Monday, November 29, 2010

What Other Paintings are on Tap for the Upstate Show?

This comes from a TYOMP (pronounced Triumph, with just the hint of a lisp) reader identifying himself as The Annotated Commenter. The title of this post is the entire comment. Which is fine, but I would remind all of you that if you send me a question in the form of a comment, the Blogspot software I use doesn't allow me to: a) identify you beyond the usually-fictitious name you are using as your nomme d'post, and b) to reply. If you want a reply, you have to email me.

So here is my reply:

I like the idea of combining six Minotaur paintings, each with a Wall Street title/annotation with The American Investor and The Fallen Prince. If possible, I'd add American Chicken to the mix, but I don't have a full say in these matters.

Regarding pricing, the Minotaur paintings are all in the $3,500-$5,000 range. The two large annotated works are much more expensive (multiply by 1.7 then add a zero, roughly speaking). American Chicken sells for $11,000, but I'll trade it for a Rolex Explorer II 1655 Orange Hand. The chances of which are remote.
The chances of what?
Of somebody actually trading me the watch for the painting.
I don't have time to get into that. In the end, most people who own one don't want to get rid of it, and if you don't own one, it's way easier to throw down the eleven kay than buying one and dealing with all the ancillary crap.
By 'eleven kay' do you mean $11,000?
Since we're talking phonetics, wouldn't it be more fun to spell it 'eleven quay'?
Yes it might.
Do you miss yours?
My what?
Your Rolex whatever.
Yes I do.
You don't strike me as particularly hung up on material goods.
Well, I'm not. Although that could be a function of poverty.
Could be.
But I do miss two things I used to own.
Those being?
My Rolex Explorer II 1655 Orange Hand and my 60s-era six-string Rickenbacker.
You're really a very small, shallow man, aren't you?
Yes. But that Rickenbacker was something.
I remember that one.
Me too. Playing it was like taking the tour of Gettysburg.
How so?
Resonance, man. Deep resonance.
It should also be noted that the so-called upstate show is not yet cast in stone. My dear dealer and I have to come to some sort of understanding about content. I think she's concerned about the bestiality/oral sex imagery being plastered all over her nice white walls.

For which I don't know why. I mean, they are not all going to be as graphic as the Meredith Whitney painting. Second, they are inspired by the works of Picasso, which surely must add a certain additional poetic license.
If in fact, painting is a form of poetry.
Exactly. If in fact.
And besides, my thinking is evolving. There's a part of me that likes the idea of interpreting additional Picassos, throwing my usual smirking annotation on them, and binging them out by the handful.

Handful might not be the right word. But once you commit to the concept, it wouldn't be hard to bing out ten or fifteen during the cold winter months.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The licking of the wounds ...

The licking of the wounds has been replaced by the licking of the fingers after a lovely Thanksgiving repast. I've never tasted a brined turkey that absorbed so much of the brine. To good effect, I would add.
Is it effect or affect?
I honestly don't know.
Me neither.
I mean, the effect of brining lent an overall saltiness the turkey would have otherwise lacked.
At the same time, one could suggest that the turkey, acting as its own agent, affected a certain brininess. Two years before the mast, and all that stuff.
Rum, buggery and the lash.
Yes you could.
Suggest that the turkey, acting as its own agent, affected a certain brininess.
Particularly if you buy into the relatively specious notion that the turkey was acting as its own agent.
Certainly one of the two.
What two?
Effect or affect.
Further, to quote George Costanza (a character I'm not entirely comfortable aligning myself with): "I'm back, Jerry."
I always thought of you as Jerry.
Me too.
Not so much George.
God help me.
With perhaps Elaine as a close second.
We should all be in touch with our inner woman--provided we are men.
Anyway, I'm done licking my wounds about the Goldman Sachs fiasco. There's some talk of having a small upstate show featuring six or so of my so-called Minotaur paintings, of which this is the only one extant ...

... combined with a smattering of classic annotated paintings...

... of which this is a personal favorite.

There is also some talk, at least in my own mind ...
Stop the shouting! Stop the shouting!
What shouting?
You don't hear that?
The shouting?
Then I guess it's all in my mind.
Anyway, apparently the discussion is an internal one, but there is some talk of reinterpreting The American Investor as a loosely rendered Sarah Palin and call it Screaming Palin.

