Monday, February 20, 2012


   Last week I had no idea where my next dollar was coming from. Then I got a dinner invite from Diamond Dave. DD and his wife bought the old pink house across Denniston Bridge a couple of years back and have turned it into a show place. They call it Trussbridge farm. Besides renovating the house they built a a brand new barn with a couple of apartments and a cavernous garage where Diamond Dave wants to install a groovy hangout called THE BARn. Stage one left him a bit unsatisfied with the man cave look, so after dinner, wine and some excellent herb, he asked if I would be interested "gaying" it up a bit. Originally it was to be GNJohn and I working our magic, but GNJ backed out due to previous commitments at Denniston Hill, leaving me and my loyal companion Levi to do the work. Just like that I was once again employed.
    So yesterday being Sunday i took my last day of leisure to play guitar, write a song, watch bad TV, smoke weed and run rampant on facebook. When I don't have much to post I like nothing better than to search for interesting topics to stick my nose into. Now that we've all gotten used to the idea of Mike Kelley being dead, lets see.....what's popping? My first comment was regarding a pic. Kenny Schacter had posted of a pink motorcycle with an ugly old tranny dressed in a baby doll dress. He was some artist who I never heard of. I made some crack about "the grande tradition of Brit motor clubs..." and moved on. Then I see the little message thingy light up. It was from some guy who recognized my name on the comment from the old PURPLE GEEZUS days. He was hot to "rediscover" PG and get all our old material out. I played along for a flurry of emails, then all went silent. Some things never change. I stopped caring about putting out a record in 1989.
    Late in the day I bored and went back online. This time it was a simple question posed by Jane Harris wondering why "adequate was good enough for art writing?"that caught my eye. I'll bite, why? There were a lot of comments already. As i scrolled down the list, this guy Tim Porges seemed to have an awful lot to say. One of his comments included the term "lifestyle artist". Outside of myself, I'd never heard anyone use that term. So I commented- "What the hell is a lifestyle artist?" This guy Porges must've just had a bump, because a long rather testy explanation followed, ending with "Who the hell is Mike Osterhout?" In the spirit of civil discourse JH interceded, explaining her interpretation of "lifestyle artists" as "many who play at being an artist for the social status it might accord." Now i know she and Mr. Porges don't mean that in a good way but.....BINGO! Goddamn right, that's why I became an artist. People only paid attention to one carpenter I know of, and look what happened to him. I never had much truck with the "ART=LIFE" bunch. Too boring. So I always tell students my work is more art as lifestyle than art as life. That way whatever you may want to contextualize as your work is open to you- rock band, gallery, school, church, whorehouse, hunting, or even painting and object making. Where I diverge from the definition......I ain't playing. And as far as art writing goes, snort meth, use big words and write really small. That should be more than adequate.          


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