Friday, September 28, 2012

Go Mets

I don't usually post while on the road, but the Mets game was so wonderful it defies my ability to describe it.  So that's the end of the post, I guess.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I love the way the blacktop winds

There's a great line from one of those Floating Men songs about loving how the blacktop winds, but I can't quite pull it up right now.

In any case, tomorrow morning I'm popping out of bed at 6am, turning on Morning Joe (it's almost never good if you're watching Morning Joe in real time), drinking some coffee and collecting myself emotionally.  Having taken a shower the night before, ablutions will be minimal.  At 6:45 I'll grab my bag and walk out the door, jump in my car and whistle south to Brooklyn.  If my timing is right, I'll arrive at the exact point when people who live on 6th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn are moving their cars back to the side of the street they had moved them from an hour or so before.

I'll sit in the car, drinking a large coffee I will have bought from the deli at the corner of 5th and 5th, and reading the paper til 11.  I'll then meander down the hill to the R train, take it to Barclay's Center/Atlantic Ave, switch to the 4 or 5 and shoot uptown to Grand Central.  There, by the clock in the middle of the Main Hall, I'll meet my buddy Eric.  After a manly embrace, we will then plunge again into the depths, locate the 7 train, and ride it to Flushing.  Which is in Queens.

Then, flashing the tickets I just printed out on a couple of sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 inch copier paper, we will enter Nouche (pronounced New Shea, because I refuse to call it Citi Field) with the specific purpose of attending the last home game of the 2012 Mets where megaknuckleballer R.A. Dickey will seek his 20th win of the season and with it, likely, the National League Cy Young award.

And wouldn't that be magical?  From where I stand right now, the rain may be a problem.  But I'm sanguine.  Whatever that means.

Then, the next day, because I love the way the asphalt winds (which I think is the actual line), I'll exit New York, drive to North Jersey, grab one of my daughters (the one who likes football, not the one that doesn't) and then wing south to Charlottesville, Virginia.  We'll stop off at National Airport (because I refuse to call it Reagan International) and pick up one of my college roommates.  The purpose of the trip being to watch the Virginia Cavaliers battle Louisiana Tech.  Whatever that is.

The only think I know about LA Tech is that they average 54.7 points a game.  Which is a source of concern.

Two days later we will reverse the process.  The plan is to slide, as silently as the Batmobile, into my parking space in Troy at 8 pm Sunday night.  Exactly.  Just in time to watch the Giants play the Eagles (with the very real hope of watching the defensive line of the Giants turn Michael Vick into some version of guacamole).

I will be back behind this very computer on Monday.  Expect nothing between now and then.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giving Lichtenstein the Cheese

I'm awfully fond of this painting...

But we're not here to talk about Matisse.  Today?  Today we're here to talk about Lichtenstein.

The urge in the gut, as one might say, is to embrace the spirit of this famous Lichtenstein (maybe most famous?) then bend it to my dark will.

I've always felt like my style nicely complemented Lichtenstein's Ben-Day dots, and I thought it might be fun to take "I don't care..." and reword it into something more like "Daddy told me never to sell the Bear Stearns stock.  And now I'm ruined!"  Something like that.

Is that fair play?
Why wouldn't it be?
Well, you're just copying the other guy's shit.
Do you know nothing?
Is that a double negative, meaning you know something?  Or do you actually know nothing?
I know as much stuff as the next guy.
Then surely you know that artists have been stealing each other's shit since the beginning of time.
Yes, well I suppose...

Exhibit A for the defense:

It's homage, you see.  Or fromage.  Whichever isn't the cheese.

You do understand that "I don't care..." isn't actually one of his Ben-Day dot paintings?
Yes I do.  That just makes it even more fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I love it when people say nice things about me.  This comes from Adelaide Damoah in a bit titled "Top Arts Events and Artists to Look Out For in 2012"  Check out her website and connected blog here.

