Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Annotating the video?

This is an experiment. There's an option available to me to allow annotations on the videos I post on u-tube. I'm not even sure what that means, so I'd like somebody to try to make an annotation on this video.

A couple of items:

a) Interestingly enough, it's an early video of the same painting of Bernanke that the video below shows.
b) You may have to double click through the image to get to the original u-tube version to insert, if that's even the right word, an annotation.

Or, you may need to go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma0KcNa_qgI&layer_token=b82e5fdf9804e6a1 in order to annotate the thing.

If none of it works, can you leave a comment?

Zero Hedge weighs in...

Zero Hedge, one of our favorite blogs, has seen fit to feature 'A Walking Tour of "Helicopter Ben"' on its site today. Go here and scroll down a bit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Classic Post--December 20, 2006

Do you realize that Season Three of The Year of Magical Painting will be over in about a week? July 4th to be absolutely accurate. Or July 3, perhaps--I can never tell how you count stuff like that.

Anyway, it seems like a good time to start dredging up classic posts from yesteryear. This one, titled "Can I Give You My Number?", dates back to late December, 2006. I was standing in front of Goldman Sachs with my first portrait of Lloyd Blankfein, titled "Big Lloyd 1 (.6 Billion)".

Synchronistically enough, it was just reprinted in NY Metro a couple of days ago ...

Makes a guy laugh, you know?

Anyway, I was standing in front of Goldman Sachs (amazingly enough, we'd hit a bit of a warm spell. the temp was 44) and I decided to call the guy up.

Here's the post:

Shall I Give You My Number?

-Goldman Sachs and Company
-Lloyd Blankfein please
-One moment please
(Brief delay as I am put through)
-Mr. Blankfein's office

-Is Mr. Blankfein available?
-I'm sorry. He's in a meeting right now. May I ask who is calling.
-My name is Geoffrey Raymond. I'm the guy who's exhibiting the painting of Mr. Blankfein across the street.
(Long silence. Almost Pinteresque.)
-Are you aware of the painting?
-We are definitely aware of it.
-Well, I'm just calling to invite Mr. Blankfein to come down and see the painting for himself.
-And your name again, sir?
-Geoffrey Raymond
(Brief silence)
-Shall I give you my number?
-No thank you.
-Okay then, have a nice day.
-You too, sir.

(All dialogue verbatim, more or less)

I should point out that whoever I spoke with could not have been nicer or more professional. However, it did STING a bit, I must admit, when she told me she didn't want my telephone number.

I'm reminded of the time my brother stepped on a Portuguese Man-of-War on the beach in Florida when we were both kids. Man, he was hopping around like nobody's business. Now I guess I know how he felt.
That, dear reader, was back when we were young and brave.

The importance of being Earnest

Remind me to tell you how this ...

Became this ...

But that's not the moral of the story. And there hasn't even been a story, so what's with that?

Anyway, this is about the importance of being willing to make a fool of yourself in public, and the extraordinary benefits derived, tangentially, from doing so.

Okay. Picture yourself in a train in a station. Belay that. That's just the warm-up exercise. Now picture yourself in a train in a tunnel. A subway train. Full of people. Can you envision this?

Okay, so now you take out your iPod, dial up Who's Next, push play and start listening to the first song, which, as everybody knows, is "Baba O'Riley." At the same time, lift your right hand, clench it into a fist, knuckles out, like you were going to knock on a door. The trick is to try to predict exactly when, in the middle of all that harpsichord stuff (legend had it that that Pete Townshend couldn't actually play the harpsichord that fast, so he ended up played it at half speed, then speeding it back up), the three big piano chords come in. The way you do this is by, at the point you believe appropriate, shouting out the words "booooom ... boom, boom." These would, of course, be the chords. At the same time, crack your fist open and pretend to finger the chords on your air-piano.

I guarantee, everybody will look at you.

And this, dear reader, is the importance of being earnest. Sort of. Anyway, the moral of the story is that you can't be afraid to paint a bad painting (see first image--destined never to be "The Annotated Burnett (in the manner of Francis Bacon)") and you can't be afraid to white the goddam thing out and paint a portrait of Lloyd Blankfein over top of the thing.

Yo. Check this out:

This is the whited out version of "TAB(ITMOFB)" with the contrast amped up in photoshop so you can envision the texture.

