Monday, August 22, 2011




I'm sitting here in the gallery, incessantly swatting flies. I couldn't even get that sentence written....nor this one..... without picking up the swatter and going on the attack. There. I just killed one more and he landed on my keyboard. Yesterday i turned 69. A bunch of friends came over and the doors stayed open for hours. Hence the flies.
   I didn't always love people so much. in fact i didn't like them very much at all. But, I tell you, it is so refreshing to be around loved ones and even a few strangers, as I get older by the minute. Like my cats, I think I am changing personalities.....some would say "Thank God." I still don't think much of people as a species but one on one, or in small very select groups I find them delightful.
   My young French friend Ptolemy has come to visit and although 50 years separate us, conversation is easy and relaxed. Last night after the party we chilled out watching THE WIRE. "I love THE WIRE." Ptol exclaimed. He doesn't have a TV in France, so I asked who turned him onto this fine series? "Obama." he replied. "Excuse me?" I thought I had heard him wrong. I hadn't. "I heard an interview with President Obama and he talked about how good THE WIRE was. (Two more flies down. One buzzing in my beard.) Obama was quoted as saying how interesting the Omar character was. Omar was the super-human gangster with an extreme attitude towards drug dealers....a vigilante's vigilante. Ptol and I agreed with Obama on this issue. We liked Omar also. The OG had a code. Shit, in THE WIRE the cops don't even have a code.
  Then as the episode ended we saw Omar, dead on the morgue slab. Fuck! We had missed Omar meet his demise. So we switched to CNN and the war in Libya. Kadaffy was to fall at any minute! Yet, like those flies eluding my swatter, by the time I hit the sack Libya was still in full on kill mode. "Until the bitter end." I'm sure it will all work out. What I want to know is who shot Omar?      

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TREBUCHET (TRAP) 1917-1964 2nd version

TREBuCHET (TRAP) 1917-2011


From now until the end of the Tobias Yves Zintel show at MO David North on Sept. 30, I've given him the use of huntingwithsupermodels to write about whatever he wants. Recently I told him about finding what I believe to be Marcel Duchamp's Trebuchet in a little thrift store in the Catskills. Here's TYZ's essay on same.


   In Duchamp's words: "...a real coat hanger that I wanted sometime to put on the wall and hang my things on but I never did come to that- so it was on the floor and I would kick it every minute, every time I went out- I got crazy about it and I said the Hell with it, if it wants to stay there and bore me, I'll nail it down....and then the association with the Readymade came and it was that. It was not bought to be a Readymade- it was a natural was nailed where it was and then the idea came....."
from unpublished interview with Harriet Janis

In Osterhout's words: "I was picking around in this thrift store I like to visit and I spotted this nice coat hanger in the corner on the floor. It had these beautifully curved hooks that were mounted to a nice piece of oak. It was very well made and old. So I bought it and gave it to Samm Kunce for  St. Valentine's Day. But I was lazy and didn't bother to put it up for her, so it laid on the floor in the kitchen for months. Every time I went in and out of the back door I kicked it and muttered "One of these days I gotta put that thing up." Then one day I tripped over a pile of books at Samm's house and the top book happened to be a Duchamp catalog from his MOMA show in 1974.
  I sat down and started to leaf through the book. It was then that I discovered a photo of Duchamp's NYC studio in 1917. There on the floor in the photo was the exact same coat hanger. I compared Samm's with the Duchamp and it was the same object. I then screwed it to her floor in her bedroom."

In Zintell's words: When Mike Osterhout told me this story I thought he was bullshitting me. Knowing MO you have to take everything he says with a grain of salt. So after I was suspicious he took me out to Samm Kunce's house and showed me the piece. My God. It was the exact profile of the original. A lost Duchamp Readymade found in a shop? Could it be? I asked if he had found a signature? Osterhout explained that the original was only shown once and was never signed. In my research I discovered this was in fact true. The Holy Grail!
   Trebuchet is a chess term meaning to use your pawns as a rouse- to be tripped over. If in fact this is the original "Trap" two artists, nearly one hundred years apart, had almost the same experience with this object. But what of the signature?  The iconic FOUNTAIN- 1917 urinal was signed R. Mutt and rejected from The Independents exhibition in 1917 (the original also being lost). It gained fame as a Stieglitz photograph not a sculpture. It wasn't until 1951 that Duchamp redid this piece for a Sidney Janis show, of course re-signing. The signature was now all important.
   So this begs the issue. Is the found coat rack "Trebuchet- 2011" a Duchamp even if it is the exact object that Marcel Duchamp nailed to his studio floor in 1917? Is the "art" inherent in the object or the signature? Or conversely can the signifying be satisfied by Osterhout's discovery (tripping over) the Duchamp MOMA catalog and subsequent manipulation by screwing it to the floor. Upon inspection I found no nail holes, rather two screw eyes. Could Duchamp have mis-translated nailed with screwed? Or he could have bent nails over the screw holes. Such technical details are long lost and unimportant. Comparing the Kunce Trap to the 1917 photo it looks identical.
   My old professor Joseph Kosuth is quoted in the Duchamp catalog: "All art (after Duchamp) is conceptual (in Nature) because art only exists conceptually." I concur. I think Marcel Duchamp, if he were alive would enjoy this discussion. Obviously (no disrespect) this coat rack would be worth quite a bit more as a Duchamp, rather than an Osterhout. Yet I see the collaboration brings a fresh element to this heretofore rather obscure Duchamp  "Not quite Readymade". Is it a Duchamp? I don't know. Is it an Osterhout? Yes. Definitely.  Will it become something greater than the two? Stay tuned.        