If you know anything about me, you know that one of my philosophies for art is that it by its very nature, represents the spirit of the times. At this moment in our history, no other artist captures this sentiment better for me than Geoffrey Raymond. An American painter, born in 1953, Raymond is best known for painting controversial Wall Street CEO's , placing the paintings in the street and asking passers by to write their opinions of the subjects onto the portraits using marker pens. After the announcement of the $85 billion bail out for insurance giant AIG back in 2008, Raymond sat outside the company head quarters with a portrait of its then CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg. One person wrote, "Snarling rat bastard die! You suck. Love, Kim." Utter genius, talk about capturing the spirit of the times. Really interesting and engaging work documenting our history.

She included a photo of The Fallen Prince, which was also nice of her.

Dog!  My head is totally swelling up.  I feel like I've had about five reverse Manhattans.

A quick note about God and where to find him

An attentive noted that Mies van der Rohe, not Phillip Johnson, said "God is in the details."  Whose first name was Ludwig, actually.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lehman Schmeeman

As annotated in NYC.  Honestly, I'm now gonna grab some gesso and white out the stuff that really annoys me.

Can you be more specific as to your annoyance?
Sure.  The stuff that pisses me off isn't what I disagree with.  It's the stupid stuff.  The 'I Heart NY' stuff.  That's the best you've got?  I worked hard on this painting, then schlepped it down to Wall Street, and 'I Heart New York' is the best you've got?  
Roger that.  I'd be pissed if I were you.
You are me.
Also, when parents let their kids just draw away is also annoying.  This, interestingly enough, happens more in Troy than it does in NY.  Is the thinking that I'm here to provide a coloring book for their fucking kids?  Please, a little respect for the work.
Thanks.  That clears it up nicely.
I knew it would.

Favorite comment?  A couple:

--What did we learn?
--Changing banks from the inside.
--The horror...  The horror.
--Biblical oral creatures of habit.

What could that last one possibly mean?
Beats me.  
Maybe it's something about Jesus' wife?
Maybe.  Who knew he was even married?
I know.  I was like, Dog!
But I'd like one more comment about annotations I like or don't like...
If you look at about the 10:30 mark, just below "carpe diem", you can see where somebody wrote "New York is a... Dream"
I like that.  
Okay.  Although, truth to tell, it's a lot like writing I love NY.
Yes it is.  Except it isn't.
It's also a lot like poetry.
Nicely said.  And who doesn't like poetry?  And there's a long screed by one former Lehman guy about throwing Fuld out during a company softball game.  You can see it in green in the top right.
And finally, if you look just above his head, someone from Russian wrote "LEMAN-WMUMAH" which aren't the correct letters because my keyboard doesn't type Cyrillic, if that's even what they call it.  When I asked him to translate he made a big face and said it was hard.  An idiom.  What he finally said to me, after talking to his girlfriend in Russian, was "It's kind of like 'Lehman Schmeeman.'"  Which I liked.

Back from New York

I would describe the trip as a success.  Not stunning, but good.  Solid B.  Which, while not an A, is still a good grade.  I remember sometime in the mid-70s having to pass an Astronomy course in order to graduate and it was neither As nor Bs that were the objects of my desire.

Anyway, arrived Monday morning.  Went straight to old Lehman bldg.  Actually didn't go straight to old Lehman building; ducked instead into an Irish bar to go to the bathroom -- which I should have done on the bus, but didn't.  Quarter of eleven in the morning and four people are drinking at the bar.  I ask very nicely to take a pee and the bartender says no, customers only.  Fuck you, I remember thinking.  Instead of verbalizing it, however, I ordered a bowl of soup and a virgin bloody mary.  At some point I used the BR.  Then I went uptown.

For the first time in my six years of doing this stuff I lost an argument with a policeman about where I could or couldn't put my painting.  They made me move away from the front door of the building (the exact same spot I stood in when exhibiting The Annotated Fuld) to a spot about half way down the block.  Still in front of the building, but not smack in front of it.  On one side was a hot dog guy and on the other side was somebody selling antique tin signs with Coke logos (which I know they are making in Queens right now).

