Tuesday, September 23, 2008

david foster wallace is now with the dead of their own hand... tragic.

he joins hart crane, rothko, gorky, schwartz, plath, chatterton and untold hundreds more who none of us have ever heard of. perhaps this seals his genius. there are no arguments from the grave.

off his meds, he fucking hung himself.

and let his wife come home to that...

ok, i'm done.

Monday, September 22, 2008

dragged myself out of the studio to make the scene in chelsea once again... the 12 20x20's are coming along nicely. the possibility of a grid may or may not come about. we'll see. several stand very much alone, while a few are looking a bit like a suite of paintings... so, yeah, we'll

last thursday was a good night. 25th street was jammed with the usual hangers-on, the art world pros and the hopefuls. of special note was jay kelly at jim kempner fine art on 23rd street. i've seen kelly's work before-- small drawings on vellum; hermetic line and atmosphere spaced elegantly for such a small support. the word intimate comes to mind... this show also featured his new sculptural pieces, of a suitably minature stature, each about 5 to 6 inches high. there is a heavy surrealist bent to this art, most notably in the sculpture, but these are very pure statements by the artist-- not some vague reference to the past.

then the artist james austin murray and myself found ourselves in the half-king, at the end of the bar, appreciating the barmaid and toasting the evening with stella artois.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

take the time to find out something about these artists: vivian springford, howard mehring, thomas downing, leon berkowitz and albert stadler. these are the painters exhibited in "color field revisited", at gary snyder/project space. springford, in particular, grabbed my attention. her work, violent, organic, heroic (in scale and intention) offered some of the boldest color and execution i've seen this year.

i'll be very honest in saying that (with the exception of berkowitz) i'd never heard of these artists. somehow their legacies coasted along under the radar these past decades. i've mentioned before the reality of artists toiling in the harsh solitude demanded of the painter, never to gain recognition, let alone the contemporary accoutrement of financial security. it's our lot in life. some combine the luck with the talent and some just get lucky.

some don't...

later that night we checked out a party for novelist, francis levy and his book, erotomania: a romance. the bash was held at the museum of sex on 5th avenue, a fitting venue given levy's subject matter. levy is a large man with a large mustache (a muscular ford maddox ford, if you will...). each thursday morning, i can look forward to sweat and spit flying off that mustache as a large overhand right makes contact with my collar bone or chin. in the clinch, levy sports a fine uppercut...

i'm half way through my copy. so far the cast of characters include a hatian/german stripper who studied architecture, dance and french theater, but found that, "...the esthetic rewards of the classical stage didn't justify the near-poverty conditions", and a hooker withwhom the protagonist discusses Rilke's "letters to a young poet".

it's easy to cast about comparisons in the discussion of literary matters. when a writer takes on the subject of sexuality, it's really easy. fine. here are some names for you: bukowski, bataille and genet. but levy adds the sharp intellectual edge of a real new yorker to his prose. and bataille and genet aren't funny.

Friday, September 19, 2008

this one might get interrupted... in any event it was a week of culture. thankfully... tuesday night i checked out the opening at gary snyder/project space. historical, stain based painting from the late 60's, early 70's era. good stuff.... i'll go more into this show later, after a bit of research. suffice to say, major paintings were lost to the pantheon and certain painters never got there due.

the highlight, however, was walking into gary's office and seeing a stoic, yet dynamic horizontal piece by the artist, john griefen. this piece stopped me (and the artist james austin murray) in our tracks. a bony white, the work (as a fool, i have no title) arrested the space and the wall and, obviously, my eye. this is the monochrome taken to it's potential, and driven home. period... easily, one of the stronger pieces seen this year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

this day of training, and the rest of the week, will be dedicated to the memory of Evan Tanner-- warrior-poet, traveler, adventurer and seeker. Tanner was also a former UFC middleweight champion of the world. he died last week, in the desert of southern california. his body was found a week to this day. 

the sheriff said it was exposure to the elements.

and we are less because of this loss. 

Tanner was the real thing. i have been shaken to the core by this tragic news... but, perhaps, there is some poetry to this-- Rimbaud died running guns in africa...

as a man involved in pugilism and grappling of various forms, as well as the asian martial arts, the news  of Tanner's passing was painful. 

as an artist and man of letters, it was more so. 

i believe in saints. but the ones i believe in are never recognized...

i raise this glass of cold vodka to you, Evan.
many thanks...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

i never thought i'd be a part of the gentrification of LIC (a once great neighborhood in west queens, across the river from manhattan. it was once a small town, idependent of the CITY, you walked the streets and ran into people you knew, you went to the irish pub and ate and got drunk and the girls knew you so it was ok... you walked along vernon blvd. and always loved the view of the city but didn't think about it coming after you and then you get evicted for luxury condos and the world changes but not much and you end up in brooklyn and LIC and all the fun and all the rest seems long, long ago), but i guess i am now... i stood out on the balcony of an apartment along the river on the 26th floor and looked east to see the very window of my old factory loft studio in LIC. behind me, on the wall hung a 6x5 painting, birthed in that studio, long gone, but still, mere blocks away. it (the painting) had come home...

strange. strange indeed.... in any event, we ate a couple of rabbits and drank cote du rhone and now i have a commission for a piece for the dining room.

bruno said he liked to challenge me.
very well...
bring it on.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

i wrapped 2 of the pieces sold and my art handling guy (eliot markel, via transport) made the delivery this afternoon. and i put some more paint and (finally) gesso, on the 20x20's...

its good to have this momentum going into the art season.
its good to be able to make work and come home and enjoy being home.
its good to know that there are people out there
waiting to see what you have come up with
and loving it when you show them what the hours have brought out.
its good to sit in a chair and look at the stuff tossed about the studio.
you pick up a book and read a few pages;
you listen to music (bill evans);
you scratch some charcoal into a drawing and sit back down
and the sounds of an old building creak under you
and you feel like an artist.

Monday, September 1, 2008

sold 3 big pieces out of the studio on saturday afternoon... my collectors, bruno and agnes theirry, moved back to NYC from paris and picked up 2 paintings. their friend, catherine, got another. that feels good, the drought being broken... strange how collectors never have checkbooks with them in the studio.
no problem. none at all...

got the grounds finished on 12 20x20 canvases. they could be a large grid-- not sure yet. we'll see.

but, yeah, 3 paintings sold-- it feels good. real good.