Friday, February 25, 2011

My Boy Gussy

I've been thinking about Gustav Klimt a lot lately, given that this morning I woke up with the solution to my Golden Bull painting. Nobody paints with gold like my boy Gussy. Check this out--just a collection of images but still kind of fun. Odd soundtrack. I would have gone with London Calling.

Anyway, Klimt is to gold like Beckmann is to black. And that says it all.

Remember this?

See that little checkerboard pattern separating the green from the gold in the lower left? That's when it all hit me. I can't really describe what actually did hit me, but it's got something to do with the checkerboard and the argyle background you can see on this early version of American Chicken.

Thank God I re-lettered that thing.

What’s a seven-letter word for retention of youth into adulthood?

I'm going with neoteny.
I was going with asshole.
Me? I like the former. Particularly since it speaks, to a degree, about myself.
I rest my case.
Picasso used to say he worked his whole life to be able to paint like a child.
I rest my case.
Wow, that's pretty harsh.
Just 'cause you're a hotshot artist doesn't give you license to be a pathological jerk.
Like Sinatra.
I was thinking Picasso.
Or Charlie Sheen.
O' noble beast.
Just so long as you're not thinking about me.
You, my friend, are a far cry from being a hotshot artist.
How 'bout my boy Gussy the K?
If by "Gussy the K" you mean Gustav Klimt, then yes.
I've spent my whole life to be able to paint like my boy Gussy. And I still can't.
I thought you were a Close/Pollock fusion guy.
It's all mixed in. Take a look at this:

I mean, look at the thing. Really!
I can see the influences on your work.
Keen eye, my friend. There's a big Klimt show at the Neue Galerie.

Kind of makes you wish you still lived in New York.
A little, yes.
What did you have for breakfast?
I had a big bowl of split pea soup laced generously with Frank's Original Hot Sauce.
Wow. I love that stuff.
Yeah. And I made the soup with andouille sausage, and every time you chomped down on a little nugget of sausage it was almost like an orgasm.
Man, you have got to get back to New York.
You think?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ahhh. The Knicks

I know you people don't give a damn about sports. You're here for the art, and that's fine. You answer to a higher authority, and that's cool. But it's worth noting that I went upstairs a little while ago and set my DVR to record the first game of the Knicks' new two-superstar era. That said, I am particularly looking forward to seeing Chauncey Billups--a player I'm quite fond of--in the orange and blue. And while I'll miss Danillo Gallinari, I'm simply choosing not to think about it.

O' Noble Beast

What's that Simon and Garfunkel song about being so lonely he takes comfort in the hookers on 42nd St?
I think they were on 7th Avenue.
Smart move. A much higher grade of hooker on 7th than on 42nd.
The assumption here is that we're talking 60s-era 42nd.

A bit grittier than, say, the current one.

I hope it was summertime. I don't like the idea of them standing out there in those short dresses in the dead of winter.
No--that's a troubling thought. The name of the song was The Boxer.

Yes it was.
Did you see Marky Mark in The Fighter?

Yes I did.
Very strong, I thought.
Yes it was.
Anyway, we're not really talking about hookers here. But I do declare there were times when I was so broke I took money for painting dogs.
I'd have preferred a hooker story. There's nothing wrong with that.
No there isn't. There were times when I was so lonesome...
Anyway, we're not really talking about hookers here. And though I'm currently not broke (a situation that vastly outpaces the alternative), I am painting a dog.

This one:

Don't ask.

And when I'm done, I might paint this one:

Smokey, the bottom one, unlike Niea, the top one, is one of my key people on the ground in Brooklyn. And other than my daughter's dog Chloe, it's hard to imagine a finer representative of the species.

O' Noble Beast.

Getting back to Niea for a moment, the secret to painting gray hair is to apply the white paint on a black background. Believe me, I've tried every other way: Applying gray paint; Applying black paint over top of white paint; blah blah blah. The key is to go with the black first, then let 'er rip.

Case in point, as if you needed me to provide substantiation, given your inclination to take everything I write here as gospel, is The American Chicken:

Most particularly the tail area.

For you completists:

I'm listening to a Portishead/Cowboy Junkies playlist on shuffle.

For breakfast, I had a soft-poached egg slathered in a cloud of creme fraiche and Coteaux du Layon, served with crisp sweetbreads, braised lobster knuckles, a frisson of black truffles and tarragon. If you attempt this dish at home, don't forget the tarragon.

I'm wearing black cotton boxer/briefs that I buy from Save on Fifth, a store on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 8th Street in Brooklyn. You can get a pack of two for $6.99. Hanes.