So my mojo took a hit.  And I started to smell like fried onions.

Additionally, apart from a few intelligent comments on the painting, I don't think I've ever run into as much stupid crap written on one of my paintings in my life.  One person wrote about Chicago, the musical.  If I see another person write "I love NY" on the fucking painting, I'm gonna freak out.

Once the cop made me move, I considered just grabbing the train downtown to the NYSE.  This was vetoed (internally).  I figured I needed to be at the scene of the crime for at least one full session to give the painting its authenticity.  So I stuck it out, but it was a loathsome experience.  The only good part was CNBC sent a camera guy to shoot some footage.

Later that day I went to the Peter McManus Cafe and got the usual quality annotations.  Went to a movie (The Arbitrager, or Arbitrage, with Richard Gere.  C+)

Tuesday it rained, so I went to a bunch of galleries.  Went to a movie (The Master.  A-)

Wednesday was beautiful.  I set up in my usual NYSE spot; had a lovely time.  People had interesting things to say, write or both.  Caught the 4:40 train back to Albany.

Remind me to tell you about The Master, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the guy with the scarred lip.  Amazing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Then there was this...

Which, in it's own way, was massive.

But, after some kerkuffling, and the unfortunate application of what I thought was going to be a bit of gray, turned into this:

Which, if I do say so myself, is really something.

This is the end...

Anybody who's ever seen Apocalypse Now can remember Martin Sheen coming out of the water.  The Doors are singing The End, or perhaps some other classic number, and the shit is about to hit the fan.

Quel Horror, as we used to say in French Indo-China.

Cropped, it looks like this:

Which brings us, inexorably, to this:

Disregard the bungee cord.  Ever since I read 50 Shades of Grey I've been tying up my studio assistant a lot.  It's a kick.

I'm uncomfortable with this level of sharing.
Prolly so.  Let's move on.

Which, under the category of why it's fun, on the odd day, to be me, brings us to this:

What we're shooting for is some mix between Marty coming out of the water to kill Kurtz and Gollum coming out of the water to kill Bilbo Baggins.  In the latter case, water might be replaced with primordial ooze.

In any case I'm happy with the way things are going.  I'm listening to Stevie Wonder right now, but I might click on MOG and see if I can find some Doors songs.  Just for the spirit of the thing.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Car for sale

Got my license a couple of days ago.  Yesterday I bought a car.  Drove it around. Filled it up today with 16 or so gallons of premium (the need for which, according to the general thinking at Daisy Baker's, is a myth).  Paid 70 bucks.

Am now selling car.

Remembering Lehman, Vol. 2

This is an odd picture, isn't it?  I was living in Park Slope at the time (which took me a few minutes to figure out, since the image is reversed).  I still miss that guitar.

But that's not the point.  The point is the cropping of Fuld's face, something along these lines ...

To generate, eventually, something like this:

Except it won't be red and it won't be Geithner.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Since it's fashion week..

Two notes on obesity and whatever the opposite is:

Note to models--your thighs should be thicker than your knees.

Note to everybody--don't drink sugary drinks that are larger than your head.

Note to Mayor Bloomberg:  Keep up the good work.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I, Like Most of America, Appear Done with Paul Ryan

Here is the final image--although if you send me an email, I'll write something on it for you.  I'm not an ogre.

Here somebody wrote something along the top.

I always think it's good when they are writing on the top and sides, as this suggests that the front of the painting has filled in nicely.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Michigan seems like a dream to me now.

Sitting in the studio, ostensibly doing the necessary reflection required before jumping into Remembering Lehman but actually just listening to my new speakers at a volume the guys next door to me, who at ten pee em are still working, probably don't appreciate.

Rough schematic:  The Cowboy Junkies takes you to David Crosby which takes you to Tommy James and the Shondels (just for Crimson and Clover, but still...) which takes you to U2 which takes you to Portishead which takes you to Mazzy Star which takes you to Chumbawamba which takes you to Paul Simon and Graceland which takes you inexorably to Garfunkel joining him for America which takes you to Bridge over Troubled Waters, just because it makes me think fondly of my mother.  My poor, old, long-dead mother.  Who loved that song.

