Thursday, June 12, 2008


This was the greeting I recieved from a rather large woman in a bright orange moo-moo and goggle sunglasses, sitting in a lawn chair on Bedford in Williamsburg. I turned and smiled and got a blown kiss. It's the beard. My decision to once again let the shrubbery grow wild has made me an oddity in this close cropped world. My mom hates it. My friends roll their eyes and inform me how much younger I would look without it. But little kids are fascinated by it. Mean dogs steer clear, Imans and Rabbis give me the nod and not just a few gangly models yank on it for good luck. My mom hates the tattoos also, but she still loves me.
My week in NY so far has been a flurry of activity. The opening went well, albiet a sweltering confab. I timed the show to coincide with an early summer heat wave, that refuses to let go. And yesterday i went to visit the set of MOTHERHOOD in the West Village. They were shooting on a roof top and I got fried. My host Horst is the 1st AD on this picture, written by Katherine Deikman, and starring Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards. I got the tour, met Uma and got Tony Edwards on Disposable TV. Minnie is 7 months preggers and in no mood. I've completed one painting and begun work on another, went to the Chris Burden press preview for his erector set skyscraper, a book signing for NO REGRETS (a book on bad tattoos) and hit my old haunt Max. Fish. Chuckles McC has been my guide and I've been having a blast. But back to the beard.
I was an early bloomer. Hell, I don't think I even had pubes until I was 27. But then something happened. One morning I looked in the mirror and there it was-a whisker. I shaved it and the next morning there were more. My first beard was a goatee. Once again in the clean shaven 80's i looked out of place. The growth looked more 50's. But I dug my hep patch. Over the years I let it come and go. Then the grey moved in and now it's totally white. Like the hair (which I've stopped cutting), letting the beard grow down to my belly is one less thing I have to worry about. Looking younger? Who gives a shit. Youth is overrated. And if little kids think I'm Santa, dogs cross the street, with their tails tucked, and crazy ladies in moo-moos blow me kisses, all the more reason to spare the shears. I ain't shaving any time soon.


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