Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Douglas Messerli has written a piece on the church in art and used my piece "Three Chuches In A Box" 1970 in his essay. You can read it at this link.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bill Cunningham 1929-2016

Another New York legend gone.

Nicole Eisenman Anton Kern Gallery

Caught the last day of this much hyped hip and hipster metro retro lesbo show of paintings by Eisenman who seems to be the pin up painter, the flavor of the month at least for the moment. I'm not a fan, I found the works in this show very facile and dull. Yes there are strains of politics, sex and cable news topics running through her canvases but so what. I get it, I'm living it and I don't need chic expensive paintings to give me some educate.
Now I'm not saying that she is a terrible painter far from it, and I'm always happy to see some exciting realist works but these didn't do it for me. Maybe I was expecting too much, I mean the praise and great reviews were like bread crumbs on the road to Grandma's house which turned out to be stale and dry.
The narratives are too laid out and cozy for me, and easily the best works for me were the small painting drawings in the back room that are nice even though they look like every drawing being shown in the "now" galleries of Chelsea and LES.
These are likeable works cute, cuddly and pretty.. They are crowded and cramped with signs and meanings and make us think that we are looking at some heavy stuff. They are deadly aware.
They often remind me of children's book illustrations. Fine but for me they are banal and pale and look like they would be at home on book covers. I would like to give her credit though for making what might be the ugliest piece of sculpture of the 21st Century (it squats in the back room taking up space next to all the nice little drawings and paintings) and hey I'd like to propose that we give her everything, lets get it over with, give her another McArthur, give her three, give her every fucking grant out there, give her the biggest studio in the city and let her art fill every gallery and museum in the world month in and month out, let it be on every art magazine cover and every package of cereal in the supermarket, let it adorn our buses and subway cars, let it be on disposable napkins and dishes. And then maybe we can move on to the next great thing happening in art today.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer 4. June 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Alchemy Literary Magazine published by Portland Community College just sent me the issue with one of my old collages printed very nicely in color.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oddball Magazine

Oddball Magazine has just posted one of my recent notebook drawings to go along side three poems by John Lowther.

Fever Within: The Art Of Ronald Lockett. American Folk Art Museum.

Just saw this extraordinary exhibition of mixed media works by the late African American artist Ronald Lockett who lived and worked in a small town in Alabama and who died very young at 32 from AIDS related pneumonia. Related to another great African American artist Thornton Dial who encouraged Ronald to make art the show has only 41 large pieces but they are so rich and hefty with emotion and beauty that I felt satiated even though I would have liked to have seen more of his amazing works.
The works are aware of his sensitive and innate sophisticated approach to art and to life, and left me out of breath from the heartbreaking images he made in his short life and art career. Ronald was inspired and touched by terrible events in the world, The Holocaust, Hiroshima, terrorism at home (Oklahoma), the terrible treatment of animals and the environment and the ever present battle of racism in his own life and our country. Mixed with wood, paint, tin, chicken wire, and elements from the natural world these works fit in with much of what has been going on in contemporary art, trained or self taught it matters not to me.
Some of the works are abstract and some are figurative but they all are terrific and inspiring. What I could have done without is the curators choice of mixing in works by two other artists along with small groups of eskimo effigies, brazilian wood ex-votos and a model of Noah's Ark. Not needed and will no doubt cause confusion for some. By leaving these pieces out they may have had room for one or two more of Lockett's pieces. This remarkable show will be on until September 18th and may very well be the show of the year for me.

Compressed Journal

Compressed Journal has just posted my postcard No. 9 in a series of 12. You can view them all so far by going to this link.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mother of God is this the end of Penny Dreadful?


Seems it is, and I watched the final 2 episodes last night thanks to a year long gift of free Showtime and Time Warner. I generally thought it a wonderful feast of beauty and gore, but the final season had its ups and very downs for me. Filled to the brim with characters from horror fiction some good and some not so good with some loose ends and flabby characterizations. Still this is the place that introduced me to the oh so great Eva Green and just for that alone I am forever grateful. I wish that they had allowed Danny Sapani as Sembene to hang around longer, and also had given the wonderful Simon Russell Beale more to do, but hey we did get Patti LuPone back as an alienist. all butched up and looking like a portrait by Romaine Brooks come to life and the sexy and sturdy Wes Studi as Kaetenay a sometime Native American werewolf and spiritual father of Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler the complicated bisexual American as an American werewolf in London. And for three seasons we had what might be the most beautiful production ever done for tv including the rich costumes and art direction. It seemed a bit rushed in its final season, and the episodes set in the American west were deadly bores the same for the unending flashback to Vanessa's padded cell ordeal which turned out to be an ordeal for me, tedious and pretentious. And did I mention the most beautiful Eva Green?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Notebook drawing June 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stuart Davis. The Whitney Museum

Oh Mary you've got to see this show, its glorious and splendid full of zest and color and lines and pop before pop, this Stuart Davis was one hell of an artist. And now at the Whitney there are about 100 of his paintings from the 20's up to his last unfinished work that he was working on when his ticker gave out in 1964.
I've always loved this guy's paintings ever since I was a teen when I would see them at the Moma and the old Whitney they spoke to me like all great art does, but only to me.
They still do. Here he was in the 20's mixing up commercial art with fine art, and giving it the old Cubist push along with his own vocabulary of signs without meanings. Red Hot and Jazzy. The works are pushed and pulled and twisted and then placed on the canvas like some fucked up dinner party for one. Davis knew.
I should mention that I had my second cataract operation last week so everything is brighter and sharper and dizzy tizzy wizzy, and at times looking at art (great art that is) makes me feel like I'm going to pass out. In fact I had to get out of the Moma last week after 20 minutes before I fainted from the brightness of the lights and seeing things that weren't there, so the dada show was a no no.
Today was better, but man his colors really seared my brain and my eyes, they are so fresh and bright like he painted them tomorrow. At one point I had to put on my sunglasses. Not his fault these works are so wonderful I relish them, the beauty and intensity of them all. They influenced me because I was a working class kid with no formal art training and they reminded me of Times Square. and Coney Island two of my favorite places for me to hang out when I was a child.
These were places of movement and animation so busy and crowded and so are his paintings. They move. His street scenes and buildings vibrate. Of course the formal qualities of the work are there, they always were there, but all I saw was the grandeur of his color and abstracted images that reminded me of ads and comic strips of billboards and signs and tv and movies.
And how many times when a child did I walk by his mural "Men Without Women" in the men's lounge at Radio City Music Hall, all browns and smoky on my way to pee before the latest technicolor musical began? Its no longer there, but there is a paint sketch of it in the show. When I was a teen I did a painting that is obviously influenced by Stu remind me to show it to you one day, but in the meantime take in this magnificent show that fills most of the immense 5th floor gallery (the other show sharing the floor are the brilliant photographs of Danny Lyon and don't let me get started on him, this great heartfelt photographer I'll save it for another day).

Friday, June 17, 2016

Notebook drawing June 2016

Bill Berkson 1939-2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Some Recent Photographs

Postcard No. 8. Compressed Journal

Journal of Compressed Creative Arts has just posted postcard No. 8 in a series of 12. You can see it and all 8 of the postcards so far at this link.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer 3 June 2016

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