Saturday, February 4, 2012


   I've always been firm in my belief that it is just as important to stop things as it is to start them. That said, I draw the line at the ultimate free will decision given all of us- suicide. Not that I've never considered it. I don't think there's too many artists out there (successful or not) who haven't at least in passing, thought of eating a bullet. It seems to come with the territory. This past week has been a tough one in the arts and entertainment world. Two major figures, SOUL TRAIN'S  Don Cornelius and the king of messy, arrested development, punk-boy art Mike Kelley both took it upon themselves to leave this mortal coil. After all the sadness and glowing tributes to both, what are we left with? Why?
   According to anecdotal accounts Mike's was over a woman. I haven't heard Don's reason. The fact is anything short of having a terminal illness and taking things in your own hands.....and even that seems a cop out, just sounds hollow. Death has always indirectly fascinated me in my work. I bought and branded a cow in 1980 only to have get hit and killed by a truck. My plan was to let it live a natural life. Turned out it's natural life was only a year. These days I hunt and kill animals as part of my art process. Their deaths literally feed my artistic community. That is my concern (above my personal and artistic selfishness). I know if I committed suicide my community would be incredibly disappointed. They'd kill me. Didn't Mike and Don think of this?
   In 2000 I purchased a small piece of woods surrounded by cemeteries in order to have a place to spread the ashes of the congregation. If nothing else I want my work to out live me. The community responded positively. They also want to be remembered fondly. We all have a finite amount of time. Like MY COW it may be cut short by a pick up truck. If it is, so be it. Or like some, you may hit 100 and still be kicking. The CLGM has few rules- no spitting, arm punching or berating your friends in public. I'd like to add another one. NO SUICIDES! There's no room in my cemetery for quitters. Otherwise, die old and leave a mess. I prepare a place for you.


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