Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last notebook drawing for July 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don’t Bother To Knock. 1952

 Don’t bother or do bother with this one because it features Marilyn Monroe doing a pretty good turn as a demented gal just out of the nut house who finds a job as a babysitter in a New York City hotel. The job is set up by her uncle an elevator operator at the hotel played by the always welcomed Elisa Cook Jr. ( I would like to get a gander at Sr. sometime). 1952 was a busy black and white year for Marilyn she did four movies and was on the cusp of super duper stardom only a year away with three big full color flicks the best one being “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Seeing this film now many years after its release is a bit unsettling to say the least because we watch this troubled and doomed actress and future pop icon playing a troubled and doomed character much like herself.  The plot of the film centers on Richard Widmark an airline pilot who is mad for Anne Bancroft a chanteuse who sings for her super in the hotel’s bar which for some reason has a cowboy western motif. Anne is not happy with Widmark and wants out of the relationship because Richard can’t give her the emotional stuff that she needs. This was Bancroft’s film debut and supposedly she does her own singing in it, but after a series of less than stellar films (Gorilla At Large is probably the silliest) she packed her bags and left Hollywood in 1957 to go to Broadway not to return to tinsel town until 1962 when she recreated her role in The Miracle Worker. Marilyn meanwhile is upstairs watching over and terrorizing Donna Corcoran  who might be the most annoying child actress in the history of film, and flirting with Richard Widmark who on the rebound from Bancroft sees Marilyn from his hotel window across the way and is over there in a flash, hot to trot. Marilyn is having fun trying on the kid’s mom’s negligee (the mother played by the very good Laurene Tuttle would never fit into or wear such a revealing outfit) throwing lots of perfume all over herself and giving her uncle a nervous breakdown as he watches her disintegrate before his very eyes. The movie is ugly, cheap looking and claustrophobic with the entire film taking place in the hotel without one exterior shot to give us the feeling that we are in New York City. The direction is by the British director  Roy Ward Baker who a few years later would go on to do the very good version of the Titanic story “A Night To Remember” and many horror films, but his direction here is nothing more than adequate. With Jim Backus as Tuttle’s husband  and dad of the little imp and Verna Feldon and Don Beddoe as two nosey hotel guests. The cinematography is by Lucien Ballard.    

Saturday, July 23, 2011


 I've never re-posted one of my posts, but on this sad day and in memory of the great Amy Winehouse here is my original post from 2007 about my discovering her. 

A few months ago I started to hear the name Amy Winehouse here and there. I had never heard of her, but her name caught my imagination and then I saw a few photos of her and I knew that I had to search her out. So I went to You tube and there she was. With a click of the mouse she came alive and I was hooked big time. Not since I first heard and saw Janis Joplin have I been so taken with a contemporary pop star. I think she is the first great singer of the new century, and if she survives she will be right up there with Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington Ella Fitzgerald and Janis Joplin. I should say that these five greats are my favorite top singers and now I add Amy to that list. I like and love a lot of other singers of course, Dusty Springfield, Etta James, Doris Day (that’s a post in itself), Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole (the only two male singers to make my list), Tina Turner, Patsy Cline, Dione Warwick early Aretha Franklin, the great girl groups of the 60’s, Peggy Lee, Julie London, Anita O’Day and for a few minutes Barbra Streisand back in the days before she became well Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland mainly for her rendition of The Man That Got Away in “A Star Is Born”. Quite a group. But what is it about Ms. Winehouse that I find so God damn appealing and habit forming. Well first of all of cause is her magnificent voice. You just don’t expect to hear singing like that coming out of such a tiny and young person. And then there is her look. The black black bee hive hairdo, the tattoos, her sense of fashion or nonfashion, and her vulnerability. But like many of the other women singers that I have loved she’s on a path of self-destruction. I first heard of Billie Holiday actually on the day she died July 17th 1959 when driving with my mother in our red 1957 Pontiac. We were listening to the car radio when an announcer said that she had died. I had just turned 12 and of course had no idea who she was. In fact I thought the guy said that Judy Holliday had died, and indeed she would die tragically a few years later. Did I curse that dear lady by thinking she was dead? In any case I got upset thinking that Judy had died, “No Ira my mother said, its Billie Holiday who died.” “Who was she?” I asked? She was a colored singer. “Was she any good?” “Yes very.” That “yes very” I would find out for myself many years later when I finally heard Billie sing her blues. I had never heard anything like her before or I might add since. Sometimes in the 1980’s when I would get blue maybe over breaking up with a boyfriend or just anything sad or lonely in my life I would put “Lady In Satin” on the stero, light up a joint, crack open a beer, smoke too many cigarettes and cry my eyes out. When I hear Billie sing, I say she is my favorite singer of all time, but then I’ll listen to Sarah Vaughan and say she is my favorite singer of all time, or Dinah Washington is my favorite or Ella Fitzgerald is or Joplin is. I guess you get the drift. Today I bought the dvd “I told You I Was Trouble” which is a dvd of Winehouse in concert from this year and watched about one hour of it. She’s magnificent and maddening. She’s only what 24 and I kept thinking to myself that she’s not long for this world. I could not take my eyes off of her, with her sixties eye makeup and hair, her thin legs her beautiful face and that incredible voice. Every week some kind of crap involving her is in the news. Arrests, drug busts, horrible photos of her and her druggy husband both bashed up and cut, with blood all over them, domestic violence written in blood on her face. I thought it was a still from a new Cronenberg movie. Concerts have been cancelled or gone bad, very bad with audiences booing and walking out. And then there is the drinking and drugging on stage, the parodies of her on YouTube and all those nasty comments. This little lady needs help big time before its too late. I’ve not cared about any singers for a long time and I have no idea what Jennifer Lopez or Britney Spears sound like but I wish that they would just go away. Does anyone actually listen to them? Of course they do, look at all the money they make. This kind of pop crap began with Madonna with her tiny voice and now continues today with the likes of Pink, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani and so many other bad singers. But then along comes Amy Winehouse, “she’s the real thing” my friend Peter said after he finally heard her great cd “Back To Black”. Yes she’s the real thing, edgy, talented, dangerous but ultimately sad and a real heartbreaker.

