Monday, August 31, 2015
THE POLITICAL ACTION OBJECTS
Recently I was introduced as an "advocate". For what exactly, I have no idea. But I liked the sound of it. I've never been too political in my work, or otherwise. i think the last protest I went to was for Huey Newton's funeral in Oakland. Before that it was after those students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State. Years go by. I missed the anarchists and the Occupy movement. And I've always felt political art work to be out of my sphere. It always seems too heavy handed. But recently I've found it creeping into my sculpture nonetheless. Who can not be moved by this slowly tightening mortal coil? It's gotta come out somehow.
Wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, famine, drought, bone crushing poverty in Africa, and destabilization throughout the world is fueling the beginning of a great migration into Europe. And in this country immigration and talk of thousand mile walls and fences by all Republican Presidential candidates is turning right from xenophobia to paranoid bigotry. The less than cival discussion led by the mean clown Donald Trump. Every candidate's speech starts with the flat out statement that our country has gone to hell and they know how to fix it. That large tub of bile Chris Christy would put a "lowjack" tracking device on every visa holder entering this country. Sounds a little like "pre-crime". We know you are gonna overstay your welcome. We just want to know where to arrest you when you do.
But Trump takes the cake for vitriol. And all those "Bubbas" and "Bubbettes" in the heartland lap that caustic shit up like hogs at the trough. Most have never seen an "immigrant" but they sure as hell know they are the cause of gas prices going up and the kiddie pool springing a leak last week. Trump's base could never be faulted for being wishy-washy. They believe him. I'm sure Hitler's beer hall buddy's believed him. Don't get me wrong I'm not comparing The Donald to Hitler......wait........yeah I am. That was another mean spirited clown, with a bad comb over, that blamed an entire people for all that was wrong with society. Do I see a mustache in your future Donald?
Monday, August 24, 2015
Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
EMBRACE YOUR STUPIDITY
You know you are a hillbilly when the waitress at the diner takes a spider off your hat, gently releasing it out the door, before taking your order. "Ringworm summer" is nearing an end. Who knew one little kitten could wreck such havoc in our lives. Shewho got it. Cheeky got it. And for some reason I seem to be immune. All those years of less than stellar house keeping have finally paid off. My homegrown fungi stood steadfast, not letting the ringworm in. Soon the quarantine will be lifted, the kitchen will be done, and I'll be able to freeze to death in a treestand....without guilt.
I turned 83 on Friday. I never would've even known that, had not little bro Duke called with best wishes. For years I've forgotten other's birthdays. Now I forget my own. Seems only fitting. Then on Sat. we all gathered at Wolf Lake to bring it in in style. From two year old rug rats poking their fingers in my birthday cake, to 90 year old elders taking it all in with wise smiles, I am an extremely lucky man. Beautiful supermodels, kids screaming, kisses from Shewho and dog fights under the picnic table. Who could ask for more?
My life when viewed as a microcosm is perfection personified. 10 years in SF, 10 years in NYC and 20 years in the Catskills has refined my craft to the degree that my art work comes relatively easily. I don't so much "make it" as "discover it" in the shadows of my mind's recesses, hanging it on the wall, laying it on the floor, plopping it on the front lawn. There's no anguish involved in its creation. But then when the question is inevitably raised (and it always is) Do I sell? Do I show? I fall silent. Why not? I have no answer. I feel the pressure. Why have I not met the most basic of expectations? My stomach turns.
Do I need a show or a sale to make work? No. Obviously I am known as an artist because I took an outsider's approach, forgoing the gallery or museum system, out of necessity. Recently I did an interview with Chuck, for a little magazine. We sat in the same room, smoked up, emailing Q and A's back and forth. It was a fun exercise. I was afraid of whining about how fucked it all seemed. But to my surprise we both took it seriously enough to dig a little deeper. I realized one of the most important aspects of being an artist was not knowing what you are doing and embracing it. How I've made it this far in such ignorance is a victory of sorts. If I was even a little bit smarter I would've quit this shit years ago. Happy Birthday to me.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
UTILIZE WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN
I'm finally back at the shack. Shewho got a kitten that gave her kitteneyetous. She finally got a cat that wants to snuggle (unlike the aloof Cheeky) and she can't touch the thing fer fear of catching more cooties.. Thankfully this all coincided with the return to running water and cable TV at my place. Banishment was coming. The kitchen is far from done, but I can make coffee and take a bath. Comfort is returning. I was now able to give Jerry, my '84 Ford pickup, a chance to rest, and get off the commute. Too bad it came to late.
This morning, after installing new belts and a water pump, Jerry overheated on my way to Glen Wild. I made it home, called Shewho, who was in Michigan. Don't ask. I had to get her AAA digits, in order to get towed back to WSS. Ect. Then I dialed Triple A. FUCK! "Press one." the voice commanded. I was down to two rotary phones, a truck with a blown head gasket and a tree down in the front of the house. I looked at my feet. And there was a little white slip of paper. I picked it up. It was an old fortune cookie fortune. It read: Utilize what you have been given. I hung up the phone and called Shewho back. She made the tow happen from Michigan. That's only one of the reasons why I love her.
So now it's me and the cat with no food (cat or person) in the house, four beers, and a can of sardines. That will be dinner for the two of us. I know I should get a push button phone, but I just can't bring myself to buying another crappy one. They all die too soon. I know the rotaries will outlast me. Their proud bakalite sturdiness will withstand anything, even I, can throw at them. Not so the pick up. Jerry's showing his age. He's got so many issues i don't know if he'll even make it through the winter. Another $2000 and the For Sale sign is going on. I don't want to. I'm more attached to him than I was to Shirley. But if he doesn't keep going, the concrete truck may have to be called. At least they won't make me press one. Utilize what you have been given.