Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I was hungry once ...

... and it was, as I remember it, your world.  As I recall, there were amphetamines, pearls, plus a bunch of fog.  Would it have killed you to have had a hamburger, given the situation?


Is that too much?  I don't mean to bug you.  I only bring all this personal stuff up because there's a fairly provocative article from New York Magazine that popped up on Facebook.   Titled How Did Bob Dylan Get So Weird, I would advise you to read it here.  After doing so, I got so fired up I've been listening to Bob for about the last hour.  Currently playing Just Like a Woman from Bob Dylan Live, 1966:  The Royal Albert Hall Concert.

Cindy Crawford once observed about Richard Gere, her much older paramour, something along the lines of "The difference between Richard and me is that he thinks Dylan is God and I don't."


Update:  Now I'm listening to Queen Jane Approximately.  Dylan and the Dead.

The man had a way with titles.
Yes he did.

Back to the Dylan article for a moment (which was, improbably, written by someone named Bill Wyman.  Who I refuse to believe was the Rolling Stone of the same name).

Dear Mr. Wyman:  Why don't you try being Bob Dylan for 80 or so years and we'll see how fucking weird you are.

Monday, July 28, 2014

And while we're going on and on about bikes, check this out

Wow.  If you're in the frame of mind that lets you see beauty in machinery, here's a feast for the eyes.  A little repetitive, but the soundtrack is cool.  Enya?

In anteprima mondiale www.bicidepoca.com presenta la bici originale Bianchi modello "Campione del Mondo"del 1954,appartenuta all'indimenticabile campionissimo Fausto Coppi

Reads, according to Google Translate, in English as ...

Www.bicidepoca.com presents the world premiere original Bianchi bike model "World Champion" in 1954, which belonged to the unforgettable champion Fausto Coppi

Il Grande Fausto

Everything you need to know about the Tour de France can be seen in this short clip ...


Tour de France wrap up

Perhaps I owe Vincenzo Nibali an apology for suggesting he might be doping.  He is, after all, one of only four men to win all three Grand Tours (Spain and Italy, in addition to France).  So that's not chopped liver.

"Now that I find myself on the highest step of the Champs-Élysées, it's more beautiful than I ever imagined."

Which is lovely.

When directly asked about doping, he answered: "It's a great pleasure for me to talk to you about all the sacrifices I've made to come this far.  I'm proud of what I've accomplished."

Slightly less lovely.  A simple no might have sufficed, Vinnie.

Nibali's team, Astana, was first developed to support Kazakh rider Alexander Vinokourov, who, it should be said, was the genuine bomb.  A great rider, an important teammate in the mountains for Armstrong, he was suspended from the '07 Tour for doping.  What's interesting about Vinokourov is that he's a member of the school of thought that goes something like:  "If literally everybody was doping than I'm not about to apologize for doing it too."

Vino, as he's called, served his suspension without apology and is now the manager of the Astana team.

This has always been the difference between baseball doping and cycling doping.  In baseball, lots and lots of players weren't using performance enhancing drugs.  So those that were actually were cheating.  In cycling, everybody was doing it.  Okay -- not absolutely everyone.  But of the 21 podium slots (1st, 2nd and 3rd times 7) of the Tours that my boy Lance won, only one slot is held by someone who has never been caught doping.  Not accused.  Caught.  So the ethical high ground becomes a bit murkier.

All that said, I'm just enough of a sap to believe that cycling, with it's state-of-the-art biological passport detection technology, has moved past doping to a significant degree.

So let's think positive thoughts.  Congratulations Vincenzo.  Magnifico!

That said, Fausto Coppi remains my favorite Italian cyclist ...

Favorite performance enhancing drug?  Espresso!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Anatomy is a funny thing

Let's say you're walking the dog.  One of those big thin ones, like a redbone coonhound or, even more fun, a weimeraner.

Preferably one who's not running for office.

Anyway, you look down and you watch the dog's spine undulate in a kind of s-shaped pattern.  That's how dogs walk.

