Friday, February 15, 2013

Giving Gussy the Cheese

User Note:  You should be playing the Doors while you read this post.

So I need to spend a couple of weeks in Vietnam to research my book "Saigon:  Too Big to Fail". I dialed my particulars into Orbitz, then Priceline, then directly into Emirates Air.  Interestingly enough, everybody was within a couple hundred bucks of everybody else.

So I'm thinking Emirates.  Who doesn't want to see Dubai?  And besides, the American alternative is United, and wouldn't I just rather poke a stick in my eye and mash it around?

The details:

JFK to Dubai -- 12 hrs;  Layover in Dubai -- 2 hours;  Dubai to Tan Son Nhat -- 6 hours.  Reverse to come home.

Coach:  $1400
Business: $7000

To be honest, coach seemed surprisingly reasonable -- I had two grand floating around in my head.  Business?  Ouch.

What's interesting about Saigon is that if you go on airbnb.com and look up places, you can rent an entire apartment in the middle of town for $40/night.  So I might stay three weeks.

I'll leave you with this ...

Titled 'Wounded Man', its an homage to Gustave Courbet's painting by the same name (as if I even had to explain).  Interestingly enough, three artists worked on this painting:  me; my friend Richard Kessler; and an unpleasant young woman who left in the middle of her part of the gig, never to be heard from again.

I did the main figure.  Richard did the green tendril-creatures that surround him.  The unpleasant young woman, who's name I honestly don't remember, did the leaves.  If you look closely at the leaves you can see hints of military equipment (tanks, helicopters, helmets, etc.), which was typical of her work.   Her solo paintings were splendid, really, but I don't think she ever quite attached herself emotionally to the idea of collaborative painting.

She had some great tattoos, though.

The original idea was that it would be just me and her.  Which I think would have been cool.  But when she split, without so much as a goodbye, I was kind of up in the air about the whole thing.  Richard bailed me out.

Here's one of his paintings ...


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