Month: December 2016

I Have an Hour to State My Opinion of the State

These are four paintings I made in as many days. During these creative hours I noticed worldly adult men, maybe women, but I only see men, playing apocalypse games with my life and destiny. So, I decided to write about figuratively wrapping my fingers around their windpipes and squeezing until all heads pop off. Using my dream arsenal to fight fire with fire must work, else old, dying men like John McCain and Benjamin Netan-YaHoo win, and all hopeful children of earth, lose big time. Netan-YaHoo. I stress the last two syllables in the name of the Israeli prime minister to remind readers that we are dealing with pure Confederate flag waving segregationist, and Apartheid-loving evil. He is a yahoo. A pretend Jewish yahoo. He is Jewish like Ghandi was Hindu if being devout meant smiting all people not Hindu with sophisticated weaponry purchased from the British. Pretend prime minister Netan-YaHoo is propped up by a U.S. tax paying pretend citizenry. The latter are burdened with a media of which it seems that no published member has yet taken a civics course in his or her (but mostly his) lifetime. A yellow corporate journalism that is bought and paid for by who knows who—certainly not by poor painters nor disgusting Oklahoma and Wisconsin bigots who voted a vile and corrupt New York City billionaire to the presidency. The unconnected citizenry (99.99%) have no clue who runs Earth, Inc., though so many of them often pretend to know the geopolitical strings that are pulled and state their opinions freely using the the yellow journalists bought-and-paid for points of argument.

Because real political information does not flow to the masses, unless provided by an Edward Snowden or “Russian” hackers, or god forbid, a personal drive to acquire a sense of history beyond what the NY Times wrote was real last night at 7 p.m.—Because all of us, yes, even unsophisticated yet overly opinionated Ron Throop, have no idea what a detonated thermonuclear weapon actually looks like, and that tiny, innocent Israel has about 200 of them aimed at any country that believes fascism is an outdated political philosophy—I bet they even have coordinates set at Yahveh if he too starts to mouth off—Because unmade writers and painters are well-known for crafting nearly endless run-on sentences, I believe that if we don’t wake up soon, these life-hating men will pull the pin on a gigundamundus humanity suicide bomb.

There are takers and givers. The bulk of humanity give and take more or less within a relatively microcosmic framework. Each of us is a thoughtless polluter in a global economy, but few openly push for a resurgence of coal-fired power plants knowing the costs to human health. John McCain, nearly dead Arizona senator, runs for president with a rallying cry “Drill, Baby Drill”, and millions of working class, non-drilling affiliated spouses, have to listen to dumbed-down taker husbands poison the conversation at the dinner table. Divorce happens eventually—the poor stupid jingoes never come to the realization that their young wives agreed to marry them precisely because they did not have political opinions. Love begot marriage, and marriage dissolved when love was not good enough for the taker in the family.

I made four paintings in four days. And the week isn’t even over yet. I also cleaned the house, did some laundry, cooked all the meals (mostly heating up holiday feasting leftovers), updated my website, lots of other little things that keep life moving in an orderly manner. In microcosm, I am more of a giver than a taker.

I believe 90% of the people I know and remain liking fall at points on the giving plane. But on a national level, dream statistics don’t look so good, even though I suspect it’s still a sound majority. So, hooray for those of us who would not threaten humanity with either fast or slow annihilation because we want to continue to give on this small planet we all share.

Israel is a theocracy-republic with nuclear weapons headed by a psychopath. Iran is a theocracy republic that would probably like a nuclear weapon or two because their “leaders” are also psychopaths. The United States doesn’t know who or what it represents anymore, pretends openly a kind of twisted Billy Graham-like national religion, has a couple thousand hydrogen bombs, and a spoiled rotten, child psychopath president-elect who tweets information like a teenager drops endless selfies into the sewer of cyberspace. All of these nation’s peoples are represented, rather, controlled, by takers who also happen to be very powerful psychopaths. They are not religious men of peace. Each one in their position is the human opposite of a Martin Luther King. Not courageous, not brave, not admirable in any conceivable way that we measure these virtues by. Likewise, none of them will ever be a you or a me. However, we are all potentially them—that is disgusting, vile, bottom-feeding takers of life.

