oh my gosh. Anytime! He would love that.
Just email him.
1:48 PM He loves to chat.
He says randy things all the time.
1:49 PM me: Love that guy.
Christina: And he loves you. I think.
me: Okay, Christina. Thanks for the time. Send me the before and after pictures.
1:50 PM Christina: Will do. Thanks Tim, and thanks for bringing me into the year 2012.
me: And get back to me with that hip lingo from the kids. Please.
me: You hang up first.
me: That was a quick hangup.
1:51 PM Christina: Oh. Yeah. I thought I hung up.
me: I just hung up first.