October 13, 2008

Paul s second visit to the DC area Wentworth Gallery was one not to be missed and provided a great experience by meeting Paul. I made a call and found out that one hour prior to the general public coming in there would be an opportunity to be a part of a private champagne reception and meet and greet with Paul. The catch? You must purchase a piece of art. I then was told that I could book an appointment prior to the reception to have a gallery member show and talk about the works in depth that may help in the decision making process. The last thing I was told was that during his last appearance the line stretched through the mall and that you would only have about 5 minutes during the public appearance to make your way through the gallery and get a glimpse of Paul. With that said I booked an appointment.

We arrived at 10:15, gave our names at the door and promptly met with our staff member. We had done a little previewing of his works and knew the ones we were interested in. After seeing the works in person, and the website doesn t do all the pieces justice, we decided on the one we wanted. While some of the originals were pushing $70,000, many prints can be had for under $2,000. We completed our paperwork from our purchase and took a little extra time examining the other displayed pieces. We were also treated to a sneak peek of a metal sculpture in the works. A first I believe.

At 11 am on the dot, Paul strolled into the gallery, no bodyguards or posse in tow, and proclaimed 'My Peeps'. A few light remarks to the gathered faithful and champagne began to flow. There was also a very special event being held at this appearance as the Wentworth had flown in anyone who had purchased a piece over $25,000 to stay at the Ritz Carlton and have dinner that night with Paul.

A line soon formed and I was glad to be towards the front. Each buyer was personally introduced to Paul and the piece you purchased was displayed in the meeting area for you to view and discuss with Paul. I found Paul to be very personable and was open to discussing whatever was on your mind. I was pleased to find out that the piece I selected was one of his newer ones and a new personal favorite. Paul then took my framed artwork and we had several pictures taken by a gallery photographer with him. He also personally wrote a dedication to each of us who purchased his art that will look great framed and hanging beside the one we bought. Everyone in line had items to be signed and I went with a couple of concert tickets from the past. A 1979 Dynasty ticket and a 1983 ticket. He thought that this was unique in that he normally is signing albums, toys or dolls.

A few more pictures, a sincere handshake and thank you from Paul and our experience was complete. It s refreshing to know that he takes passion in his life outside of Kiss and is generally appreciative of his fans that have an interest in collecting his work.

I highly recommend the process I followed if you are seriously interested in purchasing and the extra perks that went along with it. I now have a great piece to add to my collection and memories from an intimate meeting with an original member of KISS.

Derek Pittman

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