At one point the thinking was something along the lines of calling it "White Maria" (since it always looked more like Maria Bartiromo than Erin Burnett--just one of the myriad problems the painting presented) and defining the negative/positive space by writing one long, small-font annotation around the perimeter of what would have been her head and shoulders. Something like "I can't believe they fired Todd Thompson for the whole Citigroup/private jet/Bartiromo fiasco and she barely got a slap on the knuckles. That guy from South Carolina should hire her lawyer."

Something like that.

Then people could offer their Bartiromo-directed comments in the usual place. And that, my friends, would really be something.

Although, in the end, we abandoned it. Instead we are readying what we are currently titling "Big Lloyd (Deep Purple)" for exhibition behind Goldman Sachs and the annotations and hijinks to follow. Experienced readers will know not to judge the painting itself yet. I mean, we're just warming up.

But it's coming around.

I'm thinking about whiting out that weird hand thing, though.

A walking tour of my mantle

It's not all just nose to the grindstone here at TYOMP. Sometimes we screw around. Thus:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

That boy, as they say, could sure eat some beets

Either Michael Jackson or Michael Jordan just died. Me? I find them virtually indistinguishable, although I believe I hold more of a grudge against MJ for all the things he did to my boys Patrick Ewing, Johnny Starks and the rest of that era's K-Whoppers.

That bit of pettiness aside, let's assume it was Jackson. Actually, let's not assume. That's who it actually was. I spent a portion of the evening watching MTV (not something I would otherwise do) play nothing but MJ videos. The irony of this functions palpably on any number of levels, by the way.
You watching videos on MTV is ironic?
No. MTV playing MJ videos is ironic.
How so?
How long do you have? It's complicated.
The general idea being the spectacle of watching the fetid spectre of what MTV formerly was pay homage to the very thing that made it what it was in the beginning, before it knelt before the alter of money, mouth agape?
Yeah, that's generally it.
And this is your idea of an obituary?
Moving on, my personal favorite video, for the record, is "Give Into Me" featuring, of all people, Slash. Licensing stuff being what it is, they won't let me imbed it. But you can see it on u-tube by going to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-CcqOe9WWU

One man's opinion? This video offers a macabre foretelling of Mr. Jackson's death and had to be what was going through his mind during the last five minutes and twenty-eight seconds of his life. I love the inexorability of it; the freight train locomotion of it; and Slash's second guitar solo, which starts at about the 3:30 mark and lasts, winding in and out, til about 4:15, is amazing. But where's his hat?

Anyway, you know what it reminds me of? The concluding scenes of that Miami Vice episode where Rico's making love to his girlfriend (Pam Grier--woof!), down from NYC to rescue her junkie younger sister from the bad guys, while, elsewhere, those same bad guys are holding little sis down and injecting her with enough heroin to kill every fish in the Pepacton Reservoir. Foreigner is, of course, playing. Jump cuts ensue. Check out Sonny's cell-phone at about the 2:20 mark.

This, by the way, dear reader, is everything you ever wanted to know about Miami Vice--the greatest television cop show in the history of the world. Take it or leave it.

But back to Michael Jackson. I was never that big a fan--he came on big after my primary window closed--but he could certainly dance. In fact, in the end, he was just some twisted kid with a "West Side Story" obsession who somehow made it big.

Witness the "Beat It" video (go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqxo1SKB0z8), with the role of Natalie Wood played by MJ. The real fireworks occur at the 3:56 mark and more or less continue through the rest of the thing.

Even more so is "Bad" (go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG5NhkxQJQc) -- a deep channeling of the "Cool" number in the West Side Story movie shot, I'm guessing, in the middle level of the West 4th Street train station back when it still smelled like pee in the summer.
You call this an obituary?
All I'm saying is that somewhere, Jerome Robbins is wondering where his royalty check is.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Woman (Blue and Yellow)" by Marilee Scott

I thought it might be worth just popping up the complete image of Marilee's painting:

It's about 16" by 20" and I bought it at a fundraiser at the Brooklyn Artists Gym. It's one of my favorite paintings. Ms. Scott tells me it's about menstrual pain and that it's a self-portrait. I think.

Me? There's a reason she added the parenthetical phrase to the title. I love the two colors in question, even though I think the blue is really totally packed with pthalo green. Of course, I think everything is green. As a painter, as I've reminded you many times, you are either a green guy or a blue guy. I'm a green guy.

This girl, by the way, is a wonderful painter. You can see all her stuff on her blog. You should buy something.

Man, what's with that shaking?