Hi Ma.  Could you hear it?  I played it loud enough.

And somewhere along the way you can't help but wonder about the best Paul Simon lyrics of all time.

"The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar" might just be the greatest line he ever wrote, but Lord have mercy there's a lot to be said for "'Cathy I'm lost,' I said though I knew she was sleeping."

Which is just the sort of thing the protagonist of "Saigon: Too Big To Fail" would say to his Chinese/Vietnamese girlfriend.  If her name was Cathy instead of Feebi.  This would be before she sends him out onto the sidewalk to buy her a flower and then, in his absence, blows up, herself included, the entire contents of an expensive French restaurant packed with high-level American military and CIA and their high-priced mistresses.

Yes, obviously.  Because after that she was dead.

Graceland is a sonically complex album and to turn it up loud, lean back into the sofa and just let it wash over you is the whole reason for buying these speakers.  Plus, they're a tax deduction.

Now there are plenty of people who have turned Graceland up loud and leaned back into their sofas and just let it wash over them.  But I can assure you that what that sounds like and what this sounds like are two very different things.

Plus, they're a tax deduction.

Proof you can paint anywhere

This is a picture of a studio I rented part-time in New York circa 2007 or 8.  The painting is four by five.  Which means the studio must have been eight by ten,  maybe.  I was standing in the door when I took the shot.

The painting, eventually titled "Spikus Aurelius," was a portrait of my buddy Lawrence.  You can see the shot of his head lying on the table in the lower right hand corner.  My feeling is that it's a classic, but you can judge for yourself by heading to the Peter McManus Cafe where he bar tends, usually nights.  He'd probably sell the thing if you gave him 50K.

For you completists, I'm listening to David Crosby's first solo album after CSN, titled "If I Could Only Remember My Name" on MOG.  Wow.  It's like doing drugs without the harmful side effects.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th, 2001

What a day that was.  I'm listening to "The Rising," thinking about it.

Say what you will about Bruce Springsteen (I liked his early stuff better--there, that's me saying what I will), The Rising is an amazing piece of work.

An act of brilliance.  There, that's me saying what I will.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering Lehman

Getting my driver's license was almost the second most important thing to happen to me today.  There was some thinking that my new speakers would arrive as well.

This clearly has not happened.  But here's a picture of one:

And then there was the whole business -- the whole ongoing business -- of what to paint.  I can easily see why postal workers start shooting people.

And then I came up with Remembering Lehman.

The general thinking now is to paint Richard Fuld for a fifth time, perhaps this time in black and white, since I love how the annotations look, and take him down to the city to acknowledge September 16th.

September 16th, forever known as the night they drove Old Dixie down.

That can't be right.

September 16th, 2008, forever known as they day they blew Old Lehman up.

Question:  Do you take it to the actual scene of the crime?  Now Barclay's?  Up on 7th Ave, or wherever it was?  Or do you keep it downtown, by the Stock Exchange?  That is the question.

Good news and bad news...

Good news--I'm now a licensed driver.  What an odd thing to say.

Bad news--Fernando Alonso came in third at Monza.

Good news--His primary competitors did worse than he did.

Bad news--My new speakers don't look like they are arriving today.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Italian Grand Prix

There will be no posting until we find out who wins.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Study for Lehman Falls

I know how you people like it when I post several times a day.  Talking about Artrage made me turn the damned thing on and spurt this out:

Calling it a study doesn't even really count.  The initial fucking around from which a study might then appear is the actual term of art.

Nonetheless, I love the idea of monumental paintings of famous falls (Bear Falls, Lehman Falls, MF Global Falls, etc.) executed in my now barely famous Japanese woodcut style.

To me they're not finished til they have one of your famous trees.



Hot Ziggety!

