Month: September 2014

Today’s Chemistry: K + I —> KISS

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This week’s painting is my Great Grandfather writing words of wonder into his journal on February 3, 1900. In November I have a show in Hamilton, N.Y., the town six miles east of Lebanon, where he was born and raised. Four generations of my father’s family lived in Hamilton—it was a great place to be in the 19th century. So many triumphs of the future began in Central New York. I am making a painting for each grandfather who lived and died there.

In this painting Henry is dreaming of the night before when Mr. Hatch loaded thirteen boys and girls on a bobsleigh, hitched a team of horses and took them on a midnight ride to Hamilton. He left several of the boys (Henry included) at Colgate Academy to continue their studies into the Spring. Henry wrote of the night:

“We had Will’s big team and a bobsleigh with a big box and plenty of blankets. I had the darndest time I have ever had and so did some of the other people. [A line of his secret code I have not yet deciphered]. We were packed in like sardines in a box. There was 13 in the lead. It snowed and we had to raise umbrellas and do other things to protect us from the storm [more secret code].”

On the next page he writes:

“The following reaction is said to take place by the union of potassium iodide and sulphur, under slight pressure:

KI + 2S —> KISS

This is a dangerous experiment and should not be tried in direct sunlight or where too many people are near.”

At the exhibition I will show work that attempts to make history live again in the blockheads of the 21st century. It’s the teens I want to impress. They can learn a world they never knew, and begin believing again in the simple made extraordinary. Yet even in isolated Hamilton of the digital age it is nigh impossible to keep this thing from encroaching on their dreams.

Colgate University could do a good turn for future generations by killing its wi-fi connection and reinstating practical subjects like agronomy and electrical engineering onto its liberal curriculum.

Fat chance. Even university president John or Jane worship God Iphone.

 

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My Fifth To The Last House Painting Party

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The Funk Shirt Calmly Awaits Its Doom

A while back a stuckist named Grant had an exhibition of recent work, and he or a friend mentioned on Facebook how it takes a couple of weeks or more to start painting again after a show. Not so in my past experience. Showing was always a big sugar high lasting to the next one and beyond. I got into paint with even more enthusiasm after my shout out to the world at large (friends and family).

Big change this time around. The next day I felt like crawling into a mountain cave with a shade, hanging the shade on tree roots, pulling the shade down, and going to sleep on worms for the rest of my life.

I guess I’m just getting old.

Anyway here are some pictures of the second event taken by my good friend Dan Leo who is an expert photographer. He takes a hundred pictures a second, moving around and around you like paparazzi cranked up on amphetamine pizza. Makes ya feel special even while burning an old shirt at the stake. Mind you, in the audience of twenty, barring the children who are already artists, there were 6 art teachers, a dramatist, a poet, a sculptor, a printmaker, two painters, a musician, a designer, and a gallerist. Talk about mingling with your own kind. That statistic needs to change. Art is a party, open to anyone nice carrying a can opener.

 

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It Glows In The Dark!

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Same painting, glows in the dark.

It’s title? Certainly.

If I Was A Girl Mao, This Is How I’d Look To My Enemies 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 18 X 24″

No frame. Studio canvas. It would look nice in an upper middle class home. A conversation piece hung in the half bath off the kitchen. You can bid on it here, or pay me a lump sum that is a bit more than I should ask, but heck—it’s a pretty cool painting.

2 Shows Friday Night, 1 Conclusion

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Song and dance by my paintings.

Hurray! They’re over. If it weren’t for the shirt, I never would have made it through.

After the show at the college, I ran home to put out cheese, crackers, chips and dip,—even a tall bowl of those kalamata olives so many know and love. Both receptions were humbling. I am just a man who shares this ordeal with nearly 4 billion others. Sometimes I luck out, always without money, always with family and friendship, and always with time to think about time that the Glimmer Twins say, “waits for no one” . Thanks for looking. I am the richest man alive inside me.

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Paintings only a mother could love, yes?