Which makes me smile, just thinking about it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping Score, Volume 2: These are the times that try men's souls

Do you know that taste you get when you've taken a slug to the lung? When you've got a sucking chest wound and you can't keep the blood out of your mouth? That bitter, brassy taste that reminds you of the kind of beef bouillion you make with the cheap powder mixes?

It is also the taste of complete, utter, abject failure. And if you are tasting it right now I can only assume you, after years of reading The Year of Magical Painting, are experiencing an almost spiritual level of connectedness with me right now. For the first line of this paragraph describes how well my recent Goldman Sachs partners outreach program has gone.

I can only assume that my original assumption that I had penetrated 87 mailboxes was flawed. Because the response has been one of complete, utter, abject silence.
Maybe they got the message you sent them but didn't care to respond.
Perhaps. But a rough knowledge of simple statistics and a keen understanding of the human psyche tell me that somebody would have responded. If only to say fuck off and stop bothering me.
Perhaps. Or perhaps you attach too much value to the email--and by extension your work itself--and fail to see how, putting yourself in the shoes of a newly-minted GS partner, the number of other fish that required frying necessitated the lack of a response.
You heard me.
Okay. But I discount your thesis entirely. Who doesn't want a portrait of Marcus Goldman?
87 people, apparently.
I discount your thesis entirely.
A rough knowledge of simple statistics and a keen understanding of the human psyche tell me that somebody would have responded. If only to say fuck off.
You're repeating yourself.
I know. You've upset me.
Sorry. Didn't mean to, but I have a role to play on this blog just as you do.
I suppose.
And besides, what was it that Paul Tudor Jones said?
"I have only just begun to fight?"
Yes, roughly. But more vigorously. And without the question mark.
"I have only just begun to fight!"
It's a lost battle, not a lost war.
Nicely said. Cheers.
The day may be lost, but the future belongs to me.
Those, if I'm not mistaken, were Jackson Pollock's last thoughts as his Buick hurtled towards that tree.
I feel so much better now.
Me too.
Quick note to readers at home: If what you are experiencing is NOT related to an almost spiritual level of connectedness with me; that is to say, you have actually taken a bullet to the chest and the wound is making a horrible sucking noise and you can't seem to get the blood out of your mouth, try sealing the wound with Saran-Wrap, then wrapping tightly with something like an Ace bandage. Then call 911.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Keeping score

4:01--pushed the button
4:02--two "out of office" replies.
4:05--non-delivery notifications top out at 17
4:15--after ten minutes with a pen and paper I've determined that I've penetrated 87 actual mailboxes. (106 - (2+17) = 87)

Baiting my hook for Leviathan yet again

I had my able assistant type all 100+ email addresses of the newly-minted partners at Goldman Sachs into a folder. I will now send them a letter offering them a significant discount on one particular painting. The email reads:
Every year, starting now, I offer newly-named Goldman Sachs partners a significant discount on one of my paintings. It is my way of giving back to the community.

This year it is a preparatory work for a large-scale portrait of Marcus Goldman. Titled "Study for Marcus Goldman", acrylic on canvas, it measures roughly 54" by 36", is executed in the representational drip style I am known for and is signed on the back. I have attached a file for your review.

Even at its relatively modest size it is a monumental work. And, unlike many of my paintings (which are covered with angry screeds from the general public), it remains pristine; untouched by human hands other than my own. Safe for work or home--which is an odd thing to have to say about a painting.

The work is priced at $24,000. I am offering it at $17,500 you and 109 or so of your colleagues.

If you are not familiar with my work, you can view all of my Wall Street paintings at

Thank you for your consideration.

"Every year, starting now..." is an amusing phrase. Kind of like "first annual". But hey, these guys aren't English majors. I'm sure it will be fine.

I'm less certain about the question of whether the Goldman Sachs computer (assuming they have one humongous one) will actually allow 100 or so identical emails, each with a file attached, through the perimeter. Or will they all be sent back? Rejected as spam. Or corned beef.

Because I understand that you don't get to be named partner at GS without being fairly committed to moving the needle, so to speak, I'm waiting til after the market closes today to avoid undue disruption. I mean, I don't want to turn the place on its ear--there's money to be made.
I thought so.
I wonder if something like that will utterly piss off senior management?
The thought of which makes my stomach itch a bit, given that I have something of an existing relationship.
Or will they even be aware of it?
Questions, questions.
I'm just gonna push the freaking button.
Nicely said. As John Paul Jones once uttered: "I've only just begun to fight."
Something like that.
Yes. Perhaps not an exact quote, but something like that.
So we'll see.