Bad systems beget bad leaders and bad people.

Good people need to break these systems as quickly as possible. I did my part. So far this week I gave four paintings to the world and completed several necessary household chores. I also said nice things to my family, stayed clear of unsolvable argument, dreamed a bright future for my daughters, and figuratively choked to death the political psychopaths of power.

Your turn. And pass it on.

Teacher, Sorry I Painted On The Desk. I Want To Be A Ditch Digger

2014. Acrylic on antique scholar’s desk. Running out of paints again, but Dan is in Denver. I suspect Santa will drop some coal black and pyrrole red tubes in my stocking…

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Here is the result of a week spent suffering canvas and paint box depletion. Sitting, stretching and bending all over the floor has made me more limber than normal. The desk was a miscellaneous tool box cobwebbing in the basement. After some color it became a testament to my education and a brief eulogy to the poet Lou Reed.

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As explained in a previous post, earlier this week my friend Dan dropped off some paint and a couple canvases to my surprise and wonder. Then, he came back the next day with more paint and canvases. He also rolled up several Arts sections of the New York Times so Rose and I could be entertained with human good news over our morning coffee. I am a ditch digger of wealth and taste.

There was an article about Milton Glaser collaborating with the writer of the TV show Madmen. In it the reporter referenced the door of Glaser’s company bearing the words, “Art is Work” on the transom glass.

Yes! That is what this famous graphic artist is worth to me. Passing on a truism that I will take to the grave. Art is work. One, two, perhaps a cliff drop in salary grade from ditch digger. However, even with all the maneuvering to paint in awkward positions, I will never wake with a slipped disk and a painful drive to the next work site. So in matters of health and possible longevity, I save big time by being a painter. I work. I just don’t work for a living… Yet. Rose is making an investment in my education. She is putting me through life art school. She works. I cook the rice and beans. We eat together. She grabs my hand and admonishes me for the dirt under my fingernails. The paint dirt!

And what do I have to show for it?

A small house filled up with much more than a repeated yarn or two expressed at the shuffleboard court about that awesome French drain I dug back in the summer of ’98.

“I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six. I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all. At seventy-three I have at last caught every aspect of nature–birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all. When I am eighty I shall have developed still further and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety. When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life.
—Hokusai Katsushika (an art crazy old man)

More desk. The tribute to Lou Reed part.

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Coney Island Baby

Cremation

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Waldemar Januszczak, the Sadist Print Media Troll, Likes To Make Creative People Feel Bad For Money

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2016. Acrylic on wood panel, 12 x 16″

Last night Charles Thomson, quiet painter from north London, posted a link to a review in The Sunday Times, in part about a painting exhibition at a millionaire’s mansion of speculative art stuff. You can read it for yourself. Imagine you are a creative humanoid being reviewed by this narcissistic, crafty misanthrope. Or, you can feel the pain empathetically, like I did, for other painters a world away, and cringe at the flippant arrogance aimed at pleasing his equally arrogant, non-creative betters over their morning pastries and tea.

I refuse to sully my good taste and break down his article into counter argument. He is just another art critic who does not make art. A well-oiled bearing in the propaganda machine, to help the sickly skepticism of bloated westerners continue to run smoothly.

However, I will spend an hour this morning relegating his kind to the most loathsome and disgusting monster lair in any creative person’s make-believe world.

What does Waldemar do for a career? He writes about other people’s creativity and path to self-realization. In his most recent content rant for a newspaper seeking print ads from any prostituting organization that pays, he mocked the career choice of some painters because they did not live up to his highly subjective world view of art. Strike one. He searched for the latter confirmation at Saatchi Gallery, sent by a board room of non-painting millionaires to be critical of the aesthetic choices of a non-painting art collecting millionaire. Strike two. And finally (although I wish several more strikes were allowed in this game), Waldemar’s mum and dad raised him to be a sadist. Strike three.

A few rhetorical questions to follow, all with the answer of “no”…

Can a non-painting person ever catch even a chance glimpse into the creative impulses and results of a stranger who paints? Does the latter work a lifetime waiting for the opinion of people whom he or she does not like or love? Can posers like Waldemar reach the freedom of self liberation that all sensitive human beings on earth strive for? And finally, can an unhappy critic love a work of art enough to discontinue a professional life spent in mockery of those who seek freedom through art?

