Sunday, May 31, 2009


Robert Hughes in a lecture or essay brought up the distinction between a painting and a sign. I mean the flat, superficial gesture meant to point to or point out..and the comprehensively and conscientiously created objet...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pure art..Chelseaism

I dropped out of college in 1983 then started hanging out in the East Village. I think in retrospect because Basquiat and Haring symbolized the Romantic idea of gaining an education "in the streets " with the common people, that's what I was after. I think I had come to a rupture in the Dalton/RISD education in the Western Tradition and prep for the "American Dream"..all the unspoken conflicts in my psyche had to be addressed as I entered adulthood and I sought in the artists of the early 80's a visceral, immediate model of self expression and artistic achievement.
This was the height of "East Village-ism" the successor to SOHO bohemianism. The general look of alot of it was ad-hoc..ugly, abject..homely..perfect for the continuation of that "beat" was also the period where black , latino, feminist and Stonewall-ish gayness was seen more and more in the arts. It was the perfect anti-dote to the mainstreaming I was supposed to be pursuiing in Dalton and RISD..
Of course nothing came of it and neither of those guys ever made it out of the 80's.
I of course did nothing of any worth in the period except get drunk and contemporaries were beginning to set themselves up here and there..little galleries..studios in Wburg, Tribeca, Hoboken etc..
By the time the 90's rolled around and we were in our dirty thirties the East Village was gentrified and ossified...Chelsea and Wburg were the new scenes in NYC. Artists and dealers had entered the scene now with very different attitudes than the reckless and self-destructive "beats"..Chelsea for instance was the "new" gayness..not Stonewall but post-Warhol conformist. Politics, polemics and so-on was on the way out and pure aesthetics on it's way in. Work had to look more "worked on" than "worked over"..things were shinier, more professionally crafted..more of a fit for your new condo.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ceci n'est pas une Basquiat Project

Stretched two canvasses. Wanted for the longest time to do a series of works using Basquiat's stretching technique. The title of the project is "Ceci n'est pas une Basquiat"..referencing Magritte and Baquiat and even Rauschenberg. By Rauschenberg I am talking about the erased de Kooning piece..this is me surpassing my emotional connection to the Basquiat myth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

5/19 possibles-hards and easies

Went to Tri-State lumber. Bought panel of masonite that I had cut into two 4' x 4' panels. Jazzed about the possibility of REALLY painting..that's the real thing to paint and make objects that COULD be sold for big $. Drawings isn't the ticket alone. Excited about the possibility of really authentically pouring myself into studio practice. But now the savings are thinning and I have to think about going back to work. Doing what? Wish I could find an investor so I could buy about seven more panels and REALLY paint..I could use about five thousand dollars worth of capitalization..ha-ha.
But for what? What's the point?

The content is the next big question. Want to do the "ceci n'est pas une Basquiat" piece again. Want to do some serious oils..all of this means time and money.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Pure Gaze and the hack amateur

I am pretty far from the pure gaze quality of Agnes Martin, Margaret Thatcher Projects, Gary Hume, Vanessa Beescroft..not necessarily because I engage abjection..just because I AM..

Process..program etc

I am gessoeing alot of newsprint..The New York Times to be exact..for some reason it HAS to be the New York Times..maybe it's symbolism as the STANDARD..of something..a class cache..trying to have alot of sheets prepared before I start a single drawing. That way I can REALLY get into the project, without stopping at my usual dilletante level.

Went to a lumber store on Quay Street in Greenpoint to buy some lumber strips. Two 3" by 1" by 10' and two 3" by 1" by 8'..only cost about 8 bucks. I want to experiment with making my own frames in that cockeyed Basquiat style..with the x and y axes overlapping like a cross. Yes I'm a gonna paint! The key thing is finding suitable surfaces. I will call them about masonite panels too.

Quality..I think about Leonardo Drew, Alexis Rockman, Brenda Zlamany, Damien Loeb..people I have met whose approach to quality in the work they do is exemplary to me..where I am on the other end of the spectrum in terms of transience and superficiality..I with I could have that unassailable integrity in my pieces.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The point

I am unemployed..not true.. I am employed in the service to my true vision..the trick is to admit it and give it muscle and impress myself on the spirit of my matter in the arts..but from here? My generation is the "art school" generation..the cadre of MFA's from Yale, RISD, CalArts..etc who transformed Williamsburg, Chelsea, the East End of London into the happening scenes of the last 20 years..and attendent lord standing on the LIC..ready to deliver some kinda "YAWP"..or "squeek"..outside of the committed MFA track..hacking away at derivatives and doodles..

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Contemporaries_ Warren Neidich

I dropped out..responding to the "Basquiat-Amateur Genius Myth" most of my contemporaries continued their studies and achieved much more than I. I met Warren during Biblo's days back in late 90's..he had his own spread on Van Dam and turned it into a gallery called "Spot". He and I kinda liked each other as we were both really into writers like Heidegger, Bourdieu etc..but Warren was serious and had something to show where as I was a lost cause to some degree.