Monday, June 29, 2009

The Things We Keep

Teen Reviewers. Vol. 8. No. 7 March 1961
“Teen Reviewers is published by the Young Teens division Of the Brooklyn Public Library

You might say that at age 14 this was my first appearance in print. I have a vague memory of handing this in to our local librarian, and I must have been pleased as a bucket l full of Hawaiian Punch when they published it. Most likely I was interested in the book because of the 1959 Hollywood B movie that starred Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead and I either thought the movie was a piece of crap and had to go to the source for the real meat of it or I loved it and had to have more of the same. The paperback is the one that I read and still have and I’m delighted to have shared the page with Ms. Denise Murphy where ever she may be.

My First One Person exhibition. Fischbach Gallery Oct. 1971

Friday, June 26, 2009

From My Archive

This is a picture of me (I'm the skinny guy on the left) installing my work for my retrospective at Kent State in 1977. The pieces on the floor are my burnt floor pieces from 1969.

July 4th

Just pulled this drawing that I did in 1968 and thought I'd post it here for the upcoming July 4th celebration. I also put it up on my photobucket, but they might just censor it. I've been thinking about the unexpected death of Michael Jackson, and although I was never a fan, I was always struck by how unhappy and out of balanced he seemed to be. So full of self hatred, (how else to explain all those ghastly mutilations to his perfectly nice face). I once had a friend who had a bookstore and on several occasions Jackson would appear along with his bodyguards to buy books. "What kind of things did he buy" I asked. "Cheap paperback bios of movie stars" my friend replied. The other noted death of a celebrity of sorts this week was of Farrah Fawcett, and again I was not much of a fan of hers either. Once in the early 80's when I was working in a film memorabilia bookstore, she and Ryan O'Neal came in just as we were closing. The foolish owner told them we were closing and they got insulted and stormed out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Day at the Met, Or How Tasty Was My Bacon.

My reason for going to the palace on 5th avenue today was to check out the large Francis Bacon Retrospective that is currently on view until the middle of August. Out of Brooklyn and on to the R train for the long boring ride (two trains please) but happily I have a fun book I’m reading called “Hubert’s Freaks The Rare Book Dealer, The Times Square Talker, and The Lost Photos Of Diane Arbus” by Gregory Gibson, so the ride was not all that bad. I hate the subway but that’s another story. This story is about the Bacon Paintings, which happily still thrill and scarce me. Some of them look like the last nightmare I had, what with all those twisted and distorted faces and bodies doing some pretty nasty things, (only to some people I might add) Bacon handled space and color adroitly and with cold passion, not to mention his delightful and delicate use of texture. I know that some people (including an art critic I know) hate his work. This critic thought that his paintings just give more ammunition to the anti-gay forces (yes Bacon was gay) because to him Bacon shows gay men as ugly and predatory creatures, heavy drinkers and sadomasochists which is utterly ridiculous. And besides some homosexuals are ugly, predatory, heavy drinkers and bad dressers to boot, but so are some heterosexuals. Also I doubt many right wing yahoos and know nothing homophobes are on their way to the Met to see this show, or even know who Bacon is. To them bacon is what is on their breakfast plates next to the eggs. I judge art by how it makes me feel, not on an artist’s personal life and sexual preferences. Sure Bacon’s life was messy (get a look at the pictures of his studio) but he took the mess and made some of the most rewarding and memorable paintings of the latter part of the 20th Century. His paintings startle. I love his mixing of abstract and figurative elements, and his sarcastic portraits especially the ones of Popes with their screaming mouths. His paintings are grotesque bloody, and beautiful full of spunk and guts. This was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. I usually can’t look at much art at one time, before I start getting tired and drained, and The Met is one of the best places to get tired and drained. I mean everywhere you look there are magnificent things, the place sags and groans from all of the stuff that’s housed there. Now this is one museum I would love to get locked in at night after they close their doors. I usually just stumble my way from one room to another, a little of this and a little of that. The Met is a visual schmorgesboard set out just for me but after a while it all starts to blend and I get a little sick to my stomach and have to leave. Still seeing some of my favorites like those gorgeous O' Keeffe’s, the great Arthur Doves, my lovely Modigliani‘s, the Soutine’s, the Hoppers, and on and on made for a very nice day and all for $1.00. That’s what I give them and not the suggested donation of $20.00. What do I look like a fucking millionaire?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Koko Taylor (1928-2009)

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