Friday, October 30, 2020

ROCKET AND I


 Photo: Sara Budde

#SAVETHECHILDRENFORDESSERT

 "I don't know anything about QAnon, but I hear they are very strongly against pedophilia. So am I."- Donald J. Trump

   I feel reassured. You never know with Trump. He easily could've pointed out some "very good pedophiles on both sides" or left it up to the states. What business is child sex abuse to William Barr? He's busy with the Antifa and the Bidens. Wait, isn't the left riddled with pedophiles? Maybe the DNC and Bidens should be investigated for pedophilia. Instead of disavowing QAnon Trump aligned with this crackpot bunch of flat earthers (who he knows nothing about) who have professed undying allegiance to their invisible cult leader Q and his earthly manifestation, Trump. These Q nuts vote. And surprise, surprise, Trump knows all about them. Kids (abused or otherwise) don't vote. They are expendable.

    Children have been a big part of global victimhood historically, and many times used and abused physically and politically by both church and the state. QAnon's outrageous fantasies of Democrat child sex rings and pizza parlor basements make flat earth theories sound plausible. Yet, these narratives ring true for millions...... YES....millions of Q followers. This is a new wrinkle of child sex abuse in of itself. When pedophilia becomes the core element of a politically motivated conspiracy theory aimed at getting Trump four more years, the actual child victims of pedophilia and their endured sexual terror at the hands of adults are minimized. Trump is complicit in QAnon's rape of the truth, crackpot theories and hijacking of NGO hashtags. Children are mere tools to attain their desired ends of a Trump political dynasty. They care nothing for the real victims of child sex abuse.

   I love kids. No. Not in that way. Get your mind out of the gutter. Being the eldest of five children, I've always been around them. I don't have any myself, but my nieces and nephews operate like puppy mills, so I'm still around plenty of them.  Kids like me too. This is because I talk to them like adults and allow the rugrats to wail on me without fear of reprisal. I'm no "bad grandma" disciplinarian. Even when the parents allow me to clock the brats when they act up or misbehave, I resist. That's their job-- if they choose that route. My bark can stop most tykes in their tracks and I never have to lift my hand. Kids are very similar to pack animals. Jerk the chain (metaphorically speaking)...then give them a treat. Orange Osti chips work great!

    I know all you parents reading this must think I'm full of shit. But remember I'm speaking as an uncle, great uncle, old weird artist neighbor and pretend minister-- not a parent. Most kids respond to me specifically because I am childless, snide and fun. No competition. I can have my influence on children and leave them to the mater and pater familia at the end of the day. If my stepdaughter was reading this (or talking to me) she'd probably agree with you; that I know nothing about parenting. I'll readily admit that. But I do know that I will always align with the youth and if they don't over stay their welcome, (hint, hint) you can always trust me with your kids. As for QAnon followers, politicians or my fellow clergy members I make no such promises in that regard. You kids are fair game to be exploited by groups like QAnon, evil manipulative clergy and singularly focused assholes like Trump, until you can fight back. Even one of my nieces was a beauty queen in one of Trump's Miss Whatever franchises. I blame the parents. Let's hope they all learned their lesson. I'm not confident  If her father votes for Trump AGAIN all might be lost. Hold onto your childhood for dear life and don't ever trust adults. You kids just may survive. #savethechildrenfordessert    

     

           

Thursday, October 29, 2020

AMERIKLAN- studio view


 

KU KLUX KLOWN defeated by some girl


 Photo: Samm Kunce

IN DEFENSE OF AMBIGUITY

   I know we are used to being divided, polarized into viewing things in terms of black and white (or red and blue). Remember a time when it wasn't so? Remember when "shades of grey" wasn't just a creepy soft core porn movie? It's difficult. In the art world it's been happening for a while. Philip Guston is only the latest to fall under the cancel culture ax. Where's the outrage? It is of course divided across the board.

   Here's the thumbnail of this latest art world tempest: Famous, revered by both the market and institutions, critically acclaimed, dead artist Philip Guston had a major retrospective of his work planned for a traveling show at four major museums to begin in 2021- The Tate Modern in London, The National Gallery in Washington DC, The Museums of Fine Arts in both Boston and Houston.  But something happened. Together these institutions issued a joint statement reading:    

‘After a great deal of reflection and extensive consultation, our four institutions have jointly made the decision to delay our successive presentations of Philip Guston Now. We are postponing the exhibition until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston’s work can be more clearly interpreted.’ Going on to explain, ‘We plan to present a reconsidered Guston exhibition in 2024 and will work together to do so.’

   That prompted this response from Guston's family and art world scholars: "Guston’s daughter Musa Mayer quoted in The New York Times, [said] that she was ‘deeply saddened’ by the decision to postpone the exhibition, going on to declare that he ‘dared to unveil white culpability, our shared role in allowing the racist terror that he had witnessed since boyhood,’ and that ‘these paintings meet the moment we are in today. The danger is not in looking at Philip Guston’s work, but in looking away.’

    Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art at Tate Modern, who had been working on the show, took to social media to express his dismay, reiterating Mayer’s comments about Guston’s anti-racist position and writing, as part of a lengthy statement, that: ‘Cancelling or delaying the exhibition is probably motivated by the wish to be sensitive to the imagined reactions of particular viewers, and the fear of protest. However, it is actually extremely patronising to viewers, who are assumed not to be able to appreciate the nuance and politics of Guston’s works.’ Before going on to suggest that the reasons for the postponement (which he equates to a cancellation) have little to do with Guston’s work and more to do with the institutions’ lack of faith in their curators and lack of belief in the intellect of the general public.

Godfrey’s statement echoed the thoughts of eminent art-historian Robert Storr (author of a recent biography of Guston), who said: ‘If the National Gallery of Art, which has conspicuously failed to feature many artists-of-colour, cannot explain to those who protect the work on view that the artist who made it was on the side of racial equality, no wonder they caved to misunderstanding in Trump times.’- from ArtReview Sept. 25, 2020

    Would that this was only a problem in the high end art world. The other night at Samm's super spreader birthday party a guest suggested that the time may not be right to sport my TRUMP bumper stickers with the "T" in the form of a burning cross on your car or pickup truck. The argument was that the sticker could be seen as Pro-Trump and not understood at 60 mph. THAT is exactly the idea, and dare I say the point of both my and Guston's art. When that Statey is closing the distance on my truck I want him to think that TRUMP sticker is for his guy, cutting me some slack until he blasts by and then thinks to himself, "Was that a burning cross? Was that an anti-Trump truck?" Too late. I drive home safely. If now isn't the time, when?

   Since 2012, at the beginning of the second Obama administration, when the crackers of this world became more and more emboldened by Trump and his birtherism, when unarmed black men, women and children increasing died at the hands of police, when racism seemed to be back in a big way, I started incorporating racist, Klan imagery in my work. Guston was one of my influences. When I lit a handheld, burning cross during the Foxy Boxing match of Ku Klux Klown the congregation was aghast. When I created Ameriklan in response to Trump's flag hugging stunts I was warned that people would not understand. Like it or not I am not beholding to anyone and ask no permission to display this work. Ultimately I trust my audience will grasp the nuance, the ambiguity and embrace the anti-racist message my work embodies. The museum boards that are controlled by money (much Republican) can all go fuck themselves. It's a shanda! They are failing the people with their narrow mindedness.       

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

GIRL IN SHOWER


 Photo: George Holz

IN THE BUBBLE

 Living here in Covid Dale we are safe.....so far. While the second (or first) wave of Covid-19 infections are raging across the country and Trump continues his "We Give Up" tour of denial, we remain secluded in our hidden penetralia. We wear masks and take simple social distance precautions in public that have become second nature. Some take greater risks by coming and going to NYC but most remain isolated and healthy. I changed Cheeky's litter last night and this morning he took a nice big shit in the clean box. Life is good.

  2020 has become the year of lowered expectations. My bar was already set so low I may have to dig a trench. The one exhibition I had planned is now postponed indefinitely. Grants? All rejections. Jobs? Non-existent. Record deal? Ha! That's funny. Publishing? Here I continue to be persistent. Whoever I know that has even the slightest connection with the written word I send files and ask for help getting anything in print. Recently I contacted my old friend and ex PAPER magazine publisher DH pleading for a leg up anywhere. He suggested I try the art world route- a small publishing house/gallery called Karma in the East Village and famous artist Richard Prince. With absolutely nothing to lose I sent a cover letter (with CLGM documentary) off to each. No response.

    This is why I love and cannot stop deer hunting. My success to failure rate in the woods is about on par with my creative career as a whole. Years keep piling up. Sitting in a tree for hours at a time, seeing nothing but chattering squirrels and the odd porcupine is a metaphor. Obscurity? It would take a lot more attention to attain that welcome status. A big buck on the ground? You have to see a deer first. The parallels between art and hunting slap me in the face every time the alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am. Do you keep at it or just pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep? Today the rain (and failures) kept me snuggled up with Cheeky in bed. That's why I'm home writing this on Oct. 28th.

    October has been a disappointment. Early buck sightings are now a distant memory. I'm seeing no movement whatsoever-- not even does. The weather has been mild, making long sits easy, but with no deer incredibly boring. With the promise of temps tumbling and snow coming on Friday this all may change in an instant. Deer move on pressure shifts and weather fronts (warm or cold) moving through. Plus, if that buck crossing Church Road last Friday with his nose on a doe's ass is any indication the rut should be kicking in any day now. I have to hang in there. 

    The deer herd and the population of Covid Dale seem to be weathering the pandemics just fine. It all looks promising for the mammalien population on all fronts.  Chances of raising my profile a bit in the art or literary world? Not so much. But let's keep things in perspective. The skies are clearing. Time to get in the tree. Keep those expectations on the ground. Cheeky's headed for his box. Another dump? As my old man used to love to say. You have to keep a good attitude and regular bowel movements. Good boy Cheeky!