Saturday, December 24, 2011

Live-Blogging my Life

I'm getting ready to watch the Jets/Giants game on a TV screen that's smaller than my computer monitor. Other than that, my trip to New York has been lovely. It's been almost 24 hours since I saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and I still can't tell you what happened.

But I've had nights like that before.

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 16, 2011

I leave now for New York...

... for two weeks of general merriment. If that's how you spell it.

That said, I am still able to fill print orders. Look how nice Paul Krugman looks just sitting on my sofa.

The more I look at this painting in the flesh, the more I like it.

For the Guy Who Has Everything

Order before Monday at 10 and we'll guarantee Xmas delivery.

The holidays will be upon us before you know it. Assuming you have a loved one in the financial sector who does NOT own an original painting of mine, why not give him or her a signed, numbered print of some my most popular works? Go to or to see what are available. They measure roughly 22"x33" and are giclee-printed on acid-free photo stock.

They are priced at $250 per print, plus a $25 domestic shipping charge. International shipping is billed at cost. A set of four costs $900 and they look spectacular as a framed group. Timely delivery guaranteed--just let me know your deadline.

Contact me at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And ... the picture of the day

I've actually eaten Indian food with this man.

His name is John Knefel and he's been particicovering Occupy Wall Street. This is him getting arrested by what certain journalists are calling the White Shirts (I'd laugh if it wasn't so grim a thought).

You can read his story in Salon about 37 hours of incarceration by the NYPD here.

Truth in blogging

Two clarifications to the post beneath this one:

First, I wrote "...the Knicks were so bad for almost a decade that I completely stopped watching basketball."

This is not entirely true. When I moved to Leesburg what now seems like quite a long time ago to help Dad die, I had a lot of time on my hands. Some of it I spent watching the Washington Wizards. It was a fun team--they had Gilbert Arenas at one guard spot, Caron Butler (maybe) as a swing man, and two big guys, one with dreadlocks, who were each exactly as good as the other one, albeit it perhaps in different ways. They hated eachother, and the one with the locks wrote poetry and was sensitive, for a big man. If I remember all this correctly. It was a fun team.

Amazing how the bottom has dropped out on Gilbert Arenas. Don't bring guns to work is certainly one life lesson to be gleaned here, but there are other things in play as well.

Later I wrote: " of the great white leapers of our time. Me and Billy Cunningham"

I would just like to clarify that while both of us were acknowledged great white leapers, we were not contemporaries. The Kangaroo Kid is way older than me.
It was a bit ambiguous.
Yes it was.
I still remember David Thompson.
Me too. That kid could really jump.
Yeah. He jumped down the stairs of a nightclub one night, tore up his knee, and that was the end of that.
I think he was my favorite college basketball player ever, although I did like Walter Davis too.
I liked Wally Walker. Even in Greece we could tell he was something special.

Live-blogging my life. Which, par for the course, is a disaster

No Knicks tickets.

This galls me. I mean, the Knicks were so bad for almost a decade that I completely stopped watching basketball. I could barely watch college ball, I was that upset (and this is coming, dear reader, from one of the great white leapers of our time. Me and Billy Cunningham). Now that they're okay (the jury is still out on "good"--let's see how the guards play), they won't let me in!

In a Ticketmaster frenzy, each time it came back as unavailable I bumped up the price. When I hit $200 I stopped. I'm not a crazy person. I didn't spend that much to see the Rolling Stones in the same arena.

Now I'm gonna take this money and buy some Christmas presents for my children; watch the game from the Peter McManus Cafe.

Live-blogging my life

I'll make this quick. At ten this morning, Knicks tickets for the Celtics Christmas day season opener go on sale online. It is 9:54 as I type. Can it possibly be that the cheapest seat in Madison Square Garden is $155? If this is dynamic pricing (which I'm sure it is), I could do without.

I wonder how much a mid-week ticket in February for Sacramento is gonna cost. The smart money says less.

Monday, December 12, 2011

For once in your life, listen to what I'm telling you!

Remember when I posted that notorious documentary about uber-trader Paul Tudor Jones in five Youtube segments and told you that you better watch it fast because there was a good deal of debate about how long it would be available on line?

And then, after a day or so, the video was no longer available? And now you'll never see it? Ever? And it was really good?

And remember how I'm always telling you you should buy a painting but you never do, and now the price of the Blankfein painting has doubled? Joke's on you, my friend.

So when are you gonna learn?

Well, dear reader, in the spirit of public service (even though I know you never do what I tell you to do) I am urging you to go here and download a Rolling Stones bootleg titled "Brussels Affair '73." Because I can't see how it can possibly exist, intact, in the public domain for much longer without the lawyers from the Big Red Tongue (read: Rolling Stones) descending with cease and desist letters.