Likewise, if you're looking at the spine of a Tour de France cyclist doing the individual time trial.  Same thing.  Same s-shaped pattern.  Proof that we're really all dogs, I suppose.  If not actually then certainly metaphorically.

Anatomy is a funny thing.

My boy Tejay van Garderen couldn't quite reel in the 4th place I predicted.  He did pop up one spot, though, and will finish the Tour in 5th.  Which is not chopped liver, I can tell you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jesus, Take The Wheel

This being, of course, the only Carrie Underwood song I can think of.  Which is fine, because who gives a shit about Carrie Underwood and besides, it's really all by way of asking if you saw Lewis Hamilton's brake failure and resultant 110 mph shunt at Hockenheim last week.

Not much of a video.  But I have to ask, do you think that voice is computer-generated?  I've never heard a flatter voice-over in my life.  Makes HAL 9000 sound like Morgan Freeman ...

I love the way that spaceship looks.  Like a friendly puppy or something.

Anyway, if you were watching the crash from Lewis' on-board camera you could see him fighting with the car and then, when he knew impact was unavoidable, release the wheel and gently cradle his head in his hands.  Just like Ms. Underwood sings it.

Isn't this the point where you typically cut and paste the lyrics to the song here?
Yes it is.
Country music isn't my thing, really.
I hear you, brother.

FYI, one releases the steering wheel of a racing car because there is considerable risk, if you don't, of having your thumbs ripped off when the wheel reacts to the huge force of impact by twisting violently.  Or something just as unpleasant, although I'm having a hard time thinking of anything more unpleasant than having your thumbs ripped off.

Dude.  Something worse than that happens in almost every episode of Game of Thrones.
Good point.  That Ramsey Snow's a walking freak show, isn't he?
Yes he is.

Hamilton was ostensibly unhurt, went on to drive a race spectacular enough to make me start liking him except for the fact that that will totally never happen (because he's a whinger and there's no place for whinging in racing), and came in third.  Which was annoying.  Word now comes forth from Hungary, site of this week's race, that he has undergone significant physical therapy this past week.

Me?  I certainly don't wish the man ill health.  But if an ache or two, here or there slows him down a bit that would be lovely.  Perhaps he could miss a race or two.

And this as a closing thought:  How prescient was my boy Fernando Alonso when, a couple of years ago, he was asked how good a driver Sebastian Vettel is.  His response was something along the lines of "Let's see how well he handles a non-competitive car."  And now we know the answer to that.  Badly, as it turns out.  His teammate is handing him his hat!  And, some rumors suggest, shitting in it prior to doing so.

Vettel, it should be noted, won his four consecutive Drivers' Championships driving a car that was so vastly superior to its competition that I, were I able to fit my fat ass into the thing, could probably have placed in the mid-field points positions on a regular basis.  Once I learned how to operate the steering wheel.

The Tour Winds Down

Tomorrow the time trial.

It's a long one.  So long, in fact, that they've set a feeding station up in the middle, just so you can have a snack en route.  Hilly too.

All of which favors a strong showing by my boy Tejay van Garderen.  Currently sitting in sixth, there's a real chance that he can take several minutes away from most of the guys above him.  The bad news is that he lost about four minutes in the first day in the Pyrenees, and no matter how fast he pedals he's going to have a tough time grabbing that third spot on the final podium.  I'm feeling my oats, so I'm going to predict that he finishes fourth.

This, one of my Chuck Close fromage paintings, is titled Close, But No Cigar...

I always liked this painting.  Particularly the little red dots (presaging my Maps of Troy dots perhaps) that defined the intersections of the grid lines.

Back to the Tour, more specifically Vinnie Nibs:  Did you see him pull away from the field yesterday?  Dude, it was like he had a motor on his bicycle.  The last time we saw a rider destroy the field like that was Floyd Landis' famous break-away.  The one that won him the Tour that year.  The one that seemed almost superhuman.

And we all know how that turned out.

We do?
You don't?
Drugs, baby.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

17 Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago, at nine in the morning, on this very day, Johnny Versace was gunned down in front of his South Beach mansion.  What a sad waste.

