Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Labels: PHOTO: MICHAEL O'NEILL
No it's not a new drink. Rather, it's the new way of traveling for couples, between the mountains and the beach. I'm the first to admit that I don't travel well anymore. Years of commuting everyday between the Catskills and Manhattan threw me into a kind of low level agoraphobia. Once I was off the commute I reveled in the freedom to stay put. My range shrunk to about a 30 mile circle. So when Shewho proposed a couples weekend with two of her favorite people, Eugene and Patricia O'Neil, out in "The Hamptons" I began to run a temperature and experience explosive diareah. As a driver I fear getting lost. As a navigator I fear Shewho's driving. There's no easy way around it. The solution? Go Guantanamo.
I didn't have an orange jump suit, but an old pair of Carharts did the trick. Adult diapers, a blindfold and pillow case over my head, some soft bindings for the hands and feet, and I curled up in the fetal position in the back seat, calm as a kitten. The gentle hum of the tires eventually put me to sleep. By the time I woke up we were passing through East Hampton, heading for Wainscott. "Keep your hood on dear." Shewho warned, knowing that glimpsing the opulence, and extremely well groomed men and women in striped sweaters and scarves, could trigger the diareah again. I heeded her advice. And before I knew it, the ignition was switched off and Shewho announced cheerfully "We're heeeere."
Just for yucks Shewho walked me to the door, still shackled and hooded. She presented some nice wine to our hosts and loosened my bindings. Our trip had been a complete success- no bickering, calm, relaxed. I recommend this way of traveling for anyone sharing my pathology, as does Shewho. Now if I could just get through a weekend without my kitten, I'll be fine.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Labels: PHOTO: KATE ORNE
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
CONFESSIONS OF AN URBAN ANIMIST
I've spent over 20 years hunting, killing and incorporating animals in my art work. Sometimes it's as simple as shooting a deer, taking the carcass to the taxidermist, laying it on the floor and telling my guy to "make it look just like that....dead." Other times it's a doe dragged from my trunk, across a length of canvas, leaving a "blood skid". It all depends on the piece. Most all taxidermists try to make a dead animal appear alive. It's high heresy to want the animal to look like what it actually is....dead. Hunters want that "live" mount on the wall. They want to look up from the TV and see that big buck staring, glassy-eyed off into space, so they can relive the moment when they loosed the arrow or pulled the trigger. I'm not one of those hunters. It's the buck hanging in the tree or piled up in the snow that does it for me. Death is an unavoidable part of the process. Why hide it?
My "guy" is Fernando Neves of Bethel, NY. He's done my mounts for over ten years. He gets it. He also raises whitetails and turkeys for sale to high fence preserves. This is livestock meant to be hunted and killed. So when I came to him with another idea for a new body of work he was receptive, if a bit cautious. My idea was to purchase a couple of deer and release them in the tamed urban environment- parks. NYC's Central Park already contained many "weedy" species like raccoons, skunks, 'possums, and even coyotes. Why not help the eco-system along with a few more? A week before doing my SFAI lecture a couple of deer, released into the Presidio, got onto the Golden Bridge. Thankfully no motorist nor deer were injured. This is an example of what can go wrong doing this sort of work.
An old idea I had for Central Park was releasing a breeding pair of wild turkeys, I would call Adam and Eve. Central Park is gigantic. My feeling was that if a hen and tom established residence and were lucky enough to have a surviving clutch, a population could flourish. Wouldn't it be nice to open your window at the Dakota in the Spring and hear turkeys gobbling? Neves listened and frowned. The DEC so closely regulated his "cervid" business, it would be impossible for him to help me with my task. I was on my own. Next step: google "cannon nets".
It's not easy to do any work in urban areas (outside of galleries) without breaking laws or being captured on camera. But it's not impossible. Obviously I can not mention specific acts or techniques I use in realizing these pieces. But I can say no animal was harmed in the process. My net is loaded. Time to hit the stand.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Labels: ARTIST; LIZ COHEN
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I woke up this morning with my neck covered in tiny little hickeys. It seems the underside of my beard looks like the sparse belly foliage of a mother cat. So after tossing the little neck sucker and surveying the damage in the mirror I went to the internet to research a solution to my nocturnal zombie kitten's cravings. They suggested filing the kitten's teeth down with a nail file and letting it suckle on my teat. It seems that after a week of having a kitten in the house most adults (male or female) will automatically lactate enough to satiate a kitten. Who knew? Hell, it was worth a try.
I couldn't find a nail file but I did have a piece of 80 grit sandpaper that did the trick. After about 20 minutes of struggle those little fangs were now non-offending nubs. Once he latched onto my nipple it wasn't altogether unpleasant. I'm a little chaffed, but maybe I can get some sleep tonight. I'm four sits into bow season and if I can get some shut eye, I'll make a morning stand. So far I've only gone out in the afternoon. I've seen bucks, but no shooters and nothing close. The past two nights have been busts. Nothing. One porcupine and one black squirrel were all I saw.