Life is good.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Can't Stop Listening to Lady Gaga

What does that say?

Who knows? It's not my job to judge, here at TYOMP. My job, as I understand it, is to, on a more or less daily basis, slice open a vein and pour my blood out. Fuel for your perverse pleasure, dear reader. Nutrition for your voyeuristic depravity. So shame on you, not on me.

That said, I wish she had more material.
Lady Gaga?
Please don't think less of me.
Speaking for the group, impossible.
I'm particularly taken by the way she wails "I don't wanna be friends" at the four minute mark of Bad Romance. And wails is the right word. And not the way, say, Merry Clayton wailed in Gimme Shelter. That was rocking wailing--a while different thing. No. "I don't wanna be friends" comes out like a scream of despair. Primal wailing. Chilling (if you can let yourself get past the fact that you're a grown man listening to Lady Gaga while your paint dries).

One could argue that the closest thing present day pop music gets to symphonic is in the big-budget, hyper-produced albums that people like Gaga produce. I mean, you sit back (waiting for the paint to dry) and listen closely and there is more shit going on than you can imagine. If Phil Spector were still alive he'd shit a brick.

On a less troubling note, I just unrolled this and hung it in my studio.

For the record, it's about six and a half feet tall. Fills the room nicely.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am Odysseus

The first line of Homer's Odyssey goes, if I remember:
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy.
All by way of asking, have we discussed my recent, possibly temporary/possibly permanent, move to Troy? In any case, I'm here to report that it is the loveliest place imaginable on a number of levels (it's like Brooklyn with no people!) and I could see myself hanging here (the geographic symbol of my mostly mental sabbatical) for a while.

All by way of saying, I'm on my way to the train; then on my way to the Apple Store on 14th St.; then on my way to the Peter McManus Cafe for my usual (now unusual) Friday afternoon beer. New York calls like those people on those things calling to those other people.
Sirens, rocks and sailors?
Feel free to tell whomsoever you choose. I'm an open book.

And a closing note regarding Michelle Obama, who you can see in the post below: Art is a struggle. A number of struggles, actually. The biggest one for me is re-finding the expressionist aspect of my painting that I think, in recent years, I have lost in my quest to make my paintings look more like the subjects themselves. This, my friends, is a slippery slope. It's like that Japanese climber in "Into Thin Air" who got out of his tent one morning to take a pee, forgot to put his crampons on and, presumably whilst in mid-stream, slipped into a bottomless crevasse.

So I'm very much liking her the way I see her now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things should start to get interesting...

...right about now. Which is, of course, a line from a Bob Dylan song. A good one, too.

In my case, I refer to:

Barack needs some work. And that's okay. But Michelle! Is it my imagination, or are things getting interesting right about now?

Minus a tune up here and there, I might be done with Michelle.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ending my sabbatical with a short prayer...

My sabbatical is over. I'm reporting one day early, for no other reason than to offer a short prayer:
Good Lord, please don't let Donald Trump buy part of the Mets.
Plus there's this:

Which leads, inexorably, to this:

Which is certainly problematic. But aren't they all problematic when you first start flinging the paint?

The only good part, relatively speaking because it's a bit of a problem at this stage too, is the purple blur that spans both canvases. Called, from left to right, "Mr. and Mrs. O (Barack)" and "Mr. and Mrs. O (Michelle)", they are being painted on commission as a pair, and I like the idea of the unifying visual element of the purple haze as well as the fact that their eyes are meeting (sort of).

Feel free to start sending in annotations. Certainly something like "Eat your fucking vegetables, Malia!!!" deserves to be scrawled on the second painting.

As they say in theater, dying is easy; comedy is hard. Or something like that. In this case, Barack is easy; Michelle is hard. For the record, I'm using this image as the resource photo:

Which is a stunning image. I hope I can do her justice.

"Eat your fucking vegetables, Malia!!!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sabbatical continues...

Despite previous suggestions to the contrary, my sabbatical continues.
Yes, still.
How much longer are you going to be on sabbatical? If that's even the right word.
I traditionally return to active duty when the pitchers and catchers, like swallows to Capistrano, report to Port St. Lucie.
That's Thursday!
Yes it is.
And Oliver Perez is already there!
Yes he is.
OMG, On behalf of the entire Greek Chorus, we can barely contain our excitement.
Me too. I love baseball.
Us too.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mark Cuban, of all people

Just painted Mark Cuban in conjunction with the Knicks' hosting of the Mavericks tonight. Am reaching out to the Commentariat via sports blogs, but comments here are welcome.

The man has some extraordinary earlobes.

Sabbatical Over

See subject line. More to come.