I apologize again for the shakiness of the otherwise profoundly stimulating "A Walking Tour of 'Helicopter Ben'". Hey, shit happens.

I live on 16th Street in Brooklyn, just south of fashionable Park Slope, in what is called, by everybody other than real estate agents, the South Slope. Real estate agents call it Park Slope. By and large, they cannot be trusted. A bunch of bizarros occupy the building just uphill from mine and every weekend, weather permitting, they barbeque in the front yard and hold a bric-a-brac sale. The urge to sometimes shout "Shut the fuck up. I'm trying to watch 'Gossip Girl'" out the window is palpable.

Still, I went down the other day and bought a monopod. You can see the head of the thing, with its mounting screw, here:

A monopod is like a tripod except that it just has one (extendable) leg. FYI, the word itself is derived from the Latin monopod, meaning "an unstable thing onto which one can mount a camera." The idea is that by mounting the Flip on the monopod I will, by dint of the laws of physics related to mass, enertia and the movement of objects through space, dramatically reduce the shakiness you experienced in "A Walking Tour of 'Helicopter Ben'."

We'll see. Right now, because my windows are quite tall, I use the monopod to open and close the curtain in my bedroom.

The picture above certainly falls under the good clean fun category. I call it "Self Portrait with Monopod." In it you can see me taking the picture in the mirror; sections of "The Fallen Prince" and "Close, But Not Quite"--one of my Chuck Close portraits; and a painting by a painting buddy of mine named Marilee Scott called "Woman."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Walking Tour of "Helicopter Ben"

'Tis a poor craftsman that blames his tools, but for some reason I had a hard time holding my flip camera steady. I think it was something about aperature and exposure and video overload and stuff like that. Because me? I'm as smooth as a baby's ass.

The woman writing on the painting is actually the CanalPlus producer. You can tell that she's the producer because at a certain point she turns around and yells at her cameraman. Who's name was Guillume. And the song fit perfectly.

I was gonna use the Bob Marley song but it was too short and I didn't feel like chopping everything down.

Helicopter Ben Goes Public

Here's "Helicopter Ben" on the wall of my studio, keeping "Red Geithner" and "The Annotated Burnett (in the manner of Francis Bacon)" company.

Then after the first part of one day on the street with the Canal Plus people...

And then at the end of the day, having traveled up to 50th St to visit it's cousin "The Annotated Fuld" and then back down to civilization, that being the Peter McManus Cafe...

Favorite annotation?

Me? I love a Bob Marley lyric.

The entire song?
Them crazy, them crazy -
We gonna chase those crazy
Baldheads out of town;
Chase those crazy baldheads
Out of our town.

I'n'I build a cabin;
I'n'I plant the corn;
Didn't my people before me
Slave for this country?
Now you look me with that scorn,
Then you eat up all my corn.

We gonna chase those crazy -
Chase them crazy -
Chase those crazy baldheads out of town!
/Scat singing/
Build your penitentiary, we build your schools,
Brainwash education to make us the fools.
Hate is your reward for our love,
Telling us of your God above.

We gonna chase those crazy -
Chase those crazy bunkheads -
Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown!
/Instrumental break/
We gonna chase those crazy -
Chase those crazy bunkheads -
Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown!

Here comes the conman
Coming with his con plan.
We won't take no bribe;
We've got [to] stay alive.

We gonna chase those crazy -
Chase those crazy baldheads -
Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown.
All of which is fine (and I'm listening to the damned thing as I type). But if you're gonna spell the last word of the song phonetically--yown rather than town--then you should open wif "Dem crazy..." I'm assuming that the annotation's author's assumption is that this is the theme song of Fox Business News. "We gonna chase dem crazy bumpheads outta dah town."

I always thought it was "bumphead", not "bunkhead." But I'm not sweating it. Me? I'n'I jus paintin' dah paintin'.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Revisiting old friends

I spent a bit of Friday being followed around by a documentary crew from Canal Plus, a French television network (if network is the right word), doing an hour-long piece on the what one might call the Madoff/Lehman confluence (if, in fact, there is a confluence. Seems like apples and oranges to me).

They interviewed me in my studio, then followed me out onto the street to get shots of people annotating Helicopter Ben. When that was done, we took a cab uptown (you try putting these paintings in a cab) and stopped into the apartment of the guy who bought "The Annotated Fuld." The doorman let us in and then left us alone to do our own thing--that being to shoot me reminiscing about standing in front of Lehman Bros. with my painting of Richard Fuld during the week of the long knives.