Time Waits For No One by the Rolling Stones

Painting Show Friday Night A Lá Stuckism

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Approaching New York When I Wasn’t Afraid

Opening up the house again for painting’s sake. I hope the art and writing students at the college on the hill stop by. They should see what they’re up against. In the past five years I have spent a few thousand dollars in promotion alone to encourage my peers to come out of their shells. The over-insulated shells with high r-value—32 avarice, 21 professional jealousy. Every show I send out invitations to professors at the art and English departments, pin posters up all over town and college, post the event in newspapers and radio, prepare foods, decorate, sing—a veritable hyper-clown of delusional preparation. Always the same outcome—several good friends, family, and one or two brave hopefuls. I am lucky to have anyone come by. Lucky and daft.

The past two mornings I have been painting fast “studies” on discarded press-cleaning sheets. I have ten and will charge $10 a piece. This will pay for the wine and cheese. Here is one. A provocative title makes up for lack of talent:

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“Doubt’s Duck With The Vermilion Lips”

Art and artist can become a philosophical act. Last week a stuckist peer on the other side of the country referenced a quote of Picasso’s: “I would like to live like a pauper with lots of money”. I have been living that thought my whole adult life. All artists do, but not all those who “make art”. Riches could be substituted with the word’s “clan approval”, if we still lived clan-like without nomadic faux-status acquisition; if we were still local to the land, and needing real human support.

I guess that is my purpose with painting and hosting these shows whenever the urge strikes. The artist as fool attempting to connect his neighbors in joy. To become dependent on each other for comradeship.

If any of you have read the book The Joy of Man’s Desiring by Jean Giono, then you know that I am pining for a world like Grémone Plateau. Yes, I am Bobi, but a little bit of Jourdan too.

 

Or, like Inger in Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, we need to live to find our niche without Dunkin’ Donuts fueling our blues.

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All stuckists at heart invited! Country wines uncorked and pouring.

 

 

 

I Miss Our Clawfoot Tub When We Were Poor

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2014. Acrylic on press cleaning sheet, 14 X 9″

Ours was a nice tub. They’re all over our town. The slumlords keep them because they last, and can be moved around when more rooms are needed to stuff people in.

Below is a poem I wrote in the claw foot tub when I was young, poor, and reactionary. From On Rainy Days The Monk Ryokan Feels Sorry For Himself:

Last Night in India

Last night in India the power went out
The blackness just got blacker
if you can imagine that.
You can’t
So I’ll tell you
They froze to death.
Some soldiers marched into their hut
Kicked a body out of its bed
and assumed the whole village dead.
Everyone was wearing hats.
Thirty or forty people frozen
They stopped counting at lunch.
Lunch happened and they stopped counting.
The government got a wire.
The international press was having lunch
So the news never got outside
the frozen Indian village of dead people.

But Sita did.
She crawled out from beneath
her mother’s embrace
crying and keening, upsetting the tiger
who was prowling the village for lunch.
He leapt toward her door with a roar
and a hungry guttural growling
his coat rippling with hunger
Sita walked out wailing
but when she saw the starved tiger,
stopped her tears in their tracks down her cheek
and began to sing the lullaby
her mother sang while she froze.
Now this tiger was very moved
calmly waiting a long moment
even sitting his haunches back on a ground stone
while her lullaby sang careful and slow.
Then he leapt onto Sita
eating her very quickly
from her tiny head to toe

What?
You thought the tiger would
take Sita by the yellow scruff of her sati
carry her to his cave high up the mountain
nestle her in his warm softness
for many many cold nights to come
and teach her the tiger’s strength and courage and beauty—
What?
Why should the tiger clean up your mess?
He’s a wild animal
But so heavenly beautiful
in truth
that the least I expect from him
is still a whole lot more
than any human would do.

Prove to me otherwise
and I will sing man’s praises.
Until then I sing for the tiger
the dumb hungry moose,
the puppy, the cat,
the Sitas in my life—
who know no lullaby but hunger
and warmth and play…
The earth is a wild ball
Let us walk upon its turning
devouring evil
which can only be a human thing
because they know how to spell.
I tell you
the only evil in the universe is human made

I Am Ready For California. Henry Miller Had A Patron. C’mon Bored Millionaires… Read More WordPress

The San Francisco MoMA published last week’s visual accompaniment to my anti-Hyperallergic diatribe. California is west. Henry Miller went west. He was very poor financially, but managed to look rich like this:

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I will go to California because they published this:

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Central Park Stroll Arm In Arm After Fine Meal At Restaurant Daniel