Pictures of Amy Winehouse, Sarah Vaughan, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Dinah Washington & Billie Holiday


Amy Winehouse 1983-2011

My heart is broken.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alex Steinweiss 1917-2011

 Alex Steinweiss was a great designer of record album covers, you can see more of his work at the link below.

The Final Two Collages I did for Theatre Intensives

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New July notebook page. Paint, ink and collage on notebook paper

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mayer Foundation

Just found out yesterday that I'm getting a small but most welcomed grant from The Mayer Foundation. I'm very grateful.

Two more collages for Theatre Intensives

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hyper Real

In the mail yesterday I received this very large catalog for the exhibition Hyper Real which is a large traveling exhibition that started out at the Ludwig Collection in Vienna and traveled to his other museums in Germany. It’s a very lavish book, and I have 3 pieces from the early 70’s in the show. I reproduce my pages here.

 This piece is titled big box No. 1. 1970. This is the back view.

This piece is box with house and six trees from 1970. This was my first piece of sculpture shown. It was in the Whitney Sculpture Annual 1970-1971.

 This piece is titled Desert Box from 1970.

Theatre Intensive Collages

I finished my two days at Theatre Intensives yesterday and I made a total of 10 collages, 4 of which I’m still working on and will post them when I’m done. In the meantime I’m posting the 6 finished ones. I enjoyed the experience very much. It was nice to be around these young acting students to feel their energy and passion which in turn fueled my creativity. The teacher Janet Zarish was also impressive in her encouragement, passion, and gentleness with her students. I want to thank Susan Merson the program director for inviting me to take part in this, the Rev. Jane Galloway for recommending me, and Jenn Archuleta for her help.

New July notebook page. Paint, ink and collage on notebook paper

Saturday, July 09, 2011

July Collage 2011

Friday, July 08, 2011

Betty Ford 1918-2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

July Collage 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

George Tooker

George Tooker (1920-2011) Reality Returns As A dream: Memorial Exhibition DC Moore Gallery June9-August 5 2011 

See this show if you are in New York City.  I knew I would like this exhibition, because I’ve always loved Tooker. He was a favorite of mine as a teenager, and I was not disappointed. Many of his more familiar works are here including “Subway” and “Landscape with Figures”. The exhibit is more like a mini museum show since most of the works are from museum and private collections with very few works as far as I could tell for sale. Also on view in the smaller gallery is “An Intimate Circle” which includes the work of Paul Cadmus, Jared French, Margaret French, George Platt Lynes and Tooker. Included are paintings, drawings and photographs by this gay tight knit group of artists and friends. This period of American art has always been fascinating to me, and I can easily recommend a very good book on these artists by David Leddick entitled “Intimate Companions. A Triography of George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Lincoln Kirstein and Their Circle”. Easily one of the best exhibitions of the year.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Anna Massey 1937-2011

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Grey Sparrow Press

 Grey Sparrow Press has just posted their Summer Issue and have included several of my artworks. You can view them at this link.

Two Paintings On Paper From 1978 Recently Photographed

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