The painting, of course, is this:

Despite its relatively modest size, it's a monumental work.
Yes it is.
Push the button.
I'm scared.
Just push it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick Note on Blekko, Volume 2

Even in a world full of oddly named websites, who on Earth thought Blekko was a good name for a search engine?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Schwarzman in progress

Disregard the blue tint...

Nicely on schedule for the party tonight. Ordinarily I don't actually sign them til they're done, but I wanted all the thick paint to be completely dry. We're pretty close to being done.

For you completists, it measures 2 1/2 by 3. Maybe. It feels a bit smaller than that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Burning my bridges at Blackstone

I hope I'm not burning my bridges at Blackstone.
As if you even had a bridge at Blackstone to burn.
Yeah. The statement embraces what you might call an anticipatory dynamic.
It sure does.
Tomorrow, my friend Josh Kosman is having a party for the publication of the paperback version of his recent book. Titled "The Buyout of America", it's an indictment of private equity's throttling, in the name of the American Dream, of the American Dream. Whatever that even is anymore.

Go here to buy the Kindle version.

So he sends me an invitation to the event. Upon which I reflect. Then I notice at the bottom a post script that reads: "Geoffrey, if you happen to have a painting for people to sign it would add to the buzz."

So I decide to paint Stephan Schwarzman. Fast.

This is a smaller than usual painting, so I'm trying to maximize the white area for pithy comments by the media-heavy attendees. My solution is to crop a good third of the man's head, so as to make him appear to be peeking around a corner.

This is the resource photo, suitably cropped:

Terrible tie, by the way, even if it looks like it came from Hermes.

The title will possibly run something like: "Stephen Schwarzman smiles nervously, wondering if it's ok to join Josh's book-signing party." Something like that. Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer. Perhaps something less stupid. Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer.

For a man throttling the American Dream in the name of the American Dream, he has a pretty friendly face. We are under the gun, time-wise, and we'll see if we can capture enough of it to count.

Alternative title: Throttling the American Dream in the name of the American Dream. Which is better, perhaps. Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer.

I hope I'm not burning my bridges at Blackstone.

Note from a reader

I love it when the Commentariat actually puts some work into their contributions to The Year of Magical Painting. This, verbatim, from David the Fool:
Host: Is the Raymond boom over?

Bove: Raymond is a stone-cold buy!

Whitney: Guy is so goddamn screwed. Sell sell sell.

Taleb: People are underestimating the risks of holding Raymond paintings. They may be in for a surprise. The biggest surprise is that he never painted me or any of my beautiful black swans. The bastard.

Roubini: I think he could be in for a downtown in the next quarter or maybe in the one after that or perhaps it will occur in the one after that.

Krugman: More fiscal expansion is necessary for Raymond to avoid a depressive slump that could last for decades.

Random Zero Hedge commenter: Who the fuck is Geoffrey Raymond?!

Anna Chapman: Ooh I think I fancy his commenter Daveed Ze Fool.

Raymond: Fuck all of you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

And a quick note on Blekko

Are you using Blekko? The new search engine? Well let me tell you, it's an eye-opener.

Backtracking: Have you ever googled "Geoffrey Raymond"? Well, let me tell you, I have (although I try not to do it more than three times a day). And I always wondered, in a somewhat self-serving manner, why this professor from UCSB with the same name as me gets about the same number of entries when you type us/me/him in. I mean, without bragging, they are talking about me on the NBC Evening News and he's publishing something obscure in The Illinois Journal of Applied Social Behavior. Or some-such.

Not that this makes me cross, but after googling myself on Blekko (I bet the guys at Blekko hate that choice of verbs), I'm starting to think that the fix is in. Because when you Blekko me/him/us, manoman I am crushing the guy. Not like its a competition, but still...

The deal with Blekko--not suggesting I've made a personal inquiry; this is just what I've read--is that they are immune (my word, not theirs) to search engine optimization (which is obviously what the guy from UCSB must be doing) and just report the facts. Like Joe Friday on Dragnet. If that's not lost on you.

So the next time I need to know something, I'm going to

Try it now. Click here. Type in my name. You'll be amazed at the shit you'll read.