This is how it happens, dear friends.  One minute you're looking at your Paul Ryan painting, reflecting on how you don't really feel like painting Obama and then it hits you:


--Easy to paint
--Plenty of room for annotations


--Feels a bit like a cop-out
--Doesn't look very much like Obama.

Note:  The above was generated in less than five minutes using a program called Artrage Studio Pro.  They make an iPad app for five bucks that is, honestly, wonderful.

I'm reminded of the Bob Marley line.
Which one?
"One good thing about music.  When it hits you feel okay."
Same with art.
Very much my thinking as well.  And I wouldn't worry about it not looking like Obama.  You haven't painted a portrait in months that actually looks like the guy.  Besides, its a metaphor.
Good point.
Metaphor might be the wrong word.
Yeah.  But it's something.
Yes it is.

God is in the details

I think it was Phillip Johnson who said this, no doubt referring to the making of tomato tea.  But, paraphrased, he could have been talking about my paintings.  As in "God is in the annotations."

Consider this detail from the lower right corner:

Annotations of interest, taken at random:

--Nixon looks a hell of a lot better than this clown
--Pro art + anti Romney
--His birth name reads: Rand Paul Ayn Ryan  

The guy who wrote that came back a couple of minutes later and corrected it to read:

--Ayn Rand Paul Ryan

Then, suggested a couple of days later:


And my favorite:

Bail out Spain please we are tired from the Germas

Which really makes me want to get my shit together and get to Europe with some paintings, although Art Basel Miami is bearing down on me like a hurricane and I wonder if my shit is even barely close enough together to do both things.

Which is unbelievably lame, given that ABM doesn't start til December 6th and a trip to Europe takes three or four days.
I know.  I'm ashamed of my inertia.
You should be.
I said I was.
Well you should be.
I said I was.

Anyway, I grow fond of Paul Ryan the painting as I grow to loathe Paul Ryan the candidate in a directly inverse manner.  If that makes sense.

And, while we're on the subject, I personally know perhaps a dozen people who have run the New York Marathon and every one -- EVERY ONE -- can tell me their finishing time down to the minute, sometimes the second.  So when Paul Ryan says he had a memory lapse when he quoted a sub-three hour mark (instead of the actual plus-four hour mark), it's garbage.

Not that lying about your marathon time is the end of the world.  I feel almost certain I would lie about mine, if I had one.  But it's illustrative of the larger dynamic.

For you completists, I'm listening to Cat Power's new album "Sun" on MOG, my current inter web listener of choice.  I'm unconvinced, but maybe its like an onion, or a big snake, and it reveals itself in layers.  The Cat Power album, not MOG.  I love MOG.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Tomato Tea

While I was in New York I popped by Eleven Madison Park for lunch.

Popped might be the wrong word, but anyway, there I sat Friday afternoon with my friends Chuck and Wyn, awaiting some colossal culinary experience.  For those of you who pay attention, 11 Madison, formerly a mediocre Danny Meyer restaurant, is now, under new ownership, one of those few, those four or five, golden temples to which the New York Times attaches four stars.

Me?  I'm giving it three and a half.  Per Se is better, just for starters.  And when I'm eating at Per Se, I'm not thinking to myself, "Hey, these guys must have just been to 11 Madison Park" whereas while eating at 11 Madison I kept thinking "Hey, these guys must have just been to Per Se."

Which should speak volumes.  Plus the waiter stepped on my foot twice.  One time on the foot is my bad.  The second time?   Yo dog--watch what you are doing.  That's my foot.

Plus they delivered a drink to the wrong table.  Being ours.  And then I desperately wanted it because it looked so beautiful, but when we told them it belonged to someone else they took it away.

Plus, I was a little disappointed that we didn't have the tasting menu, but that takes three-plus hours and the air conditioning made the room excessively cold.  Not a problem for me because I'm currently the size of a blimp, but less attractive for my dining mate in her sleeveless dress.  And I had a train to catch and would have been looking at my watch instead of those little egg shells filled with smoked sturgeon and chive oil sabayon.

