What I didn't know was some artists had not agreed to participate in the communal dissection of their work.
Some of the sponsoring florists hadn't intended on giving away their blossoms so hastily. Clearly, I was not the only one who did not receive that message.
It seemed, in my walk down the sculpture-lined road, there had been a devolution. Modesty dwindled, and greed took over. I saw pupils dilate in the mad dash toward the exotic and obviously expensive plants. People metamorphosed from their gentle larval states to rabid insects primally driven to the nectar of beauty.
Last-ditch efforts from the flower shop representatives tried to protect the sculptures, but it was no use. As soon as their line of sight broke, the people swarmed. I pitied the artists, being pitted between the people's hunger for beauty and the physical longevity of their artwork.
This installation's impact radiated out through NYC, though the structures laid bare. The people were pollinating their next environment with joy. They took the art with them in their hair and their hands.
At that moment, I understood what it meant to be a successful artist, creator, producer, whatever. It was all sacrificial.
It was all an offering - a vulnerability we must tribute without fear or preservation. And we can't control anything beyond that.
Those flower guardians at L.E.A.F. stood between what they wanted the experience to be and what it was. But to be successful, you must relinquish the expectation, even as early as conception.
It had always been about letting go - presenting the most authentic specimen in your work and allowing the world to dissect you.
Like a world-renowned chef, you put your all into every plate.
Despite knowing your may recipe may never be perceived the way, it was created to be.
Knowing It may never be tasted by a refined enough palette.
And if it was the perfect dish, it may never be duplicated.
Still, you return to the kitchen -to the process.
To continue to cross that ever-present threshold and transcend from imagination into reality.
And to be at peace with the uncertainty and to make yourself vulnerable anyway. That's the finish line. That's success.
Explicit was our fruit - our bouquet from which we encouraged consumption.
And when you lead with that fearlessness -that confidence in the unknown, it radiates.
Artists let their brilliant minds spill into their respective mediums.
Vendors lay their life's work out for guests to peruse.
DJs and musicians let it all fly.
Panelists told their truths.
People were introduced to a form of intimacy that they hadn't considered, and if they did, they felt it taboo. But they saw the intentionality. The control. The relinquishment of control.