And as a bonus, at the 117th entry (I was fascinated by all the stuff people have written about me and couldn't turn away), I see this glimmer of a previous life:
So, does Concord grape juice contain the beneficial compounds as red wine? Some compounds overlap. It helps that Concord grape juice is made by pressing and pulverizing the whole grape, including the seeds and the skin, before it is strained and made into juice, according to Welch's spokesperson Geoffrey Raymond.
Thank you, Blekko, for that bit of good fun.

And while you are there, be sure and read the artistic statement I submitted to the Brooklyn Artists Gym for my artist-in-residence page. As of this writing, it is Entry #13. I assumed that everybody would get the "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" references (they go on, word for word, for sentences at a time). But nobody did and they all looked at me in a very much different way after that.

For you completists, everybody mentioned in my artistic statement is an Peter McManus regular.

Me on FOX Business

Not me. But as if it were a chunk of my flesh...

Check this out:

Wow, The Annotated Fuld looks great on the set. I can't believe I'm just running across this now. I should call Larry (who for a long time didn't want me to be identified as the buyer--which is fine with me) and ask him if he ever sold it.

Just to save you some time, once they start talking about where to put your money the subject never veers back to the painting. So you have permission to take the jump.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Given the advent of new, more humane slaughtering techniques, it's good to be a (insert word or phrase here) in America

Ahhh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you. Or, more specifically, I've finished American Chicken. And it is something to behold.

Consider first the chicken itself:

Now that, my friends, is a chicken. As they say at the University of South Carolina, "Go Cocks!"

And we've only begun to fight. Consider the matter of the whole piece:

Obviously moving the copy has made it a more formal piece. But the piece de resistance is the accounting of dead chickens drawn to the right of each line of copy. Attention, as Willy Lohman's wife once said, must be paid.
Plus the metaphorical implications are vast.
Yes they are. I can think of several provoking antecedents for "chicken"
Do you think that's the right word? Antecedents?
Meaning the real thing for which the subject or object of a metaphor is holding space?
No, I don't think it's the right word. But it's not a bad word, given the situation.
No, it isn't.
Thank you.
My pleasure. What, if you don't mind my asking, might your list of antecedents include?
Oy gevalt. The mind reels.
Mine too. And likewise my colleagues.
Okay, here are a few: Democrats. Poor people. Prop traders at places like Goldman Sachs.
Fair enough. I'm sure there are more.
Sure. Quants.
Despite today's article in the Times.
Have you ever read "Lost. Six of Six Million"?
The book?
Yes I have. Stunning work. Why do you bring it up?
Because every time I look at that painting I think of the Holocaust.
Oy. Now I'm enjoying it a little less.
I know. It's like Leni Riefenstahl if she was a painter.
Or Art Spiegelman.
I know. I'm just saying.
Well stop.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

American Chicken, Volume 2 (You think this shit is easy?)

I like this...

A lot better than this...

And there is now the very real case of throwing good money after bad, in which we replace the word money with the word paint. I think I"m gonna white (black) it out and start over.

More to follow.

Remain calm.

American Chicken

Here, at the 80% mark, is "American Chicken."

The text needs work--not from a copy-writing point of view but, rather, from a tidying-up point of view. If you look closely at the actual writing on the Meredith Whitney painting, you can see that a number of the letters have a sort of deep orange halo. I'm looking for something like that.

We'll see.

But the title is strong. American Chicken.
Someone should alert Lenny Kravitz.
Yes they should.
And Heather Graham.
I'd like to be in charge of that.
Who wouldn't? May I ask a substantive question?
What does this have to do with Wall Street?
Interesting question. Possibly nothing.
I see it more as a political statement.
Fair enough. And what is Wall Street if not politics?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Am Currently Painting Chicken

Me? I eat mo chicken any man ever seen.

But that's not the point. The point is, it is possible that a few people reading this were once, a long long time ago, in the dining room of my parents' house in Fairfax, Virginia. It is less likely that members of that particular group remember three mostly black and white Japanese woodcuttings of chickens hanging on the wall. Representational, but wonderfully abstract in the way Asian art can be. Wonderful works, I always thought. Someday, I always thought, they were going to be mine.

Naaah. I walk in the house one day, now a grown-up, and notice that they were no longer on the wall. Where are the woodcuts? I ask. Sold them, my father responds. Why? I ask. Somebody paid me $5,000 for them.

