Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The other night I was at a dinner party with friends and the conversation turned to Newburgh. Newburgh is a sorry little city just across the Hudson River from Beacon. Beacon has boutiques, galleries, and DIA. Newburgh has street gangs, grand old derelict buildings and a main drag that looks like the East Village in the 80's (minus the street traffic). My old man had an office in Newburgh from the 50's to the 70's. The place hasn't changed much. When I mentioned this at the party, someone asked what he did? "He was a stockbroker." I said with a mouthful of pork. Eyebrows were raised. "I thought you must've been one of those trust-fund kids." Far from it.
    I come from a family of five kids. We grew up middle class. We never wanted for much, but were not even close to "rich". A work ethic was installed in each one of us from birth. I had my first business at 10 years old. My grandfather and I raised earth worms in his basement and I sold them for 25 cents per doz. to the Jewish fishermen who would line up across our house on the Wallkill River. They prized the carp, that us hillbillies shot and tossed on the bank to rot. It was my first taste of the work-a-day world.
   A few years later I took over my sick grandfather's deer butchering business. At 14 I was going to school, wrestling practice, doing homework and butchering the town's deer hunters kills. Still following in Gramp's footsteps, when he died I inherited his job as the janitor at the elementary school, which I did until I graduated in 1970. I couldn't fucking wait to retire and be an artist.
   Through the years I've always worked, but rarely held a steady job for long. I've been semi-retired since I was 18. Money has never been that important to me. I inherited that from the old man. There are so many more things to prioritize. If I have enough to pay my bills, keep gas in the truck and beer in the fridge, I'm good. I can count on one hand the art works I've sold over a 35 year career. Has this stopped me? Far from it. These days if you hear anything about art (almost across the board), it is shrouded in the market aspect. Who's selling? Who's buying? What's the price? OR Why do we have to talk about who's selling and who's buying at what price? The art becomes extraneous, not even worth mentioning.
  It is in this atmosphere that I've decided to completely indulge myself with the production of objects, prints, paintings and collages. I'm cranking the shit out. I never really was a player in the art world, but I know plenty who are. So I've swallowed my pride and reached out to my more successful brethren for advice, a leg up, a table crumb. What did I get in return? Radio silence. Jeesh! It's not like I'm asking for a kidney here. Wait....let me check my email. One artist suggests I should show in back of a bar. Well, at least HE responded.
   In 1986 we formed The Church of the Little Green Man. When confronted with the price of admission we decided to ask the congregation to burn a dollar bill upon entry. We carry this tradition to this day. Anything more than a dollar is a BIG sin. The CLGM, like MO David, or any number of identities I work under never makes money. I write for free in this blog. I try to structure my life as an artist in a way that does not depend on the market/show place for my validation. Is this difficult? Fuckin'-A it is. You have to be creative in order to fill your day. For example: after I finish my blog I'm going to get my sex doll out of the church and begin covering her legs with fake tattoos. It's snowing lightly and the stove is hot. I can't think of a better life style. Keep your money and gallery shows. I'm doing fine.          


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home