Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Clothes the Emperor Wore

I've been in a bit of a slump, but I think I just figured out what's bugging me.

I look back at the emotional impact of annotated works like The Annotated Fuld or The Fallen Prince and acknowledge that the weight of the thing comes from the heartfelt comments. Which is as it should be. Except that lately people are writing shit like "I heart New York". Which they always have, except now it seems to be the exception rather than the rule. I look at Red Geithner, for example, and feel a little let down that so few people had anything of substance to say to, or about, Timothy Geithner.

And that bugs me.

Consider this:



Big Maria 1 (Plane Too Many). Ahhhh--whatta painting.

I think Big Maria represented the zenith of me writing on my own paintings. Shortly afterwards I decided I needed to have other people write on them; painted Rupert Murdoch; handed out markers; and the rest is history.

Surely you regular readers realize that life is either a set of linked circles or, more likely, a Slinky. So I've decided, at least on some level, to circle back and start writing something on my paintings that I would like to see written on them.
Don't you do that anyway?
What do you mean?
I mean that you always give yourself the "first annotation" on any given painting. Isn't that enough?
Apparently not. I want to say what needs to be said in Big Letters.
Then you should do so.
Thank you. I will.
So consider this:



It's a picture of me in a pair of shorts. Painting shorts, I guess, since there seems to be paint all over them.
Don't all your clothes have paint all over them?
Yes, I suppose they do. Witness the huge blue goober on my stomach.
Exactly.
Anyway, let's do a visualization exercise. First, picture yourself on a train in a station. Can you see that the porters appear to be made of plastic? And that they have weird eyes? Okay, now change gears and imagine a painting of a middle aged man in a pair of white boxer shorts cropped approximately the way I've cropped the photo above.

Now let's pretend it's a portrait of Jim Cramer. Because I like the idea of painting a series of tightly cropped images of the leading financial reporters on television. Cramer, Bartiromo, Gasparino, Burnett, etc. In their underwear. I'm calling the series "The Clothes The Emperor Wore". Surely this is metaphor enough for one day.

Now imagine, because I'm a structuralist, the following pattern of copy that each painting will feature scrawled across it:
1--Pithy quote (entirely fictitious--made up purely to satisfy whatever needs I am feeling at the time)
2--Name of famous financial news reporter (since you can't see their face, you just have to play along. this also makes the paintings waaaaay easier to execute.) followed by the word "wears"
3--Brand and model of underwear
4--Retail price of the underwear
So the Cramer painting's scrawl would read something like this:
I wish I'd just had the balls to apologize ... like that asshole Greenspan did - Jim Cramer wears Jockey Hi-rise Boxers with Comfort Waistband - $22.50
Alternatively, imagine an ornately wrought painting of a brassiere on a relatively flat-chested woman.
If Cramer could see what I'm wearing under my blouse he'd gag a hairball - Erin Burnett wears La Perla Demi-cup Peek-a-boo - $215.00
Honestly, could you just die? Warhol did. Went into the hospital for a routine procedure; came out a stiff. Hey ... it happens. But obviously, for good and for bad, the man lives on. I mean, the above notion embraces what one might call a Warholian gestalt with both arms.

Anyway, these are the things I've been thinking about.

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