It's always a grin to see these things hanging in somebody else's house. That is to say, as opposed to my own.

There's video to come, but I'm having trouble synching the sound.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And just while we're here...

Here's "The Annotated Burnett (in the manner of Francis Bacon)" ...

Please hold your comments until we get through this bit of a rough patch.

And just out of the blue, this...

Behold "Red Geithner" ...

Me? I can't stop smiling when I look at it. The French TV people are going to go bananas. Or, perhaps, bananes. I wonder if, in French, it's the same idiom. Google translator offers: J'ai pris un coup d'oeil à la peinture et a la banane.

Remember that cheeseball of an old Schwarzenegger movie called "Red Sonya"?

Same concept.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The relative merits of Bing

Do you use Bing? The new search engine from Microsoft? Just for the record, one of the times I typed The Screaming Pope into their image search engine, then specified large images, MY painting showed up first.

Just for the record. Bacon takes third and fourth.

Each time you do it the order changes somewhat. Another time I came in fifth. Just for the record.

This is your brain ...

This is your brain...

Actually no, it's a photograph of Francis Bacon.

This is your brain on drugs...

Actually no, it's a self-portrait of Bacon.
Or maybe a portrait of his friend George Dyer.
Hard to tell.

This is a portrait of CNBC talking head Erin Burnett...

The idea--and, because mine, though idiosyncratic, is not a particularly devious mind, I know you can see this one coming from a mile away--is to incorporate the face of Erin Burnett into the general shape and spirit of the self-portrait of Francis Bacon to create something called "The Annotated Burnett (in the manner of Francis Bacon)".

Or, alternatively, "This is Geoffrey Raymond's brain on drugs."

No, seriously. The thinking on the table is to crank out Burnett, Cramer, Bartiromo and Gasparino as annotated paintings, each in the style of Francis Bacon.

Back to the images above, I think both Burnett's lips, eyes and nose will correspond nicely with the rough geography of the Bacon painting. The rest, as they say, is up to whatever lies at the crossroads of my meager talent and your imagination.

You may remember a lot of Bacon mentions during the time I was painting "The Screaming Pope"--my homage to Francis Bacon and his obsession with Diego Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X in the form of a portrait of then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

What you may not be aware of was Bacon's obsession with this image:

He painted a number of paintings that were, in one way or another, referred to as "The Screaming Pope." This might be the second most famous:

Check out the glasses. I only found out about this late last week when I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Bacon show.

All of which beings us to this:

Which is proof, if ever I've confronted proof, that I'm on the right track.

Personal confession: Has this ever happened to you? You think the whole painting thing is generally going pretty well--damned well, actually--and then you go to a museum show like the Bacon show I went to last week, and you realize that the gulf of talent between you and guys like Bacon is so utterly profound that you might as well be staring into a limitless abyss? Then depression sets in? You find yourself at one point laughing (Was it really laughing, or was it a spastic cough of despair? More of a tragic yelp, if memory serves?) out loud and everybody in the room turns and looks at you? Then you figure out the whole glasses thing and you realize that God is sending you a message? That everything will be all right?

Well that's what happened to me on Thursday afternoon at the Met.

And now I'm painting Erin Burnett in the manner of Francis Bacon. And the tune floating through my head is, oddly, "Onward Christian Soldiers."

Which is a little creepy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Public Art

I was talking with someone who wants to interview me for a documentary. She asked if I thought of myself as a public artist.

I said not really.

But THIS is public art:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

This was done in Buenos Aires. Imagine trying to do it in NYC.

Erased de Kooning

Are you familar with Robert Rauschenberg's work of art titled "Erased de Kooning"?

This, of course, is it:

If so, then great. If not, then this--straight, as we like to say, from horses mouth--is Bob Rauschenberg telling you more or less everything you need to know ... at least for our purposes.

[Brief aside: Key phrase @ 1:46: ... I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels and went upstairs ...]

All of which brings us to what is now being called "Barack 3 (Erased de Kooning)"--just one more instance of me putting myself into shoes I might not be able to fill but do so just so I can flop around in them, paint stick in one hand, bottle of Jack Daniels in the other, like a drunk kid in Gramma's attic, dreaming of bigger things.

The strategy is this: Fix the eye; fix the hairline; white out all the anotations but one; change the title from "Barack 3" to "Barack 3 (Erased de Kooning)" and call it a day. Might even be fun.

