Charlie Boots on the vagaries of sudden fame and wearing the mask

Charlie Boots accepting the Brandon Borchert Pop Art Award.
Editor's note: Artist Charlie Boots is part of the inaugural pair of PAIR residents at Denver's Powerhaüs Studio. As part of his residency, he and his fashion-designing counterpart will be reporting from the real world via Show and Tell, as they learn the ropes from studio mentors Mona Lucero, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy and Jimmy Sellars. Applications are now being accepted for the second PAIR residency; visit the website for details. Here's the next report from Charlie Boots.

See also:
- Charlie Boots on his artistic process, Internet romances and why logos inspire him
- Charlie Boots on light-rail adventures, being a poor artist and why he is like Jesus
- The world according Charlie Boots: A newbie on what it takes to get noticed

If I'm dead by the time you read this, then the following is the story of how it happened. And as is normally the case concerning the events of my life, I'm not certain if the following is funny or frightening. It is, however, unmistakably fascinating. The story begins with a text message.

"Hi Charlie."

This was an unknown number to me. The area code, "720," indicated that the sender lived in Denver.

"Hello," was my response.

"I like your paintings."

"I appear to not have your number registered in my phone. May I ask who this is? And thank you for the compliment."

"And courteous too! My oh my what a catch."

This is where the red flag was first raised in my mind. Danger, Will Robinson. Who the hell am I talking to?

As one well-versed in the art of the mind-fuck, I had to give credit where credit was due. I responded with a simple "Thank you" and decided to refrain from texting an engaging statement.

At this moment, I was at the Knoll Gallery on Santa Fe. I was waiting to receive an award from Dana Cain. She had decided that I was worthy of the Brandon Borchert Pop Art Award, an honor for which I would have been even more excited had I not been distracted by the potential that I now had a text stalker.

Put the smile on. Don't ask the crowd, "Is anyone here texting me like they are the Riddler and I am Batman?"

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