Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Funding my European Trip

Check this out:

Well and good, although I'd like a better understanding of how and where the seal noises are being recorded. Surely it doesn't actually sound like that on the surface.

Anyway, since Werner Herzog seems to have the seals nailed down, I have turned my attention to dragging several paintings to Europe and having them annotated there. People like Sarcozy and Merckel. I'd like to go to Greece too, but I can't spell the names. My preference is to fund the trip via pre-bought paintings and a Kickstarter.com campaign. Like Huck Finn in reverse, sort of.

Rewinding a week or so, I was reading an article in the Times by perhaps David Pogue about Kickstarter. Juices started flowing. Mine seemed a worthy project. So I took the plunge. Or, since the plunge in this case is a complicated set of steps and procedures, I'm in the midst of the plunge.

The first thing you have to do with Kickstarter is send them a proposal. Which I did. And lo and behold, I received this in return:
Hi Geoffrey, Congratulations -- you’re in! In just a moment, you’ll be able to start getting your project ready.

Take as much time as you need to prepare; there’s no deadline to launch.
Check out Recommended projects for inspiration: http://www.kickstarter.com/discover, and explore Kickstarter School for tons of tips on making a great project: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/school.

Some of the things you’ll learn: 1) A video is a must. It makes an emotional connection and shows you care. Plus, projects with video succeed at a much higher rate! 2) Cool rewards make a big difference. Not every reward has to be special, but they’re a great opportunity to share what’s unique to you and your project. 3) Spreading the word pays off. You provide the experience and the idea, your network helps fund and promote it.

And remember, funding is all or nothing -- you can always raise more, but never less! You'll want to choose a funding goal that will cover costs and fulfill rewards, but also one that is reasonably attainable through the support of your networks.
If you have questions, check out our Help Center: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/.

Good luck!


Spectacular, I'm thinking. "I am Spartacus," I'm whispering to myself in that lispy voice I find so comforting, like Jackie Kennedy imitating Gollum. "I am Thpartacuth," I'm whispering to myself.

"Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women," I'm saying now aloud, emboldened as the news sinks in, to no one in particular as I sit in the studio on this balmy winter day listening to Thelonius Monk and sipping from about two and a half celebratory inches of Evan Williams 2002 single barrel.

And I like how they sign "Love, Kickstarter." I mean, what's not to like?
I'm troubled by the line that reads "And remember, funding is all or nothing."
Me too.

By which they mean that if you raise 99% of your targeted fund, but not that last 1%, you get nothing.

That's what I'm thinking.
So what's your number?
I'm thinking 50K. But I'm having anxiety as I type it.
Because I really want to write 75K.
Who doesn't?
Evan Williams bourbon, just for the record, is nasty stuff. At least the non-vintage, rank and file version is. The bottle is dressed up to look like Jack Daniels, with its square shape, black label with white writing. The upside is that a bottle of EW costs maybe 15 bucks whereas a bottle of JD costs two or three times as much.

Speaking of vintage, this classic Obscured Box painting is titled "Cheerleader with Banana":

Notable, I suppose, for the faraway look in her eyes as well as the bottle of Evan Williams she's cradling in her hands.

Kickstarter, by the way, is a hoot. Click here for a visit.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A little Sports and Politics

One of my favorite tennis players is Venus Williams. Not so much her little sister though, so it was with considerable glee that I read that Serena got her ass handed to her relatively early in the proceedings of the Australian Open. Tennis will be a more sportsmanlike place after her complete departure.

On the other hand, I'm very pro-Sharapova here, thinking it would be nice to see her (win one after having surgery on her primary shoulder).
What does that last sentence mean--with the parentheses?
It means two things. First, that I'd like to see her win one after surgery. And two, that I'd like to see her.
See her in the sense of "Are you currently seeing anybody?"
Yes. In a relationship sense.
Well what?
Well, that makes perfect sense.
But what we're really here for is to talk about the State of the Union Address. Jorge Posada, famous Yankee catcher, retired the other day. Not one of my favorite guys, being a Mets fan, but attention must be paid nonetheless. Hundreds of times in Posada's career he experienced what John Boehner must have been going through the other night. Sitting behind his opponent, watching as he launches a home run, thinking "Manomanoman, we are totally fucked."

Me? I'm as appreciative of old-time conservative values as the next guy on, say, the Upper West Side. But Boehner is a sourpuss and he gives me a cramp.
You don't think you're a bit old to be thinking about seeing somebody like Maria Sharapova socially?
No. I might be too old to actually do it, but I'm certainly not too old to think about it.
Fair enough.
I'm a painter. Half my life is spent thinking about stuff. If not Sharapova, what?
Your next painting?
I already thought about that. It's an inverted painting of John Maynard Keynes.
Who I frequently confuse with Maynard G. Krebbs.
Me too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm sad that Etta James is dead

Check this out:

I wish there was video, but still...

Thank God Thelonius is still alive.
I think he's dead too.
He is?
I think so.
Wow, that's a blow. I don't know what you do for a living, dear reader, but what I do is tailor-made for listening to music while I do it. At least the painting part of what I do. And the reading of the newspaper part as well.

Check this out:

Keep your shirt on--it's barely anything. I mean, it's something. It's called Black Dress, Black Sofa. So if it's called something it must be something. But it's barely anything, other than a not-even-half-finished picture of my friend Rose. One thing for sure: that red is gonna get toned way down. Although a minute ago it was just white, so things are happening.

(This is one of those paintings that I couldn't make work a year or so ago and so I rolled it up. Lately, having unrolled it, I'm working on it again.)

Anyway, if I wasn't listening to Etta James while painting Black Dress, Black Couch (the name varies) I would have done the same thing I always do lately when I'm painting. I would have dialed up grooveshark.com on my computer, typed in Thelonius Monk Quartet, and hit "play all".

The perfect music to paint by.
February 17th, 1982
What's that?
The day Monk died.
Good with newspapers too. Only today I'm listening to Ms. James.

Although this is Jade Tailor. Who, of the two, looks better but sings worse. Although there's no shame in that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inverted Keynes

Me? I'm a Keynesian. For which I get a lot of shit from my Wall Street friends. Me and Krugman. And manomanoman, we're swimming upstream these days.

Next up: Inverted Keynes.

"I do not know which makes a man more conservative — to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past."


Monday, January 16, 2012

Go Blue

I approached the refrigerator last night after the Giants game, deeply moved, emotionally fragile, hoping that perhaps there would be something fun inside to nibble on but not really believing there would be. When I found an unopened box of double chocolate Milano cookies I slowly crumbled to the ground and began to cry like a teen-aged girl who'd just been informed that Justin Bieber was dead.

The whole day had been that wonderful.

Actually I didn't do any of that crying business, but I did repair to the sofa to watch the post-game show and ate slightly more than half the cookies. How 'bout those Giants tearing Green Bay apart like that? I'm now officially looking past the 49ers game (they are toast, and what's the point in wasting emotional energy on them now?) and thinking about how splendid it's gonna be to make Bill Belichek cry like a teen-aged girl who'd just been informed that Justin Bieber was dead.

Oh, and check this out:

Who's that singing?

Friday, January 06, 2012

I only date women named Mitchell

I leave for New York now. The Cheim & Reed gallery, specifically. The Postcards From The Edge opening party, more specifically.

What a lovely gallery. I'm so appreciative that they've chosen to display my work, although my enthusiasm is dimmed somewhat by the fact that it's surrounded by 1500 other "postcards."

Did you see the Joan Mitchell show there? You walk into the front room and there, all by itself, is this (If I have the right picture):

About a mile high and a mile wide. And all you can do is say Dog.

Beautiful, beautiful paintings. Whatta a show!
When you say you only date women named Mitchell, is that first name, last, or both?
Most people with the first name of Mitchell are men, so let's go with last.
And are you referring to yourself? It seems like an odd statement.
No. Of course not.
Did you know that Alan Greenspan used to be married to Joan Mitchell? Now he's married to Andrea Mitchell. You do the math.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

This is your brain...

This is your brain...

This is your brain on drugs...

This is a self-portrait from several years ago...

This is my new haircut.

I'm shooting for a kind of a Mahatma Gandhi/Seal Team 6 fusion.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

"Let's put it next to the Stella"

One reflects on one's life in increments: A little achievement here ... a bit of success there ... you pick up a pretty girl on the L train, take her to Fatty 'Que and order the smoked-crab laksa and a can of Pabst, then get lucky later ... the odd setback every once in a while to add a bit of depth. Hey, before you know it, you're getting someplace.

Change of topic: One sometimes thinks of one's paintings the way one thinks of one's children. The metaphor doesn't hold completely--that is to say, your paintings never ask you for money. To put it another way, if your house is burning down and you have a choice of saving your favorite painting or your kid, 95% of the time you grab the kid. But it holds to a degree. I care deeply about each and every one and never fail, when delivering a painting or shoving it in a tube to be sent someplace, to whisper "Never let anybody tell you you aren't a great painting."

Then I send them off, sometimes with a tear. I'm always happiest if I think they're going to a good home.

Fastforward, or rewind, to the week before Christmas and my delivery of Corzine Agonistes to what seems like a very nice home. The buyer and I are wrestling with where to hang the thing and he says "Let's put it next to the Stella."

Which are words you don't hear everyday. At least not in my line of work. One reflects on one's life in increments and this, I remember reflecting that day, is one of those increments upon which one reflects.
When you say "in increments," is it the reflecting that is done in increments? Or are the increments of life the things being discretely reflected upon?
Excellent question. The latter, I think.
And when did you ever pick up a girl on the L train?
A man can dream, can't he?
Here is a photo of Big Bad Jon in place, next to the Stella. It may be a bit difficult on the eyes, but in respect for the buyer's privacy, I've cropped it a bit.


This is, of course, me in the middle of the Raymond girls. Who, in a bid for sanity, don't show up too often on these pages.

I'm thinking that thing coming out of my head is not a pepper but, rather, an elf-hat. I'm thinking.

Monday, January 02, 2012

We will commence painting tomorrow

Reconvening for the new year, as it were. In the meantime, I'm going back upstairs to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich.

Upcoming for the new year will be:

#1--Something new: A set of six paintings, each measuring 7'x3', depicting Greenspan, Geithner, Paulson, Cayne, Fuld and Greenberg standing, nude. We are wrestling mightily with this in our head.

#2--A trip to Europe: Although I can pay for it myself, am looking for funding for the trip in terms of great pre-purchase deals on paintings of people like Angela Merkel, annotated at the scene of the crime, as it were.

#3--The usual bullshit.

Between these three categories, I'll be extremely busy.