Now check this out:

Interesting crop. Almost stands on it's own. Almost worth duplicating on a larger level, just to stand on it's own. If you haven't been paying attention, it's the lower left hand corner of "Barack 3." The inscription reads "I wish my parents were alive to see this ... and I'm not even black!"

It's my favorite annotation on an otherwise erase-worthy collection of commentary.

Me? I'm all fired up.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scene from Matisse's studio

Scene from Matisse's studio--all dialogue guaranteed verbatim:

--May I call you Hank?
--You can call me whatever you want so long as you pay for the painting.
--Exactly. So listen, Hank. Don't get us wrong--we're loving "The Piano Lesson." Totally cool with your dip into the Cubist grid, and the fact that it's your son and all, plus the spatial ambiguity, and the plethora of thoughtful iconography, not the least of which is you throwing us a bone with the filigreed balustrade. But really, Hank, the face on that kid! Do you think you could do something about that? I mean, it's a disaster.
--What's special about the ambiguity?
--Not 'special' Hank. I said 'spatial.'
--Oh. Sorry, my English is poor.
--Anyway, can you fix the kid's face?
--I can do whatever you want so long as you pay for the painting.
--Okay. We'll pick it up in a week.
--Okay. Don't forget to bring the money.

Me? I love the spatial ambiguity of setting the red copy flush right.

I'm troubled...

I'm troubled by the following:

First, Exhibit A--a small, annotated portrait of Barack Obama done on commission for a lovely couple in New Jersey. Disregard how blue the background looks. It's really white.

Yesterday the painting was returned to me with the request that a couple of changes be made. Changes, I thought, are fine. I mean, one tries to keep the customer satisfied, right?

Change one was a request to touch up his left eye. Okay, I'm thinking. Change two was to modify his hairline. Bit of a quibble, I'm thinking, but okay. Change three was to white out all the annotations.


So now it's the next day and, having finished chewing on my raisin bran I'm now chewing on the advisability of whiting out the annotations. A friend of mine said just paint them a new one and keep this one for yourself.

I'm of two minds. First, I'm already painting another Obama for a lovely woman in the Pacific Northwest. I don't really feel like painting the guy for the fifth time just now. Second, I have enough paintings and don't necessarily want to keep this one. Truth be told, it's not my finest hour, although there are many things about it that I like very much. Not the least of which is one of the annotations:
"I wish my parents were alive to see this...and I'm not even black!"
Now THAT, dear reader, is an annotation!

Also, you know as well as I do that, in an act of profound self-delusion, I like to put myself in the shoes of the great ones and walk around as if I were one of them. So now I'm wearing my Matisse shoes and thinking what I (being Henri Matisse) would say if somebody asked me to change one of my paintings as dramatically as I (being Geoffrey Raymond) am being asked to change one of mine. If that makes sense.

Of course I'm not Matisse. So I'll probably just do it. But that's not to say I'm not troubled.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Helicopter Ben, finis

Always good to finish a painting.

This, unannotated, is "Helicopter Ben":

Close inspection will yield evidence of extensive reworking of both the beard and nose. And the eyes, to a lesser extent.

My opening annotation, as I currently see it, goes something like "I wonder if recent monetary policy decisions have grounded my helicopter."

Hmmm. We'll see. The next steps are to get the go-ahead from the guy who commissioned the thing, then take to the streets. Between you and me, I'm angry at the Goldman Sachs people. Last couple of times I've been out there the response has been underwhelming.

The solution? I'm taking the Goddamn thing uptown and plunking it down in front of Morgan Stanley (@49 and Broadway, if I'm not mistaken).

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I don't paint enough women

So I'm reading Joe Nocera's column in the NYT titled "Poking Holes in a Theory on Markets" in which he takes a couple of compelling shots at the efficient market hypothesis.
Wikipedia (God bless 'em) offers: In finance, the efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) asserts that financial markets are "informationally efficient", or that prices on traded assets (e.g., stocks, bonds, or property) already reflect all known information, and rapidly change to reflect new information. Therefore it is impossible to consistently outperform the market by using any information that the market already knows, except through luck.
And I got to thinking about "The American Investor" and my previous statement that I don't paint enough women. This, if you remember, was coupled with the flawed notion of painting FDIC head Sheila Baer.

This, by the way, is "The American Investor" hung in a corner of my apartment, flanked by "The Enumerated Thain" and just above an oldie--"Forgiving Nixon."