Now this is a man who lived a comfortable, middle class life. Never really hurt for money. Certainly didn't need to liquidate the Estate to pay, say, the electric bill. But hey, what do you do? You should have seen what he did to my brother's desk. But that's a different story.

Anyway, all this by way of announcing that we are all scarred by life. By our parents. Man, I wish I had those chickens now.

So fast forward to an opening at the Axelle Gallery a week or so ago, featuring a painter named Brian Keith Stephens. And let me tell you, dear reader, the man is the chicken king. The Chicken King! Like Jim Morrison with the fucking chickens.

Me? I eat mo chicken any man ever seen. But that's a different thing.

Anyway, this is just some of the guy's chicken paintings (he also does cattle, people, etc.)

Personal favorite? Second one from the top left. Titled Are You A Lover and priced at 11K. Which, the record should show, is about a third what I get for an annotated work. Although it's not about the money, dear reader.

So, one thing leads to another and I saunter up to the guy and suggest, in so many words, that I'd trade one of my paintings for one of his. Words are exchanged (not in a bad way, the way the phrase "words are exchanged" might suggest) and I still get the impression that he doesn't want to exchange chicken paintings (He says something like "I think I already have enough chicken paintings" to which I respond "I eat mo chicken any man ever seen", but I don't think he gets it), but he buys into the idea of me sending him a picture of my at-that-time-still-to-be-painted chicken painting and seeing what happens.

Which is where we stand now. Do you remember this image?

Well it ended up looking like this (although the general color representation is truer in the one above rather than the one below--too green):

Despite how terrible it looks, there is something to the thing. And to unleash that particular something, I'm gonna rotate it counter-clockwise 90 degrees, black out the white swirls, and reinterpret this photo of a Japanese bantam rooster on the upper third.

I'm then gonna scrawl, as is my wont, the words (represented here roughly):

With the advent
Of more humane
Butchering techniques,
It's good to be
A chicken
In America.

A haiku of a sort, one might suggest

Photos to follow. And then we'll see what the hell I'm talking about.
Brief personal aside: If, in my dotage, I become a blues guitarist, I think my nomme de bleux will be Mo Chicken.

Monday, November 08, 2010

More on Dora

Do you know the famous painting by Gussy Courbet of the woman's vagina? Titled, roughly, L'Origine du Monde. I'd show it here but I'm too repressed.

You can, however, see the wikipedia entry here. Do NOT open this page at work.

Anyway, when they had the big Courbet show at either the Met or MoMA a couple of years ago, the curators decided to erect a free-standing wall in one of the galleries, put up a sign saying something like "No teen-aged boys allowed in here" and then hung L'Origine du Monde on the other side of it.

Quick aside: This is a painting I did a couple of years ago, after visiting the show, done in collaboration with my friend Richard Kessler (with some background work done by one of the most annoying people in the world--long story). It's called either "Wounded Man (1967)" or "Giving Gussy Courbet the Cheese".

This second title is a joke relating to the phonetic similarity of homage and fromage. For which I apologize. Anyway, this is Wounded Man (1967):

None of which is particularly important other than as part of our discussion of the censorship of Courbet's painting and, now, my very own Meredith Whitney portrait.

The point being this: Usually when Dealbreaker features one of my paintings it puts the painting up on its site. This time around, they put up a teaser paragraph (the stand-in for the Met's floating wall) and make you click through to the actual product.

Likewise, and even more amusing to this viewer at least, is Reuters TV's coverage of the thing. I love the way they move the camera around to avoid rendering too completely any of the nasty bits. See here.
No, you see here, my good man.
No you.
No you.
With the Reuters piece, you can save yourself a bit of time by clicking on the progress bar to the 4th little white dot, which is where my piece starts.

Anyway, its fun to be on television. My only beef? That neither the Dealbreaker story nor the Reuters story mentioned that it was a study for a larger piece, thus the abbreviated (by one zero) asking price.

The Dealbreaker piece did include a lively comments section, including one wag who offered something like:
Selling a painting featuring bestiality for 3,500 is the new killing it.
Had I been inclined, I might have commented back that the whole bestiality thing was Picasso's idea, not mine. I just repainted his stuff with a timely annotation.

But hey, it's good to be alive. As Keith would say.

Check out this recording from 1965 of Marianne Faithfull singing "As Tears Go By." She was maybe 19 and she and Mick were quite an item. He and Keith just gave this song to her to record and she became a bit of a star.