Last night Cheeky and I watched SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. I've never been able to get through that film. I think WWII was shorter. But Cheeky seemed to really enjoy it. Every bullet whizzing by, crashing into Hollywood bone and flesh elicited a more excited response from the kitten. He flipped, chased his tail, danced on his back feet, licked his little asshole and got as close to the screen as he could. Tonight I made chili and we're gonna watch HOMELAND. As I write this he crawls under my sweatshirt. Oh Ok.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Labels: Neves Taxidermy- Bethel
Friday, October 3, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Labels: PHOTO:© GEORGE HOLZ
THE FAILURE OF ART
I know for years I've talked about how important failure is in life and art, but that's not what I want to discuss here. What with a recent lecture, a class and an interview, I've been soul searching more than usual, pondering just what art and artists do for society at large. Are we a force for good or evil? Or just tools of the capitalist elite? What better depository of information than the interweb in finding a few answers? But what to google? Evil art? Good art? Goddamnit, the kitten just ran across my computer and hit "u" and "p". Before I knew it Kate Orne's Upstate Diary came up. Coming soon....I think in November. As I was preparing to go back, I noticed a little item on a diary found upstate. You can't beat google for distraction. I clicked. Damned if this didn't send me down the dark road I had been searching out all along. Follow me. It's some scary shit.
This diary happened to be the lost pages of famed Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg? Sounds Jewish. The pages had been lost since the Nuremberg trials, only to surface in 2013 in some law clerk's office up near Buffalo. Off to Wikipedia. And wouldn't you know it, like his boss Hitler, Rosenberg was an artist. He studied with the Estonian painter Ants Laikmaa. And guess what? Like the young Adolf, he was frustrated, angry, and not very talented. Still, he was inspired through the arts. Circumstances put the book FOUNDATIONS OF THE 19TH CENTURY in his hands. This book was written by racist Brit author Houston Stewart Chamberlain, leading to Rosenberg's own anti-semetic ramblings THE MYTH OF THE 20TH CENTURY. Arguably the architect of Nazi thought and practice was another frustrated artist, Wagner's son-in-law H.S. Chamberlain- an Englishman.
It's common knowledge that Hitler was an artist. What he couldn't accomplish through the academy, he realized through the politics of brutality. Rosenberg, in sympathy with Hitler and his limited talent, was crucial in establishing the "Final Solution" as well as the plundering of thousands of works of "degenerate" art stolen from Jewish homes across Europe. His evil knew no bounds.
Chamberlain, Rosenberg, Hitler, and all the rest used art (or it's denial) as a source for some of the most evil acts perpetuated on mankind in history. And in these times of drones, rape, mass murder and be-headings, how does art figure? Or does it? To the Taliban, ISIS, Al Quaida, and who knows how many splinter groups, art comes in the form of a Youtube video. Formally we can pick it apart. Nice location. Well produced. A little cheezy on the graphics. Wait for the money shot......Looks like art has failed us once again.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Labels: PHOTO: KATE ORNE
Last night I went down the road to share a steak and taters with GNJohn and Pigpen. I hadn't seen anybody since I'd been back from SF and it felt good to be resting in the fold. Between my new kitten Cheeky, a visit with Teehoo, and being out at WSSP, I hadn't been around the hood much. Pigpen worked the ipod and GNJ whipped up a great meal. I watched the sun set, as two does grazed, just across Ray Gilkey's (Fran's) fence line. Because this is a bad year for apples the orchard stand would be relatively worthless. My plan was to hunt Majestic in the morning. Then Kandy showed up and we cracked open the Wild Turkey. There was no way I'd make it into a tree at dawn.
Early bow season starts slow. I usually have some sort of manic carpentry project going, but this year all's quiet on the front. I can't say i mind. So, if I wanted I could get obsessive and throw myself into it. But, I'm not feeling it. It's too warm. The woods are still thick. The deer feel no need to move. Yet, as my hangover subsided I felt the pull. I could sit here on the couch, hand wrestling the kitten and watching bad TV, or I could get in the stand. I chose the later.
The woods are incredible, vibrant, a splendiforously resplendent glorious explosion of autumnal release. A light rain had soften the bed of leaves, allowing me to silently deposit my ass above the pavilion, in the stand I gut shot the big 7 out of last year. I jumped one going in. All I saw was a flag. I took a watch with me. I was in the stand by 4:30 pm. The first sit is never easy. I fidget. I space out. I get bored. But at least I wasn't cold. And the rain had stopped. When i finally settled in, all the smells and sounds and the wind out of the ENE, light and variable, reminded me why I do this. At 6:20 I climbed down. I hadn't seen a deer.
Just as I neared the pavilion, where there now lays a big blow down across the path, a deer jumped up. It was nice sized buck. He'd been bedded just the other side of the blow down. His horns weren't much, but he had a big body. I never had a shot with the bow, but a few years back I would've taken a crack with the gun. Ahhhhhhhhh. That made the afternoon. It was dark by the time I got home and Cheeky met me at the door. The season has begun.