Saturday, February 21, 2015

Art & Life

writing or drawing 
while my daughter sleeps
second guessing my labors of yesterday 
while my daughter sleeps
my daughter at her easel 
pausing reflectively before the violence ensues
my daughter and i at MoMa
my daughter and i at an opening
my daughter and i at my opening 
my daughter and i at any number of galleries
my daughter banging her head to Saxon
my daughter telling me to "hear" her
my daughter reciting the lines 
of various and sundry Disney princesses
i'm shopping for tonights dinner 
before hitting the studio 
forgetting that Manhattan grocery shopping 
on a saturday entails the rude, oblivious and insane
i'm putting together a stew before i hit the studio
i'm painting my ass off 
keeping an eye on the snow 
outside the tall windows

Art and the life around it mingle together like furtive teenagers at a basement keg party-- awkward, perhaps lewd, casting glances that may or may not be appreciated... You go through your day
and if you're not there tearing it up in the studio, you are certainly thinking about it.
A specific gesture comes to mind-- a movement, a piece of brilliance that you missed last night or the night before. Thoughts of color and placement, realization, composition and the like...

The beauty is that you can't second guess yourself hypothetically. The making of Art is not simply the application of materials. There is the guessing-- there is the thought and tumult... The major contemplations of Monday are but empty bottles and wads of masking tape come Thursday.

And thats fine (I believe it was Ginsberg who admonished us to never begin a line with "and", but it feels so good to do so and I'm cool with being a bad writer, so fuck it...). We have that beautiful authority to cast out what could otherwise be construed as "failure" and unravel what becomes victory (I grimaced as this was typed, but, again, fuck it, its so true...).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

As I played with my Daughter, about an hour ago, word came of the passing of Robin Ross. She was 61. Diabetes...

It seems strange now, but I never thought of Diabetes as a killer. Live and learn...

I first met Robin around '97 in either Brooklyn or LIC. I remember being blown away by the muscular intensity of her laboriously built paintings-- Art troweled on, scarred, Umber soil and carvings of poetry. I was a babe of 30 when we met- fueled by violence and any number of unspeakable vices and doubts and Robin put up with my immaturity and my bravado and went about her business-- perhaps laughing behind my back, but only in kindness. or perhaps pity...

In 2001, she had a brilliant solo show at Andrew Miller's short lived L.I.C.K. Ltd. Fine Art and shortly after that, she moved back to Colorado.

Over the last few years, I kept up with Robin's work via images of paintings and mysterious notebook pages on social media (some of which made veiled reference to her failing health).

And now she's gone...

Adjectives form at my finger tips: caring, odd, lyrical, kind, open, brave, thoughtful, endearing, triumphant...

And while the Gods have managed to gain a great human soul and one hell of a painter, I can't help but feel rather sorry for all of us left behind.

Watching the furious efforts of my Daughter at her easel often brought thoughts of Robin to me.

They would have loved each other...

I'm not as sad as I am numb right now. I will pour another tequila and raise the glass in hopes that will facilitate the appropriate level of heartache.

My thoughts are with Robin's Husband, Noah Baen and the rest of her family and friends.

And I will conclude with Robin's own words, words incised into the ground of a sumptuous painting on paper that hangs in front of me now as I type.

"The Poem is on The Ground
The settler Has Not Yet Found The Boundary."