Not much of a stage presence, but hey, it's good to be alive. I wanted to get the clip from Rock and Roll Circus (the best second-tier Stones movie ever) but I can't seem to find it. I think I've commented about it here before, so try plugging Rock and Roll Circus in the search bar and see if you get anything (I'm purposefully not doing so, to add to the drama).

And of course there's this:

I don't even know what the hell this video is--there's a ton of bizarre, mash-up stuff on u-tube--but check out the shot of Keith at about the 4 minute mark.

Writing credits, just fyi: Jagger/Faithfull/Richards. Don't see that everyday.

Some thought that this was about Faithfull, but at the time Keith's girlfriend Anita Pallenberg was the real smack-head. Marianne didn't start hitting the sauce til the early 70s.

Me? My preference is for the studio version, just to hear Keith Richards explain heroin addiction with his guitar. It's the Call of the Wild; the Song of the Wind in the Pines; L'Origine du Monde. It's the devil talking to Robert Johnson. It's Roy Buchanan in that jail cell in Fairfax, Virginia with his shirt wrapped round his neck, talking back. It's a red guitar, three chords and the truth. It's everything you want from a guitar solo, minus one string. 'Cause at the time, Keith was only playing with five. He'd gotten rid of the fat one for Beggar's Banquet.

If that last part's not too much.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The best book ever

I suppose it's a waste of time to ask if you are reading Keith Richard's autobiography. I can only assume that you, dear reader (using here the collective singular), are doing just that. At the expense of almost everything else. Other than eating, sleeping, painting and going to the Peter McManus Cafe, it is all I'm doing.

That said, in case some of you live on Mars and can't get hold of the thing, just a couple of items to share.

First, he begins each chapter with a brief heading about what the chapter will, in fact, be about. Chapter Seven goes:
Chapter Seven

In which, in the late 1960s, I discover open tuning, and heroin.
Meet Gram Parsons. Sail to South America. Become a father.
Record "Wild Horses" and "Brown Sugar" in Muscle Shoals.
Survive Altamont, and re-meet a saxophonist named Bobby Keys
Wow. Who wouldn't start pounding down the pages after an intro like that? The man's living more than a life in just Chapter Seven. I would have been happy just to have written Wild Horses.
Not to pick nits, but I might have used AT Muscle Shoals rather than IN. I mean, it's a recording studio, not a geographic location, yes?
I was thinking the same thing.
Not surprising, given our respective roles.
No, I suppose not.
Consider this for a moment:

Just for the record, that's not me. Same general hair color but my ass isn't that big.

Did you know that when Keith started using the open G tuning he just took off the bass string? Completely removed it. Played the thing five-stringed.

Monday, November 01, 2010

And now we're done with Dora


The rough strategy is to savor it for a while, then send it out to the usual media. In the meantime, I need to get a better photo. Since I don't usually sell "studies" I'm thinking about putting it up for a sort of auction. We'll see.

I may also mess around with it a little more. But not likely--I'm liking it pretty much the way it is.

For you completists, it measures (as estimated by my keen eye) about 30"x 30".

You know, I don't mean to embarrass you, but I'm a rather brilliant surgeon. Perhaps I could help you with that hump.

Behold Dora and the Minotaur now, with the head whited out:

And now with the new head. And some lettering. Which I think is coming in nicely.

A close look will show you that quite a bit has gone on, not the least of which is the reduction in the size of the hump on the back of the Minotaur.
What hump?
The one on the back of the Minotaur.
Oh, that one.
Yes. Which one did you think I meant?
You seem troubled. What's the problem.
Well, I don't like to criticize your work. I mean, given the warm welcome you've always provided me and my associates.
Your associates in the Greek Chorus?
Well, nonsense. Fire away. I'm a grown-up.
You sure?
As sure as the sky is blue on a summer day.
As certain as I am that the Democrats will prevail nicely in tomorrow's mid-term election.
Hmmm. Well...I'll tell you anyway.
Tell me what?
Well, one could argue that the problem with the painting was not so much the size of the hump but rather that the shoulder is positioned too low. I think the whole thing would be stronger if you moved the shoulder higher. And perhaps rethought the arm so that it was bent instead of straight.
Exactly. I mean, you're a gifted painter. I'm sure you could do something about that shoulder.
All of which inexorably leads to this nasty piece of work: