Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Speaking of cock-ups, Blogger won't accept hitting return twice to create paragraphs while I'm typing on my iPad. So I'm using "/." to indicate paragraph breaks. /. It's stuff like this that makes me want to buy a MacBook air, just for when I'm on the lam. Lamb?

This weather...

...is completely screwing me up. As somebody said to me regarding the current state of European economics, "a complete cock-up." /. How is it the the Brits get to use words like cock in polite company? /. Anyway, I may have to stay through the week, just to get some decent weather.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I'm worried about the rain.  Mine is not a wet weather sport.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Formerly Brilliant Dimon

This is a massively hi-res image of my portrait of Jamie Dimon.  You, dear reader, are welcome to use it in any manner you see fit, providing you don't make any money doing it.

Massively hi res?  Really?  It's like 4K.
Massively hi res for The Year of Magical Painting.  Besides, nothing is written on it.  What's to see?
Fair enough.

I'll be outside JPMorgan HQ tomorrow for lunch.  My heads-up note to a PR guy there met with massive silence, but they've probably got bigger fish to fry than me these days.

95K now; 125K when the annotations are finished.  And I reserve the right to mess with the blue eye a bit more.  I wonder if it would be better red, like the other one.

Love to love you baby

Am staring at Blue Dimon, listening to the 12" version of Last Dance by Donna Summer.  Trying to decide if I'm finished.

Not really a disco guy, but attention must be paid.  So I dialed up a Donna Summer playlist on Spotify and, manoman, I can't stop doing the hustle.

Update:  Now they're playing MacArthur Park and I can't stop doing that thing where you slide your hips back and forth and point your finger in the air to the beat.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Look at the eyes

Here's Dimon:

And here's Old Bobby Lee:

Of course, those were different times.

Nonetheless, part of what makes the Lee painting riveting is how much larger the left eye is than the right.  I think the challenge will be to white out Dimon's left eye, move it to the right, and make it larger.  And then we shall see about whether the face is too long or not.

Is this Jamie Dimon or Andy Warhol?

Why the long face, Jamie?

You'll remember my theory suggesting that if I can capture the eyes and the hair, the rest of Dimon is immaterial?  This apparently is false.

I think his mouth is too low on the face, and when I pull that up I'm gonna have to pull the chin up with it.  And his eye was a lot better about three adjustments ago.  It appears to have drifted to the left, which narrows the face even further.  And the hair isn't right either.  So perhaps the theory still holds.

What is interesting is this set of nearly identical goobers ascending the left side of his face:

Hmmmm.  Not even sure how that happened.  I know I was pouring thinned, black-ish paint from a container, trying to darken the area under his chin, and thought I'd add a bit of texture to the side of his face.  Amazing how similar the dot pattern is.  If I tried to do that, I'd be waiting a million years to get it right.

One thing I do like is the white of the hair against the white of the canvas.  It's more discernible in the flesh, but I can easily imagine legions of people writing stuff in his hair.  My solution will likely be to define the top of his head with a long initial annotation.  Which is my right as the author of the thing.  I'm thinking it will read something along the lines of:
Is this Andy Warhol or Jamie Dimon?  Must be Warhol, because it doesn't look like Dimon at all.  They never do.  So you're saying it's Dimon?  Yes.

Something like that.
It's a bit pathetic that you have to bail yourself out by writing stuff like that on the painting.
It's not pathetic at all.  It's Duchampian.
Really?  We suggest moving the mouth up and then getting back to work on that eye.

You can see why I'm not outside with Sharpies today, even though the weather is perfect.

And yet, all that said, I'll say this:  I look at the photograph and it doesn't look like the guy.  I get up and walk over to the painting (which is currently facing away from me) and come upon it in the flesh, as if for the first time, and by God it looks great.  This is a puzzlement.

Further on the topic of dead people...

... this came in an email earlier.

I honestly don't know who the person is or what his relationship to me is, but he's standing alongside the grave of my Uncle Nick--my mother's brother who died in the Pacific theater.  The cemetery is in Manila, Philippines.

For you completists, my middle name is Vincent.

Donna Summer, dead yesterday

There used to be a pretty nice Barnes & Noble on the northwest corner of 6th Ave and 20th St., close to the heart of Chelsea.  Which, as everybody knows, is the epicenter of gay male America.  One night, back when I lived in the neighborhood, I was walking by the store.  The place was jammed, and a line ran out the front door, north on 6th Ave., then west on 21st St, almost to 7th.
What's going on? I asked a guy in line.
Donna Summer book signing, he replied.

LaDonna Adrian Gaines, dead at 63.  Godspeed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rumors of me being in New York...

... are unfounded.

Painting not quite ready for prime time.

All I've Got is a Red Guitar, Three Chords and the Truth

This line comes, of course, from U2's cover of All Along the Watchtower on their Rattle and Hum album.  Which has to be one of the top five live albums ever.  I'm listening to it now.

Rewinding a year or two, a guy once wrote, in the comments section of either Dealbreaker or Zerohedge, something like this:
It doesn't look anything like [insert subject name here--I forget who it was].
Then somebody immediately responded:
They never do.

Listen up, Readers:  I've got a red guitar, three chords and the truth.  Who gives a shit whether the paintings look like the guys or not?  I'm like freaking Bono with a can of paint.  This is a mission, man.  And missionaries rarely have time for anal retentives.
Unless they themselves are one.
Fair enough.  Nicely said, because they often are.  I'm a looser sort of missionary.  But make no mistake--this is a mission, man.
I hear you.  Stop shouting.
I'm not shouting.

All of which brings us, inexorably, to this:

I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

But I'm getting there.  And I can promise you this:  Before the cock crows three times, the man's left eye is going to be black, not blue.  And it will bore through you.

There is, in fact, some thinking about being in New York with it tomorrow.

The Formerly Brilliant Dimon -- a progression

Steven H. Davis Finished

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Painting Dimon

Despite my relatively positive sense of me-ness, it's hard to feel good about myself right now.  Exhibit A for the prosecution being:

Which, if you were going to engage in every possible pun related to the man's last name, would best be called Dimon in the rough.  But let's nip that shit in the bud, because it's gonna get tiresome fast.  Let me, instead, call your attention to this bad boy:

The plan, roughly, is to start grabbing paint with my 6" putty knife and having at what is admittedly a lousy sketch.  And then we shall see.

Because let's admit it--we've had worse sketches turn into lovely paintings.  And, as noted below, I persist with my thinking that if I get the eyes and hair right (neither of which could, at this point, be called "right"), all will be well.

And it's a journey, right?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

And just while we're on the ridiculous comparison of JPMorgan's conflagration and the Battle of Gettysburg...

Look at this (which you've already seen):

And look at this:

Which everybody knows is a close-up of George Pickett.

And this, just for fun, is Dick Grasso.

And the point, dear readers?  There is no point.  Other than that Dick Grasso had beautiful eyes.

The Painting of Dimon Commences

Shoulda started earlier, but life is complicated.  Consider this:

The good news, as I move with deliberate strokes to catch up, is the eyes.  Big, black, opposing comma-like shapes.  If you get the eyes right (which I think will be easy) and the hair, it's gonna be like shooting cheese in a barrel.

And on the subject of Dimon's hair, executive gray is one my specialties, since I own some in real life.
I wouldn't describe your hair as executive gray.
No.  For one thing, it's almost all white now.  You've lost that salt and pepper thing.
Like Gandalf the Gray, after his fight with the Balrog, becomes Gandalf the White.  It's a sign of power.
No it isn't.  It's a sign of age.
Plus, tell me the last executive you've seen who looks like he brushed his hair with an egg beater.
It's called finger brushing.
Look at Dimon's hair, then look at yours.  Is all I'm saying.

Regardless, the key to executive gray hair is to lay down a layer of black first, then add the lighter colors.  This is a self-portrait painted when I was in Leesburg some years ago.

Work on paper, very rare.  Measures two feet by 3 and a half.  Roughly.  The smart money says, particularly if you own something of mine already, to snap this up for $24,000.  Work on paper.  Very rare.

And speaking of executive gray and how to paint it, consider this bad boy, painted within days of the above S-P:

Old Bobby Lee.  Bobby the Butcher, some called him.  A good man, others.  Me?  I'm going with a brilliant man pushed by what one might call the Forces of the Market into really fucking up.  Sounds like Jamie Dimon, although it's a bit fatuous, if not downright dishonorable, to compare Pickett's charge to JPMorgan losing what is to them, largely, cigar money.  Morgan's two billion is far more important from a qualitative point of view than a quantitative one.  Longstreet wouldn't have sat on the fence weeping had he been watching the London whale cost three rich people their jobs.

I miss this painting so much it makes me want to cry.  Literally, it makes me ache every time I look at it.  Objectively speaking, I might rethink those red goobers on his forehead, but we're not speaking objectively.  This is probably the last painting of mine that my father saw before he died, and he loved it too.

Talk amongst yourselves.  I'm all verklempt.  


Monday, May 14, 2012

Oldies, Volume 2

And now, my friends, we're officially having a giggle.  First, make careful note of the third to last paragraph of the post below, which reads:
Truth be told, you could perhaps resolve all this by repainting his right eye about half an inch higher and the same amount to the left.  Too late for that ... I'm just saying.

Now double click the image and read something that is particularly unusual for me:  a note to the viewer on the face of the painting.  It reads, written counterclockwise in the lower left corner,  just above the signature:
Note from the artist:  This is likely my last painting of Dick Fuld.  Yet, instead of reflecting on the narrative arc described by my four portraits of the man, all I can think is that I wish I had painted his right eye an inch to the left.

How much fun is that?  This is the stuff that makes art-historians go gaga, and here I am just giving it to you.  For free.


Here's a classic.  I've been thinking quite a bit about it lately, and thought I'd pop it up:

Painted and annotated to coincide with Sotheby's auction of the Lehman Brothers' art collection, it's the final installment of my Fuld quadrumvirate.  If I do say so myself.

Painted in profile is interesting.  So is the fact that I dated it specifically--usually I'm just a month and year guy.  I guess that was the day of the auction.

And I love the gnarly distortion of his face.  It's almost Cubist, in the least Cubist way imaginable.  To amplify:  Cubism is, on its most basic level, about seeing things from a variety of directions and perspectives.  So you look at my boy Fuld and the side of his head is painted straight, the mouth and jaw are painted from a point of view that has been rotated down and to the right.  And his left brow is likely being pushed up and out of the way by his left eye, desperate, in perhaps its own little eyeball mind, to climb over the nose and position itself in the foreground, next to its buddy, and really go all Picasso on everybody.

Cubism is also, just while we're on this ridiculous tangent, about the flattening of three dimensional forms into two dimensions.  In The Liquidated Fuld, you also get the feeling that the entire side of his face was pushed down by some great weight so it squished flat against the canvas, and in doing so distorted the jaw, nose, eyes, etc.

Truth be told, you could perhaps resolve all this by repainting his right eye about half an inch higher and the same amount to the left.  Too late for that ... I'm just saying.

Finally is the circular annotation pattern.

Very cool painting.

Lehman Falls, Volume 2

I'm staring at my roll of white paper and sensing imminent doom.  Which is foolish.  After all, what's the worst thing I can do?  Look foolish?  That's half the point of The Year of Magical Painting.  The other half, if you're curious, is to emerge at the other end of such foolishness with a work of such startling loveliness that you, dear reader, can both rejoice in the majesty of my shit and realize that I am a positive role-model upon which you might base your entire life experience.  Or a subset thereof.

All that said, I'm still staring at my roll of paper.  El Toro Blanco, if you will.  I might start electronically.  See how I feel about that.

Williams wins first F1 race in 8 years/Lehman Falls

Even a person as small-minded and mean-spirited as myself surely revels in Williams taking the big trophy in Barcelona.

Frankly (which is a Williams joke), I didn't think Maldonado had whatever it takes to hold off Alonso.  And even though I remain a staunch proponent of the shiny red cars, I rejoice nonetheless.

But now, business:

I was at the Wu Guanzhong show in New York staring at one of his half impressionist/half abstract paintings--this one of a waterfall.  It looked a bit like this ...

... except it was a waterfall, not a mountain. 

At which point I whipped out my phone (I was going to write cell phone, but do we even call them that anymore?  I don't even own a land line) and texted the following message to myself:

Lehman Falls.

About two weeks ago I purchased a roll of white paper from Amazon.  I am now going to tape it to the wall, vertically, six or seven feet high, and attempt to paint, with the materials at hand, a brush and ink-ish waterfall.  It will, obviously, be titled Lehman Falls. 

If successful, I'll follow with Bear Falls.  Then, perhaps, MFGlobal Falls.
Wow, that one hardly trips off the tongue.
I know, right?
Still, I suppose one has to do what one has to do.

And then, perhaps, Dewey Falls.  Let's get through the first one before making long-range plans.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carroll Shelby, Dead Yesterday

I was walking up Madison Avenue the other day and some watches in a display case caught my eye.  Vintage Rolexes.  Rolices?  Anyway, I wander in and ask a lovely young woman if she has a 1655 Orange-hand.  She looks at me oddly, then asks "The Steve McQueen watch?"

"Yes," I say, and she reaches into a case and pulls one out.

"Blah, blah, blah," I specifically remember saying, followed by "How much is it?"

Note to reader:  I have no intention of buying it, but I used to own one and am always curious about the market I stepped away from in the interest of paying the rent during a particularly low point.

She then calls her boss.  A well-dressed lightweight of a man -- a watch salesman with airs to suggest he's a master of the universe -- appears and suggests that he will sell me the thing for twenty grand.

Note to reader:  This further cements my intentions of not buying it.

I'm looking at the thing and it looks like it's been beaten to shit.  Honestly.  I'm talking I-left-my-hammer-at-home-so-I'll-just-drive-these-nails-with-my-Rolex kind of beat-up.  Plus, the band doesn't look original.  Nor do the hands.  Amazing I actually know this.  I share these observation with him but he doesn't want to talk to me because I look, as I often do, like shit.  So he mumbles something and wanders away.

I spend a moment staring at the watch, then hand it back to the girl.  20K for a beat up one?  My stomach churned a bit.

Anyway, the Explorer II 1655 Orange-hand is widely assumed to be the coolest watch in the history of the world.  At least by some.  There's certainly room for debate.

There is, however, no arguing with the fact that this was, is, and always will be the coolest car in the world:

And now Carroll Shelby is dead.   Rest in peace, old friend.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Boy Wu

Check this amazing thing out:

Done by Chinese painter Wu Guanzhong.  Wu is the subject of a truly wonderful retrospective at the Asia Society.  This particular work isn't in the show, but it's illustrative of just some of what's going on up on 70th and Park.  The guy was a brush and ink master -- a throwback to the really good stuff some 300 years earlier, but with his own modernist twists -- and a national hero.

The museum notes on it's website:  "Wu Guanzhong created works that embody many of the major shifts and tensions in twentieth-century Chinese art—raising questions around individualism, formalism, and the relationship between modernism and cultural traditions."

Yada yada yada.  Regardless, the stuff is amazing.  And his quote about studying and learning from Western abstract art while not falling into the trap of simply copying it was pretty strong.  It was written on the wall of the exhibit and I don't really remember it any more than the gist of which you just read.  But Wu painted from about 1945 to 2010 and studied in Paris, so he had more than enough encounters with the likes of Jackson Pollock, among others.  Thus, one might suggest, the above.  And this:

Me?  Back to painting watercolors on my computer.

Although Jamie Dimon, proprietor of a fat-assed, two billion dollar clusterfuck that's making all the news these days, is on my mind.  If for no other reason than the opportunity to name the painting "The Formerly Brilliant Dimon."

I have no words...

Monday afternoon a woman wrote "I have no words" in blue on my painting.

Me?  While my pain doesn't begin to compare with the sturm und drang of recent Dewey & LeBoeuf events, I have no words to describe how much I hate the recent, so-called "improvements" on Blogger, the Google-run blogging program I used to publish The Year of Magical Painting.  If it didn't seem like an impossible task, I'd switch to something else this afternoon.

Look, if you will, at the post directly below this one.  The photo bleeds over onto the right column.  There is a huge space beneath the image before the copy begins.  It insists on adding a double space between me and the Greek Chorus in my internal dialogues -- WHICH I HATE!!!!!!!! -- and a bunch of other ungainly crap.

Go, for example, to any post from, say, six months ago.  They are jewels, my friend.  Now they look like shit.

I could not be more dissatisfied.

House of Pain

The Annotated Steven H. Davis:

Abovethelaw is posting this shortly, I believe, and asking for additional annotations.  Best annotation gets a free print.  You, dear friend, can also buy one if you don't win.

Having gotten home late last night, I spent a good part of the morning inscribing annotations I received via the original Above the Law posting.  The above reflects that.  Black is general public, Blue is D&L employees, past and present, and Red is ATL commentary, inscribed while listening to my Workingman's Dead LP.  I paused around 12:30 from some left-over Chinese noodles and a glass of red wine.


Good to be home again, and greeting me is this from a reader, regarding an earlier Gerhard Richter post:
Check that picture again.  They appear to be British Spitfires.

I leave now to check the picture...
Long pause
Wow, that is annoying.  I believe they are exactly that -- British Spitfires.

But hey, sometimes it's good to be wrong.  At least in this situation.  I mean, it makes a hell of a lot more sense that they're Spitfires than U.S. ordinance.  I mistook the underbelly fuel tanks for scoops on Mustangs.

And isn't it odd how plane names end up on cars.  I was always a Camaro guy (although that ardor has cooled considerably), so I never owned a Mustang.  But I owned two Triumph TR-3s (and a third for parts, until Jim Dingle's mother told me I had to get it out of her back yard), which might as well have been Spitfires (either the cars or the planes).   Or Sopwith Camels.  Or, cooler still, Spads.

I'd go into some depth here about how the introduction of the Datsun 240Z changed the entire dynamic of owning inexpensive sports cars (usually British or Italian).  The fantasy image in your head ceased to be WWII (or I!) fighter planes and became Korean War era jets.  And the world, I should say, is a sorrier place for it. 

But right now I'm unrolling my Steven Davis painting and inscribing 60 or so annotations received via the web, and I'm on a bit of a deadline with that.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Above The Law weighs in

I'm of course talking about the well-read legal blog.  Go here for the story about me.  It's a lovely story and I would call your attention to one paragraph in particular:
Not in the neighborhood? Feel free to pass along your annotation in the comments section of this post. The artist will dutifully inscribe on the painting — and provide a signed print to whoever leaves the best annotation in the comments (as determined by the Above the Law editors).

These bad boys cost $250 in the flesh, so I would urge you to click over to Above the Law and wield your electronic sharpie as if you were actually standing in front of Dewey & LeBeuf--a place I will be from 11:30 or so this morning til about 3pm, provided it doesn't rain.

This is not particularly fun...

Despite the gallows humor that pervades the sidewalk in front of Dewey & LeBoeuf, there's something noxious about people making 40 thousand a year getting screwed by people making 4 million a year.  Even now, after this exact theme has been wrestled with on dozens of my previous canvases, and even now, although many of the 40K folks appreciate the catharsis offered by a blue Sharpie and the white expanse of The Former Chairman, it's still not particularly fun to watch.

LawEnron is one of my favorite comments so far.

Logistically, I would rate yesterday a huge success.  Many of these 6th Avenue buildings have sprawling plazas out front (in which I am not allowed to exhibit) and numerous enigmatic side doors through which employees enter and leave.  1301 Ave of Am is not one of them.  I was able to set up the painting almost directly in front of the front door, at a distance of perhaps 30 feet.  It was, actually, perfect.

In part because of this, Day One went well.  For the first time in a long time, employee comments outnumbered general public comments.  One guy wrote, if I remember correctly, "Can't be seen writing on this painting; still have a job," but the truth of the matter is that most people figured they didn't have anything to lose, so they grabbed a pen and had at it.

For a while, a reporter from American Lawyer was hanging out in front of the painting with a photographer.  This, I can assure you, did dampen the participatory spirit.  The headline of the related article referred to me as an "attention-seeking painter", which does piss me off.  Not that it, de facto, isn't true.  But it's the simplicity of the observation, the lack of any meaningful insight into what the hell is actually going on here (some of which requires the seeking of attention, even on a level as basic as saying to passers-by "Can I tempt you with a marker, sir?"), that disappoints me.

More on this later, but one last American Lawyer carp:  I read the headline, become annoyed (see above) and try to read the full article, only to be stymied by my lack of a password.  That really annoyed me.  And for the record, I don't remember sending a press release to American Lawyer--which is what any self-respecting attention-seeking painter would have done.  They just wandered up to me and asked me some questions.  All I did was answer them.  You could, in fact, suggest that they are the attention seekers--given their inflammatory headline--and I'm just one more working painter.

Fuck you.

This is what somebody wrote on my painting, and in no way an expletive directed at American Lawyer.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Girding my Loins, Entering the Fray

I now bait my hook for Leviathan.

All by way of saying, I leave now leafy Brooklyn for the meanstreets of 53rd and 6th, armed with a water bottle, some Sharpies, and my portrait of Steven H. Davis.  Because my work is likely new to the legal community, I'm pricing The Former Chairman at $45,000.  The typing of which makes me physically nauseous. 

Prints will, of course, be available.

This whole Rockefeller Plaza is a wasteland of a sort.  Objectively I know everything will be fine--I mean, I'm not going to get arrested; nobody's gonna beat me up; etc.  But subjectively I fret, because I know that, by dint of the law (ironic, no?), I won't be able to get my painting right up near the front door.  I'll have to content myself with a more distant location, on the public portion of the sidewalk.  Perhaps near a hot dog vendor would be a good idea.  On several levels.

But the point of the exercise is not the convenient eating of hot dogs.  Rather, it's the gathering of insight, via Sharpies.  And it is the success or failure of that endeavor that makes me fret.

At least the Knicks won.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Derby revisited

At about fifteen minutes before they all started running for the back turn, I saw a piece on the owner of Hansen and decided he was such an asshole that I was withdrawing my prediction.  I couldn't bear the thought of a year full of newspaper and television coverage of the quirky Dr. Hansen (who named the horse after himself--consider yourself warned).  Anyway, Hansen came in 9th, so we have turned off the alarm.

Saturday, May 05, 2012



Note:  this prediction was posted @3:26 EDT.  So it's legit.

Wow.  What a beauty.

And just one more thing before I go drink my chocolate milk...

Here's a detail of the lower right corner of the Steve Davis painting.  My original plan was to leave a  white space in which I could scrawl my usual pthalo-green GVR plus Date.  I thought it might give the painting a nice, neat, well-composed look (although composing your paintings with an eye towards where you are going to put your signature is the height of pathetic-ness, if that's a word).

But I fell in love with that little flare of black.  Ended up signing it on the lower left.

For you completists, I finished the painting this morning while listening to The Pizza Tapes by David Grisman (on mandolin) and Jerry Garcia (on guitar).  Wonderful.  Their version of Long Black Veil is something.

Steven H. Davis in hi-res.

For those of you who believe you can find Great Truth by looking more closely at the painting, here's a hi-res version of "The Former Chairman".  Click it once to get rid of that annoying writing on the side, and twice to blow it up (obviously).

Speaking of stuff coming out of heads...

This is my all-time favorite moment of spilled paint:

I love this painting for many reasons.  Not the least being the red goober.  But more important than that is the woman who wrote "I hate being unemployed" just under the L in "Blue".

That, my friends, is why we continue to do this.

Steven H. Davis ... The Former Chairman of Dewey & LeBoeuf

A quick progression for you.

The original plan was to paint the guy straight-up.  But I got to about the second image and said to myself: "Dog!"
That's what you said to yourself?  Dog?
Yeah.  Why?
Does it ever bother you that people come to you seeking some form of The Great Truths, or a subset thereof, and what you give them is "Dog!"?
No.  Never.  Besides, I was just about to delve into at least one Great Truth when you interrupted me.

So now, continuing.   I looked at the second image and, after exclaiming Dog!, I started thinking of having the whole guy just kind of fading to white.  You'll remember the discussion below about having a kind of volcanic rising of color coming up through his neck?  Well, this has been discarded in place of the exact opposite.  This is the cloud of smoke after the volcano has erupted. 

Channeling Dickens, it's like the ghost of Law Firms to Come. 

In retrospect, I wish the salmon-y red that seems to outline his face was a slightly different color.  A ghostly blue might be nice, so long as there was enough contrast with the ghostly blue that his face has become.  Or just a less intense red.

And don't think there wasn't some extended anxiety about the goober of brown that spurts out of the right side of his head.  You think this stuff is easy?  I'm gonna go have some chocolate milk and watch the Mets.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Shanty Town

All of which makes me think of Desmond Dekker:

For you less in the Rasta groove, the lyrics go something like this:

Oh oh seven
Oh oh seven
At ocean eleven
An' now rudeboys 'ave a wail
'cause them out of jail
Rudeboys cannot fail
'cause them must get bail

Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail ( a shanty town )
Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail ( a shanty town )
An' rudeboys out on probation ( a shanty town )
An' rudeboy bomb up de town ( a shanty town )

Oh oh seven
Oh oh seven
At ocean eleven
An' now rudeboys 'ave a wail
'cause them out of jail
Rudeboys cannot fail
'cause them must get bail

Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail ( a shanty town )
Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail ( a shanty town )
An' rudeboys out on probation ( a shanty town )
An' rudeboy bomb up de town ( a shanty town )
De policeman get taller ( a shanty town )
De soldier get longer ( a shanty town )
De rudeboys a weep an' a wail ( a shanty town )

I'm Thinking Something Like This, Perhaps Twenty Feet Tall, Vol. 2

Have we even discussed this stuff?

I was reading the Times a week or so ago and saw an amazing streetscape of a Nigerian city in which colorful corrugated metal awnings extended so far from the buildings on each side of a narrow street as to almost meet in the middle.  Perhaps you saw it.  It was the main photo on the front page.

Anyway, it got me thinking about a series of flat sculptures, titled as a group "American Shantytown."  The image you see below is an electronic take on the first one. 

Work like this has to be big.  Thus the title of the post.

I'm Thinking Something Like This, Perhaps Twenty Feet Tall

The mind reels.

For you completists, I did this during interludes of painting Steve Davis.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

And as all this relates to the yankees?

Me?  I'm a Mets guy.

But a friend has tickets to see the yankees (I refuse to capitalize the name of the team as long as they are owned by steinbrenners) and, purely from an architectural perspective, I thought it would be fun to go see the new stadium.  I am willing to capitalize Derek Jeter -- who is the real thing in almost every way -- and it would be fun to see him once more before he fades into middle age.

In 2009 I coughed up a fun post comparing the exterior of the new yankee stadium to the edifice in which they held the Munich Olympics.  See it here.

It's a strong post, albeit a bit sad to read during the part where I suggest the Mets are headed to the World Series.  But you do get the full text of one of my all-time favorite posts embedded in 2009 post.  So life is good.

And, in closing, a note about george steinbrenner.  He, like Charles Barkley, has in later years been widely reinvented for palatable public consumption.  One shouldn't lose sight of what a colossal shit of a man he was, back in the day.  There are all kinds of evil in the world, dear friends.  And one such category is the notion that winning at all costs is a legitimate life philosophy. 

The irony is that the yankees planted the seeds for their recent greatness while steinbrenner was banned from the game.  And yet they want to put him in the Hall of Fame?
Isn't he already there?
Dunno.  But if he isn't, he's gonna be.
And this bothers you?

Steve Davis

I've got to quite this electronic painting.  For purposes related to the New York yankees, I'm going to find myself in New York for a chunk of next week, and enough already with the pixels--time to start throwing some paint.  Namely, the recently former CEO of Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Here's a sketch of Steven H. Davis, the person in question:

I have this idea of painting his neck like I painted John McCain's, except Davis strikes me as a man in his 40s, early 50s max.  So necks like McCain's are not readily found on middle aged men.

Also grabbing me, as I stare at the quick sketch, is the idea of half color, half black and white.  I am completely in love with my painting of Krugman...

... which you regular readers have seen a million times already.  Did you see him on Charlie Rose the other day?  The man's a hero (even though he never once responded to the two or three emails I sent him during the period of time I was painting his portrait). He's swimming upstream against trickle down economics.

Anyway, the idea being that welling-up of violent purples that you see in McCain's neck but by the time we hit the forehead, we're in virtual black and white.

These are questions, certainly.

The general thinking is to be standing in front of D&L Monday morning.  In a perfect world, it would be tomorrow.  Apparently that's the day we find out if it can meet the partners' monthly payroll (an oversimplification of the actual situation, but close enough for a painting blog).  But today is Thursday and all we have is a sketch.  So we're not going to be there Friday.