I'm of two schools about not paying for bootlegs. The first school is that it's wrong. The second school says that, in certain circumstances, given that the intersection of art and commerce can be a tricky one, it's fine. I factor into the second school a number of considerations: For starters, I'm always amazed at the number of people who tell me they've downloaded hi-res images of my paintings; printed them out and framed them. I'd prefer that they buy prints, but strangely, I'm more or less okay with it. So if I can handle it, so can Mick. Second, the Rolling Stones (unlike, say, me) have more than enough money anyway, so what's the problem? Third, the twelve minute version of You Can't Always Get What You Want makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out of your head with your thumbs and roll around on the floor, foaming at the mouth. But in a good way.

It's that fabulous.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Moby Duck

When was the last time you read Moby Dick? I'm a third of the way in and it is a bit like tacking into the teeth of a nor'easter. I remain on course however and will report back once I see the great whale himself.

In the meantime, check this out:

A genuine Barnegat Bay Duck Boat. Wow, you don't see those everyday. And let me tell you, when you're eleven years old, they seem a lot bigger. When you're eleven, it feels like how Bruce Springsteen must have felt when he found the secret of the universe in the engine of an old parked car.

The picture, by the way, is dragged from a blog called 829 Southdrive. Check it out if you are looking for some Barnegat Bay slice-of-life photos. I am so jealous.

The reason I bring all this up is that I, as a kid, sailed a duck boat out of the Bay Head Yacht Club. I've done a lot of things since, but I'm not sure any of them were any better than that. Except maybe the day I upgraded to a Sneakbox.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
This is, of course, Rat talking to Mole, presumably about Duck Boats and Sneakboxes.

And the name of my Duck Boat?

Moby Duck.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Painting Wall Street Weekly

Consider this, dear Reader:

The fifth, I think, of my PaintingWallStreetWeekly series--that continuing body of work in which I bear witness, through canvas, gesso, black and white Benjamin Moore interior semi-gloss acrylic house paint and a six-inch putty knife, to the world financial crisis.

It might be the sixth.
It's not the sixth, you idiot. It's the ninth.
I'm not talking about the date, I'm talking about how many paintings I've done.

Mapping Troy

Consider this, dear Reader:

The mind reels, does it not?

The idea is to hang a number of original Maps of Troy in public places, each personalized by the name inscribed next to the dot in the key. In this case, you can see the dot just below the M in Map, once inscribed, will correspond to the dot on the painting. Are you with me?

This is targeted for a downtown location, so it's worth noting that just as the Map itself looks nothing like a map, the Dot in no way actually indicates the location in question.

It is, if I do say so myself, a powerful piece of cartology. I would describe the intention behind the initiative as sinister. Possibly subversive.

Tales of Horror from the 80s

Let's rewind to 1985 or so. I was heading up the Pharmaceutical Division of a small public relations agency of 20 or so people. It was fun. They even let me fly the Concord once.
Really? How was it?
Agencies being agencies, from about 1985 to about 1990, of the ten or twelve men who worked there, eight or nine of them died of AIDS. I can promise you, it was a harrowing experience. Eventually the place folded up like a house of cards, I left to found Mammoth Communications, which, with the help of my buddy Rich, later turned into the Mammoth Group. The rest, as they say, is either history or filler, depending on your cliche of choice.

Now fast-forward to yesterday, when I decided to enter a 4"x6" postcard (I'm not used to working this small--my forehead is still in knots) in one of those fundraisers where you don't know who the artist is until you buy the postcard ($85--what an odd choice for a price-point) and turn it over. The hope is that yours is a Jasper Johns. Or, in my particular case, a Lisa Yuskavage--my current object of affection (the work, not the woman).

The above by Yuskavage. Her recent show at David Zwirner was, like flying the Concord, celestial.

I entered this:

The charity, just to bring things full circle, is an organization called Visual AIDS. Come see the entire collection and buy one. The event is called Postcards from the Edge and I'm not sure exactly where it is (Cheim and Read, 547 W 25th, maybe), but I'm sure somebody will tell me prior to the party.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Quantified Raymond

This from a week of Google stats:

United States
United Kingdom

I'd love to tap into the Russian Oligarchy as a client pool.

And apologies for the poor typology. I'd have added some spaces between the countries and their respective visitors, but that's apparently above my skill grade.

I'd love a continental US vs. Alaska breakdown. But that's a quibble.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I'm not buying a Ford F-150 anytime soon

I've decided that one of my favorite people that I don't know personally is Chelsea Clinton.

Another is the young woman who is the spokesmodel for T-Mobile. You've seen her--she's everywhere. Long dark hair, reed thin (although the insides of her calves are perhaps a bit too overdeveloped), toothy grin and an engaging fragility that reminds one of former crack addicts. But in a lovely way.