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


  Everyone knows Tobias Yves Zintel is a German artist of note. But few realize that he has been writing criticism for years under various names. I sat down with him recently to discuss his eclectic approach to getting criticism in print.

MO- You were born in Munich in 1975. What were you doing in the 90's?
TYZ- I was working various dead-end jobs and going to art school. Germany at the time was still reeling from reunification. Many people from the East were flooding West. It was like being stuck in the arm with a syringe filled with energy. The "Easties" had no documentation. They were starting fresh. I coveted their anonymity. There was a small group of us working together. So I decided to steal an established critic's name to write about my friends and myself.
MO- Who was your first critic?
TYZ- I was only 20 in 1995 but I was fascinated by the way critics wrote about artists. Even older artists whose work bored me....I found the criticism more interesting than the art. In a bin outside my flat I found an old catalog from a show by Sigmar Polke. There was an essay by Friedrich Durrenmatt. I decided to steal his name and write about my own work in super-glowing ways under this name.
MO- Did you get published?
TYZ- I published it myself on a xerox machine and got my friends to pass it around school. We were all so naive, but in a way this worked. I had no idea I was doing anything wrong or illegal. In art you have a duty to push the boundaries of what is accepted. Eventually it got in the hands of the school authorities and I was censored.
MO- Censored?
TYZ- They told me I would be kicked out of school if I did it again.
MO- But you did, no?
TYZ- Yes, of course. Who ever was publishing in the art magazines at the time I would steal their name and eventually I got published.
MO- Whose name finally got you in print?
TYZ- I can't say.
MO- Will you review your show here at MO David North?

At this point TYZ indicated that the interview was over and his handlers ushered him out of the room.

Friday, August 5, 2011


The siege of Glen Wild continues. But in between setting trail cams. and checking trip wires, the Tobias Yves Zintel show is shaping up nicely. I don't want to jinx it but I think it's going to be a hit. This guy is so easy to work, amiable, young. Such a nice refreshing change from my frustrating try at bringing back from the dead Ethelbert Crawford. I haven't totally given up on EBC, but for now let him lie in the trunk in the library attic. TYZ is more relevant, less 90's. And I mean 1890's.
  The Catskill Cliche Church had it's first rehearsal and more and more Hassidim are pulling over in their mini-vans taking pictures of the TYZ- GOD LOVES FAGS  billboard. The guy may profess to not be provocative but his shit is getting the hairy eyeball for sure. "Provocation is super-lame." he writes. A contradiction no? In either case this German quasi- Satanist is getting the attention of the Tribe. I never thought anything I did on this side of the road could compete with camels.
   Just yesterday i queried a couple of young Hasid men in regard to the TYZ billboard. "Does it offend you?" I asked politely. "It's not true." answered the older of the two. "That's your opinion." I said. "Well things that aren't true offend me." he countered. Well I could dig that. We had common ground. To be honest I don't think Tobias Yve's Zintel knows if God Loves Fags. I don't think he knows if God even cares. But I also know that the Hasid doesn't know either. "The reason I ask." Getting back to conversation. "Is a bunch of Hassidim teenagers tore apart that billboard."
    I had the idea he knew where I was going with this. "Well...." he admitted "You shouldn't destroy private property." "Thank You."

The Tobias Yves Zintel billboard and his upcoming show have opened up a necessary, albiet provocative (intentional or not) fissure in the wall that has been built here in the Catskills. Be you Hasid, secular jew, mouth breathing hillbilly local, mobbed up italian, Ashram devotee or fag this show is for you.

Monday, August 1, 2011



I think it started with the post office asking me for proof of my address. I'd been receiving my mail at a PO box for 16 years. In fact my house never had an actual number until recently. Here in the sticks it was not unusual for your house to have no street number. That's why you got your mail at the post office. So, of course, all my I.D. has my PO box on it...not a street address. See the problem? I tried to make the Post Mistress recognize the Kafkaesque folly of this request to no avail. "YOU HAVE TO SHOW ME PROOF OF ADDRESS!" she barked. Want me to cooperate? Never say "YOU HAVE TO....." I haven't picked up my mail in two weeks.
    Then Samm and I went to the U2 concert at the Meadowlands. One of the band members (I can't say who) is a client of MO David North. We were supposed to have the VIP treatment. Someone dropped the ball and we were not given the right wristband. Welcome to the masses. The last time I saw that many people in one place I was in the field at Yasgur's farm. I couldn't wait to get back on the mountain.
    But once home I had to deal with all the cancelations, the sign vandals and now my Italian neighbors are on the warpath once again. It's a long story. Suffice to say all the guns are loaded and the lights are on. I went to Walmart and bought a trail camera. Guess what? It didn't work. Mercury retrograde? When the fuck isn't it? Last night I went through the whole night without a drink. This may not be a wise move at this point. Finally we have an artist for the September show- Tobias Yves Zintel. This German artist did the GOD LOVES FAGS  billboard and promises to provoke the locals plenty for the show. AND on the same weekend we will do THE CATSKILL CLICHE CHURCH. Get your routines ready. I already need a drink.