Plus, I was imperfectly moved by the $27 glass of Chateauneuf du Pape that the sommelier recommended to go with the duck.

But enough about the negative stuff.  Let's instead talk about the tomato tea.

In a moment, I'm going to attach a link to a blog called  This person has a full review, plus pictures.  The second and third pictures are also of the tomato tea.  And I, unlike the donuts reviewer, love tomatoes.  So, to me at least, the tomato tea was the sort of epiphany you hope to get when you go to restaurants like this.  It was stunning.  It tasted like what I assume the tears of Aphrodite tasted like, but more tomato-y

In fact, I'm afraid if I talk about the tomato tea any longer I'm going to begin sobbing.  With joy.  But still...

Instead, go here and read the donuts4dinner review.  I'm going to go upstairs and see if Rory McIlroy is still holding off Voldemort.

Women of America -- Wake the Fuck Up

The title of this post is of course taken from this beautiful painting...

It's even more beautiful if you just click on the thing so you don't have to look at the writing bleeding through on the right side.

It's a full, rich piece and I'm very pleased.  Black and White Ryan.  The more I look at the eyes the more I like them.  Beady little Richard Nixon eyes.  Wow--in a world where Mitt Romney can be elected president, and by extension Paul Ryan, Richard Nixon looks like a gift from God, doesn't he?

BWRyan is hanging on the wall of my studio and if you want to send me a comment to inscribe on your behalf, you are welcome to do so.  As I wait for it to come through I'm listening to "Waiting For Columbus," the live Little Feat album that will shake the shoes off you, given adequate volume levels.

And loose enough shoes.

You can tell I just walked over and took the picture because the left side of the photo, being closer to the window, is hotter than the right side.

Women of America -- wake the fuck up.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

I'm wasted. And I can't find my way home.

The time has come to say goodbye to this:

I was stupid enough to offer Dewey & LeBoeuf employees (now former) a stiff discount and, lo and behold, be careful what you wish for.  With my feet thusly held to the fire, I ejaculated a discount that I would describe as "gut-wrenching, spleen-lacerating, eyeball-searing."

I'm literally coughing up blood, two days after the fact.

But, all that said, you do some paintings for what you think will be the money and some paintings with the expectation that no money will ever be forthcoming.  I mean, who's gonna buy a picture of Rick Perry, painted upside down, with horns coming out of his head?

And the law beat is so far outside my usual stomping grounds ... well, you do the math.  In the end, I painted it because my buddy Lance told me to.  And that's the end of the free ride for him, I can assure you.

I was in the studio the other day addressing the assembled paintings.  "My job," I told them, paraphrasing Craig Howard (Tim Tebow's high school coach), "is to love you.  Your job is to love each other."  I rattled on for a few more minutes, then, as I always do when they're sold, told The Former Chairman "Don't ever let anybody tell you you're not a great painting."  And that was that.

And I can assure you, there wasn't a dry canvas in the house.

That was a nice use of the word 'ejaculated'.
Thank you.
Very old-school.
Yes it was.  As in "To utter suddenly and briefly; to exclaim."

On a happier note, check this out.  If you are a fan of acoustic rock, it can only be described as a jewel.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Update:  Click here instead.

I wouldn't call it acoustic rock.  You make it sound like The New Riders of the Purple Sage.
No.  I'd call it rock stars playing acoustic guitars.  
Fair enough.  Duly noted.

One of the lessons to be taken here is that guitar is really a simple instrument.  Just like the blues is a simple art form.

Okay, now you try.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Let the record show...

I'm in the studio on Saturday night of Labor Day Weekend.  It's quarter of eight.

I've been staring at my Jamie Dimon painting for quite a while, listening to, first, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers (the whole album) then an additional track titled Song for my Father then The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco.

The Horace Silver stuff is really quite extraordinary.

Having spent most of the last two weeks in New York, this weekend is a time for recovery.  If only the Giants were playing Dallas on Sunday rather than next Wednesday ...