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.

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