Sunday, March 11, 2012

* giving rest to the thoughts of shitty art... giving rest. looks like i'll have missed out on the whole Armory scene. fair enough... everyone bitches about the big fairs, but (if lucky) there is the chance to see museum quality offerings up close and personal. it's the $$$$ that they bitch about-- the evil collectors and the young and shitty fresh out from CalArts or who cares(?)...

well, yeah, i get it. but that has so little, if anything,
to do with the working and breathing world of ART--
as opposed to the ARTWORLD.

the internet posts get very very righteous
regarding the collecting of art for investment. fuck it...
it happens, it's a part of the part of the whole and it means nothing.
period. it means nothing.
the people that have laid down good coin
for my work have done so with purpose-
aesthetic, romantic, whatever-- they liked the work.
they wanted to live with the work.
just as there are artists making real work-
believing in beauty and history and meaning
and trying to convey all of that in paint, on canvas--
there are the patrons- the collectors who share the same dream.
they want beauty and history and meaning
and they want to live with it. they want the passion
of a whacked out man or woman to share their space and their lives--
their oatmeal in the morning; their lunch;
their cognac and old book, so late at night.

and that reality
creates another kind of beauty.

* parenthood...cliches and stereotypes are great simply because of the inherent truth within... thats how they exist-- they were born from the truth we either talk about or sweep away with shame, or denial.

"it changes your life..."

i heard that shit so many times. well, yeah, i guess it does.
and yes, it does fuckin change your life. but i'm not talking about lost sleep and changing diapers, as opposed to bar crawling and shooting heroin--
you change, you evolve to a level closer to where we SHOULD BE
as intelligent, caring human beings.
just as smoking weed enhances the grace of activity--
be it food, sex, nature, music, art, what have you--
becoming a parent enhances the world around you
and your RELATIONSHIP to that world.

years ago i wrote (referencing my own debauched practices),
"...our suicides are slow and painfully accurate."
i firmly believe that the seekers
and the wanderers engage in a drawn out, lessened method of self destruction.
it's not the shotgun in the mouth or the handful of pills--
it's night in and night out and the fun and sin
and questions,
and body odors and new beds and old streets
you have no business being on...
all of it takes you on and on
and gives you one more excuse to do
whatever it is that is so slowly and patiently taking you out.

i became a father to a wonderful, spiritual daughter--
at 8 months, she is a young lady of power and wit
and a certain, ill-gotten, albeit poetic, aggression...
i will say- flat out-- that i FEEL MORE
and indeed, KNOW MORE,
now with her guiding my way
through this sloppy,
glorious world.
she has changed my life.
and now i will try to live up to that gift.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

so, yeah, the Whitney... i can't help myself. haven't been, might not go at all.
in fact, if my shadow crosses the door i'll be very very surprised.
but beyond THIS Whitney, beyond this year,
what is the point of so much of the "art" being made?
well, i'd say there really isn't a point or a direction--
it's simply an exercise of ease and a gross, fashionably shoddy, inauthenticity.
its the inauthenticity of mustaches on bedford;
the false pretense of shitty photography and incoherent videos--
the fat chick in the miniskirt
with the brass nose ring and the MFA.

it's easy to be ironic.
easy to pose. easy not to make anything...
easy to pick through the shit in the news.
easy to watch TV.
easy to write about yourself.
hell, i do it all the time.

sincerity went out the window and romance tagged along...
and in the end, i'm ok with that.
you can't fight history, or the reality around you.
you don't have to like it.
and you surely don't have to accept it.
but you need to understand it.
and then get back to work.
and get your hands dirty.
and re-work that great idea that,
wasn't so great to begin with.

sometime around the late '60's, it became ok to be lazy...
warhol, hippies, who knows?
but around that time, sincerity went out the window
and romance followed close behind.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

* i've decided that i will not go into the Whitney debacle any further...
why? well, why the fuck not?
suffice to say that i'm in as good a place vibe-wise
and emotionally as ever-- great wife, awesome, brilliant baby,
making my own shit as good as i can. why should i bother with the negative?

why indeed?

well, it could be said that there should be someone
taking the fools to task for what has happened to culture.
maybe. maybe not... it won't do anything of note--
preaching to the choir is about as productive
as that afternoon nap i never get...

there is a shameless ease to the "work" of this ilk...
but thats so horribly obvious.
yeah, i might pop in as a "performance" myself.
but i doubt it... life is too short.

and life is way too fine to waste it on such rubbish.