So I got to thinking that I need to stimulate more interesting commentary on my paintings and that one way to do so would be to paint the picture of a woman in the same obscured box technique I employed for "... Investor", title it "The Annotated EMH" or some such nonsense and nab thought-provoking quotes from Nocera's article, plus some others...
“It’s ridiculous to blame the financial crisis on the efficient market hypothesis. If you are leveraged 33-1, and you’re holding long-term securities and using short-term indebtedness, and then there’s a run on the bank — which is what happened to Bear Stearns — how can you blame that on efficient market theory?”
--Burton G. Malkiel, Princeton economist
Now THAT, dear reader, is an annotation. Beats the hell out of "I love New York--Bobby and Sissie from Milwaukee."

This one jumps to mind as well:
“In their desire for mathematical order and elegant models the economic establishment played down the role of bad behavior" --not to mention "flat-out bursts of irrationality.”
--Jeremy Grantham (via Nocera)
Then I thought--given a number of reasons, not the least being the relative obscenity of last few years on Wall Street--that I should involve sex in the equation. So I went on the web and grabbed the first safe-for-work-but-still-naughty image I could find ...

And thought, now THAT would be some good clean fun. Imagine this image (or something similar, perhaps more overtly orgasmic), flipped perhaps, executed in a small-box obscured technique, sans fountain, sporting, among others, the two annotations offered above.

That's what I'm talking about.

I'm torn about whether to render it in black and white or color. Much thought to come.

Anonymous weighs in...

This, as you are probably aware, is the current state of "Helicopter Ben":

About which somebody named Anonymous comments:
Eyes are strong but needs more beard.
Hmmm, interesting. Me? I couldn't disagree more. I kind of like the ambiguity of just where the beard starts and where it ends. The resource image is this:

And, yes, there's probably a bit more beard/skin definition here, particularly on his left cheek, than in the painting. But look at his right cheek. Who knows where that beard stops and starts. Furthermore, one of the things I like about Big Ben is how his beard is white on the top and dark (er) on the bottom. I like how it give the impression of welling up from the collar into the light.

Through tarmac, to the sun again, for you Moody Blues fans.

You may remember the power with which John McCain's head welled up from the darkness. This may be my all-time favorite neck.

Back to Bernanke, here's the close-up:

In this case, the darkness is depicted more as green than black. The operative notion being that the abyss from which, in this case, the face of Ben Bernanke is welling up is a financial one. Which can be taken two ways: a) as a statement of optimism (Out of the darkness and into the light? or Through tarmac, to the sun again?), or b) to suggest that the underlayment of the Wall Street experience (which, as it should, remains one of greed, and the sinister machinations [including, but not limited to, lying, stealing and cheating] designed to translate greed into money) is disguised by his bright and shiny forehead. His clear, attentive gaze. That dome of a head full of academic theories about inflation and deflation, money supply, the theory of efficient markets and all those other things we've heard so much about, for good or for bad.

These are complicated questions.

Me? I like the beard. That said, it may still change significantly. I reserve that right. But I like it.

Regarding the eyes, I'm not so convinced.

I like a bit more stuff going on. A bit of green perhaps. No one knows, as they say, what it's like to be the ... sad man behind (in this case, either brown or green) eyes... I do, however, like how that white covered up the yellow we were talking about earlier.

I was just listening to "Baba O'Riley" the other day.
Who's next?
Yeah, that's right.
No. Who's next?
I just said that's right.
No. I mean, who are you going to paint next?
Oh. Shiela Baer jumps to mind, although I can't find a good picture.

I don't paint enough women.
Do you think the average person gives a shit about Sheila Baer?
Probably not.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Here's where we stand with Helicopter Ben:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bernanke weighs in

Tell me if this happens to you: You have a certain amount of anxiety about a painting, then it turns out great, then you keep working at it and it just starts turning into a disaster?

This is "Ophelia's Left Breast" on a table in front of "Helicopter Ben":

Bernanke: What's with that blue stuff? I thought the painting was supposed to be mostly black.
Me: The blue dries clear. It's black underneath.

Bernanke: Really? I bet those bubbles are gonna cause you some trouble.
Me: Ya think?
Berrnanke: Yeah. Look closely...

Me: Omigod, I'm totally screwed.
Bernanke: You think you're screwed? You should try my job.
Me: Hey Ben--blow it out your ass.
All that said, I have this horrible feeling like I went too thick with the clear gel topcoat and now it's gonna get gray and spotty. And those bubbles? I can't even think about it.