Were it me, and I were God, I would move her entire mouth down about a quarter of an inch, thus reducing the space between her lower lip and her chin and increasing, correspondingly, the length of her flume.
Brief personal aside: Thinking like that last part, dear reader, is the curse of the portrait painter. Do not attempt thinking like this at home. It will just make you miserable.
And besides, that's a quibble. She's quite lovely in her own slightly unconventional manner.
Not unlike yourself.
Exactly, although I might trade lovely for handsome.
Who wouldn't?
I just googled her, by the way, and her name is Carly Foulkes. And now, Ms. Foulkes--who hasn't done anything wrong to anybody (other than perhaps being a bit too earnest)--is under attack by the advertising executives at Virgin Mobile. Several of their current commercials do nothing more than lampoon poor Ms. Foulkes and her admittedly odd wardrobe.

To which I say, leave her alone. You're gonna get a perfectly pleasant young woman fired if you keep this up. You don't have some other way of selling your shmageggy phone service?
That's a tough one.
Spelling schmegeggy.
I see you use an e.
And a c. But don't take that to the bank--it's purely conjecture.
No way I'm buying a Virgin phone.
It's a British company, isn't it?
Yes, I suppose. Why?
Well, it reminds me of the British tabloid newspaper culture and their willingness to shatter peoples' lives as collateral for reporting news that isn't really news but which does sell newspapers.
Wow, that's harsh. I love the British.
Me too. I'm just saying.
If you're the Greek chorus then that must mean you're Greek, right?
Yes... Why?
Well, how would you feel if everybody was jumping down your throat just because you are Greek?
You think they're not? You should live in Europe for a while.
You live in Europe?
Of course. We're Greek. We live in Greece.
Really? What's your name?--I've never asked.
No way.
Are you the guy that writes I Am Spartacus on all my paintings?
In a way I suppose I am.
Say something in Greek.
Είμαι ο Σπάρτακος
Anyway, all this brings us inexorably to the Ford Motor Company. And although I'll always be grateful for the way Ford and Carroll Shelby smote the mighty Red Cars into submission with their 427 Cobras and their GT-40s at Le Mans and such places, they've gone way too far with one of their recent ads. Which means that the next time I'm in the market for an American pick-up truck, I'm buying a Dodge. I would urge you to do the same.

Have you seen those ridiculous Ford commercials where supposedly real Ford owners pop through a door and are suddenly in a press conference? While generally stupid, the one that really scrapes me raw is some middle-American pious asshole sitting in front of the "press" suggesting that he could never buy a car from a company that received a government bail-out (read: Dodge and Chevy). This, to my mind, is the height of hypocrisy and the people at Ford should be ashamed of themselves.

Here's a question: Do you think any of the parts in your average Ford are manufactured by a subsidiary of General Electric--a company that received significant government assistance? I bet the answer is yes.

Or: Do you think that the Ford executives, if they decided to spin off a new company or some other complicated financial venture, would hesitate for a moment to consult with Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan--likewise recipients of a ton of government support during the Troubles? You do the math.

So I would say to Ford: Blow your misplaced jingoism out your ass, you hypocritical motherfuckers. You lost my vote. And I'm in the market for a car.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Great Epiphany ...

... would, of course, be this quote by legendary art dealer Ernst Beyeler:
“If I can’t sell something, I just double the price.”
This is a man after my own heart. Thus, I've just increased the price of Big Lloyd 3 (The Root) ...

... a classic, in my humble opinion, from $145,000 to $290,000.

Don't you wish you had bought it last week? Life is short, dear friends. Which is certainly reason enough to reflect on the recent passing of Peter Gethin.

Have you ever raced at Monza? Not so many of us have, but Peter Gethin did. And in 1971 he pulled off one of the greatest passes in the history of Formula 1, if for no other reason than it happened in the last turn of the last lap. It's also worth noting that the top five guys in this particular race finished in a clump, separated by a little over half a second. As you watch the video, disregard the first guy coming down the straight--although he appears to be ahead, he's really way behind.
And isn't life like that in so many ways?
Yes it is.
Keep your eye on the guy in the white car--he takes the inside track into the turn.

The curve is called Parabolica. As noted, it's the last turn at Monza. And Monza, the traditional site of the Italian Grand Prix, is one of history's seriously fast tracks, in no small part because of the turn. You see, dear reader, Parabolica lies at the end of a medium-length straight. As you enter it, you brake hard for what starts out as a tight right-hander. Once you are into it, though, it keeps unwinding (the radius of the turn gets longer in the manner of a parabola), allowing you to go faster and faster while still turning. By the time you get to the main straight you are going at quite a clip, just on the edge of adhesion.
And isn't life like that in so many ways?
Yes it is.
Anyway, this was the zenith of Gethin's career. Although he did live to a ripe old age.

The Perfect Gift for the Person Who Has Everything...

The holidays will be upon us before you know it. Assuming you have a loved one in the financial sector who does NOT own an original painting of mine, why not give him or her a signed, numbered print of some my most popular works? Go to or to see what are available. They measure roughly 22"x33" and are giclee-printed on acid-free photo stock.

They are priced at $250 per print, plus a $25 domestic shipping charge. International shipping is billed at cost. A set of four costs $900 and they look spectacular as a framed group. Timely delivery guaranteed--just let me know your deadline.

Contact me at