* so a body of work completed. my photographer
(PJ Valentini, awesome talent, if you're in NYC contact me and i can set this shit up...)
comes friday to shoot. and then there will be the emails and the attachments
etc, etc... thats cool-- i've held up my end of the bargain.

the challenge of late has been to get away
from the constant refining and cleaning up of image.
to let things rest a bit- maybe give away some of the control
that may or may not have worked over the years.

for so long my art was a war and struggle
of the most ominous intent.
now that life is so joyous
perhaps the art should be as well?

i've no answers. just questions.
and i'm not even asking myself.
i'm showing up to do the work
and with a little grace and love
maybe something will come of it.

and if not?
fuck it...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

* 57 degrees in NYC and i kicked ass in the studio again... yeah.
what to say? within the madness of fatherhood, trying to get my workouts in,
cooking dinner, trying to read, trying to live- i'm at this incredible creative peak.
the paint is just going down strong..

this could all come down to shit
if nothing sells or the dealers decide i suck, etc, etc...
but for now-- alone, in the studio, working honestly
and (i hate to say it) happily,
none of that matters. nothing outside the space
of my old candy factory studio amounts to anything
more than some dream that hasn't come around yet.
this is the strange port between sales and shows
where paintings are there and you look at them and feel one way or another
but these all feel so good. so good... and yes, no wasted time.
the guitar has long gathered dust.

and color... why not?

* the Whitney reviews are starting to come out.
and? R. Smith went on and on- this biennial is so different,
so new, so.... bullshit. it's the same performance
and the same video and the same dance
and the same feeling of nothing. nothing...
it seems there is a dance piece taking up the largest space in the museum
(that makes sense...). a woman wears a horse head (mask).

i'm feeling it...

2 women are moving their apartments into the show.
their clothes, life, etc...
yeah... why? well, because it's easier than making art.
it leaves more time to- well, not make art.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

* the birthday of evan tanner has come and gone... sorry champ.

former UFC champion, warrior-poet, philosopher-king-- myth, future legend, who knows?

i like to think that down deep, i'm a good person. i've no proof of this-
it's just a hope, a passing fancy. tanner was a great person, a great man.
he was the man we were told we should be long ago
when the mist still settled over the mornings of our youth
and we didn't understand what being a man meant, or could mean...

if we live a life worth living and screaming at,
we will end up (or begin with) demons.
the demons haunt and give chase- seduce and beguile,
deliver and abuse... we make art or poetry
out of the remains of these experiences--
we live or maybe die because of, or in spite of, them...

tanner's death in the desert cannot be called an accident.
i don't, for a second, believe he was looking to off himself.
he was too engaged by the world around him
and the world he created. he was, if nothing else, a warrior.
suicide is too easy a way out... even if you pick a hard way out.
but it made sense in a horrid way. tanner was a man
that was too good to die of some sad old age,
riven with disease and dementia.
he was certainly too strong for pills or booze
and too smart to go for the shotgun. and too wise. too wise...


that was his line. his mantra.
the power of one person to affect change in the world.

i think that he believed that so much that it killed him.
that it drove him. that it pushed him to test limits,
perhaps best left untested...

most people stagger through life
without any trace of a singular philosophy.
tanner not only had it-- he died from it.

he could have been in Vegas hotels,
living it up with the whores
and the dreamers of material dreams.
he could have put it all on the line
and worked his way back into title contention.
maybe, maybe not... maybe his time was done,
but no matter. his was a way of solitude.
a martial artist as close to Musashi as we've come in our time.

i've disappointed myself so many times,
i've quit counting, or worrying about it...
and now, at 45 years young, my power is in the 3 OF MY FAMILY...
but i look at the life of evan tanner and i know--
i know that the path i've taken-- with all its stumbles
and regrets, all it's lost hours and postponed possibilities,
was the right path. just because you're a seeker doesn't mean
you're going to find anything.

but i've found more truth in 18 rounds on the heavy bag,
slipping in puddles of my own sweat,
than in any number of books i've read.
i found more truth going 3 days without eating
trying to hitchhike to Vienna, than in all jobs i've had
or all the churches i've sat in...

tanner was a great man and a bad-ass...
and (like me) i'm sure he cried for the simple things...
as a new father, tortured by the bliss and grace of my baby girl,
i know tanner would have been a beautiful father.

and i'll leave it at that...