Waldemar is an adult man of the six-year-old child who bullied me in the schoolyard. Every day, Brad Davies would find me before the bell rang, to tell me it was time for my morning punch. Brad was big and scary. I don’t think he had any boxing training—just another nasty, unloved child set up against a kid who appeared weaker because he knew how to be kind. I just wanted to get it over with. And, every time, after keeling over, I felt freed to finish the day any way I liked. Brad was just a nuisance, like a bath or bowel movement, to whatever private adventures my 6 year old day would envelope.

That’s how I feel today about a person who attempts to criticize any effort I make to express my humanity as a 49 year old man. I also should mention that probably because of Brad, and the many other bullies to follow, I became a staunch protector and champion of the underdog. Reading Waldemar’s frightened distrust of painters  and especially his wrong knowledge of their painting processes, just turned my visceral anger nodules up to high and hot red.

How about those painters finally getting their chance at dishwasher salary success, eh Waldemar? Would the Times’ subscribers have been better served if  instead you championed the lucky painter’s wonderful breakthroughs? As an art critic, surely you must understand the humiliation, both public and private, that is daily suffered by human beings who “put themselves out there”? Waldemar, you of all people would understand this, correct? I mean, with extensive training in art history, you at least got a B in Private Struggle 101, yes?

No. Waldemar is an uncreative bully, a sadist, like little Brad Davies. He probably spent most of his college time in the fraternity practically hazing to death hopeful initiates. I see him snickering to his dumb buddies during the lesson on van Gogh. I suspect, had he the same job in 1880, (as every painter who just finished reading his article now knows), Waldemar himself would have offered a loaded pistol to van Gogh to end his “career” early on, and avoid all that unnecessary suffering.

My wife and I discussed Waldemar’s article earlier this morning. She didn’t want me to be too hard on him. She’s a very pretty woman, and as a young girl most likely did not suffer a daily Brad Davies’ abdominal pain. So, at times like these, over problems she rarely suffers in a workaday world of mutual politeness, I have to educate her on the subjects of art, man-made creation, and of those cowards especially, who seek to undo all that expression has to offer. I do this for her benefit, as well as mine. I have very strong opinions, but unlike Waldemar, I am not a public twit. And, I can admit to all and sundry that I am an artist who doesn’t even like art very much. And as an artist I can promise you, and I’ll stake my “career” success on it, that Waldemar, not only does not like art, but he is determined to punch it in the gut until it dies. His betters, who sell everything from recycled toenail clippers, to highly absorbent paper towels, would not have it any other way. They have an agenda. A world of artists would make for absolutely rotten consumers of the trite and inane. Millionaires of no creativity, and their huge army of inexpressive, deadpan soldiers like Waldemar, subsist to make creative people question their own powers of creation. They keep good people guessing while the sad people buy more useless crap to make the dumb millionaires even richer.

It will end someday when masses of humanity cease to put faith into the print media trolls of planet earth. Fortunately, there are few as insidious as the likes of a Waldemar Januszczak, that it shouldn’t take too much more time.

Finally, the last word, because this is my blog, and I don’t get paid for it.

In that same conversation with my wife this morning, she agreed that even if made to exist in this world as a dishwasher sharing the rent with other dishwashers for a flat on skid row, then I would continue to paint with pigments of hope and desire. Every day. Day after day. To know if Waldemar can be a valuable tool to criticize other people’s private and public joys we must ask ourselves if we think he would continue his craft if he wasn’t getting paid to do so?

Ha! The sadist without encouragement. Brad Davies crying in his pillow.

The art world knows very well that Waldemar is a coward. He would know it too if he dared some day to make his own painting. But he stopped learning a long, long time ago. I am going to take my wife’s advice, and be nice. May the art critic live a long, satisfied, myopic life, and die alone and soon forgotten even by his grandchildren. To the Saatchi painters he criticized for pay on a late autumn day, I give you the following advice and encouragement:

Just keep painting. Because even if you’re a total ass like Waldemar Januszczak, at least the progeny of your line must remember you for as long as it takes plastic or oil to disintegrate.

¡Viva la Stuckism!

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Seven Dingleberries Judging a Fool

dingleberries

2016. Acrylic on paper, 22 x 15″

I hate the word too. It makes me cringe. Certain words do that to me. Maybe I am grossly synesthesiac. I get a physical reaction to the utterance of some off color words. “Chunk” has the same effect. My muscles tighten. I visualize the word as a big square box and myself pushing it away. My sister and I made up a word when I was nine. “Balooka”. We were saying it all day long and that night my grandfather died. It was then I understood that words have power. A lot of power. A single word killed my grandfather. I imagined the awesome effect of whole phrases let loose on a population.

And it is done day after day all over the world. Bad words uttered carelessly. Innocent people suffer. Somalia could become a safe and happy land if wrong words were outlawed. “Boeing”, or “army” would be a start. Eliminate “general” from the vocabulary and local children will one day enjoy a worry-free ice cream cone on Secondo Lido Beach. Take out “warlord”, and not only do mothers look forward to motherhood, but some arrogant, ethnocentric English or American journalist gets his mouth washed out with soap.

Last night on the radio before Barack Obama spoke about why being a U.S. President is hard work killing people for the Pentagon, an NPR reporter named three nations’ governments: Russia, Iran, and then, with mention of Syria, spoke the word “regime” in place of “government”. Ah! There it is! Another word to make me cringe. I have been pushing that big box away ever since George W. Bush began his campaign to shrapnel embed  every Iraqi child north of Basra that his toy night vision goggles could spy pleading for mercy.

Now “regime” is a perfectly normal word, unlike “dingleberry”. However I believe the press as well as the President know its cringing power over Americans. We have heard its negative connotation more times than the people of North Korea have heard their equally powerful word “leader” spoken of in the positive.

I believe for the majority of people, words, even bad words, spoken over and over, can eliminate the initial cringing effect over time. Hence North Korea, and the dribbling idiocy of its people. And also America, where HBO and Donald Trump have made the word “pussy” as commonplace as “shit”—two words that I believe should be kept under one’s breath while scolding your cat for having her “diarrhea” miss the litter box. Those words make me cringe. One is a cat. One is so obvious and therefore unnecessary to talk about, and the last, in my mind, reveals the image of U.S. Civil War prisoners in Andersonville lined up on a plank suffering their dysentery.

Finally, this week I have heard the word “homeland” uttered twice on the radio. Our executive leader in Washington thinks Americans are losing faith in their government because of “partisanship”—another nasty word. Maybe for some. Especially the behavioral wanna-be North Koreans. Not for me though.  “Homeland” is the big white box I am pushing away and away. In it are all the foul-mouthed fascist lawyers pontificating an unlearned patriotism, agreeing on the common usage of more cringing words to aid an American regime in the further dissolution of a peaceful humankind.

NPR, my government radio station, likes to use the word “homeland”. Nazi radio used “Vaterland”. Both have already amounted to the same thing. Hitler and his foul-mouthed dingleberries used it to kill lots of people within old and new German borders. Likewise, our “homeland” dingleberries use it to kill lots of people outside United States borders, and set its own peoples intellectually against each other like starving rats in a cage.

Some words make me cringe. My modern Presidents, their “generals” and “intelligence” officers just don’t get it. They do not represent anyone at all. We have been disenfranchised. I did not want to vote for Hillary Clinton because as my senator, she voted to shrapnel embed other people’s children. Likewise, I did not want to vote for a New York City billionaire who is obviously so discumbobulated as to not know how to behave around a naked cat.

You curve your arm and pet from the head downward. You’ll know by the top of the spine if she’ll let you continue down the tail and up.

Three More From “A Jingo Holiday” Series

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“Jingoes #2 and #3 Toast the Holiday With Cold Russian Vodka, While Jingo Shovels the Walk for Santa” 2016. Acrylic on paper, 21 x 15″

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“Jingo #3 Wraps His Pitchfork to Give To Jingo #2 Secretly Hoping For a Self-igniting Torch Under the Christmas Tree” 2016. Acrylic on paper, 13 x 19″

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“Jingo Calls For An Eggnog Toast For Putting a Mad Dog in The Department of Defense” 2016. Acrylic on paper, 14 x 19″

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