His name wasn't Johnny.
Yes it was.
No it wasn't.  It was Gianni.  He was Italian.
No way.
Look at the ad, man.
Hmmm.  Perhaps so.

Anyway, at some point in the 90s Versace produced a series of dresses made out of leather straps and belts.  I remember doing a cartoon about them in which the copy had something to do with something.

I wish I could be more specific.  Perhaps a pretty girl saying something about needing a few belts before something happened?  The joke having something to do with the idea of the belt dresses and the use of the word belt to mean cocktail.

I wish I could be more specific, but it made me laugh at the time.

Anyway, attention should be paid.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Old Friends

Facebook's a strange thing.  I was recently sent a friend request from someone I painted maybe ten years ago.  She worked at Elmo at the time I painted her, but has since come up in the world since this picture is taken in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant late last year.

Which isn't chopped liver.  Say hello to Julian for me.

The other odd thing is that one of her dining partners is also somebody I painted around the same time.  I remember her being impressed when I told her she had a face like the front of a Ferrari.  Which is not something I typically say to people, if for no other reason than most people have faces like old Buicks, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

It must have worked since she agreed to sit for me.   Both paintings are among my favorite early works.  Early works is the wrong phrase, since I've been painting my whole life.  Maybe early late works.  Early drip portraits might be even better.

Anyway, one is hanging in my house as we speak.  Every six months or a year, I take the other one out and replace the first one with the second.  If that makes sense.

This one's up ...

I may just unroll this one (which suffers from being poorly photographed) and switch it out.
It should be noted that I immediately clicked the yes button.

Pardon me?
On the friend request.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Would it kill you to take a moment ...

... as July flirts with August, to look over at the right hand column of the blog, the one with all the months, beginning with July 2006?

You think this shit is easy?  This much fucking blogging?  Where are the financial contributions from the readers?  After all these years of free shit of the highest quality imaginable?  Is this rant like Pete Wells' NYTimes zero-stars review of Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant in which every sentence is in the form of a question?

Have you seen the review?

Did you laugh?

p.s.  You don't really have to contribute.  It's my gift to you.

More Boris

We close, gently, to the finish line, with this being the current state of Big Boris ...

My original vision was of a lighter, pinker, more Teutonic (one of his middle names is, after all, de Pfeffel) complexion, but I am so fond of the way his eyes are turning out in this version that I'm loathe to mess around with it too much.  Besides, he's upside down and all the blood is rushing to his head, rendering him a darker color.

Like blood sausage.
Nicely said.

It should be noted that all the people Rembrandt painted were pasty-faced northern Europeans, and they all looked as brown as nuts.  That's a slight exaggeration, but dude, the man loved his brown.

As regards Big Boris, additional work certainly remains.  The hair remains a work in progress.  The neck is wanting.  But those things will work themselves out.  The title remains, in my mind at least, a bit of a question.  I leave now to consult with the client.

Quick note:  Nutritional profile of three and a half ounces of typical blood sausage ...

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,586 kJ (379 kcal)
1 g
Sugars1 g
35 g
15 g
Trace metals
6.4 mg
680 mg

Good to know.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Death of a Salesman

Here's something ...

And here's the same thing, cleaned up ...

Do the tighten-up.  James Brown.
I can't wait for that movie.
Me neither.  Owwwww!

Anyway, what I didn't photo-document, because I'd done all the painting before I remembered to go upstairs and get the camera, was Boris' transition from a really dark blue face to a really whitish-pink one.  Now we've come back to a sort of a middle ground.

What was lost in all the backing and forthing was the man's features.  Lost as in obliterated.  So now the features are starting to emerge again.  This time to stay.  And the cleaning up meant removing the grid lines from the canvas.  Obviously.

He's a nice looking man, upside down.
Thank you.  Nice of you to say.
Attention must be paid.  Willie Loman's wife.
I can't wait for that play.
Too late.  Somebody already wrote it.

Speaking of writing, I am reading something with the word salt in the title.  It's a fictional memoir of Gertrude Stein's Vietnamese cook in Paris in the 30s, with flashbacks to Saigon and vicinity as frequently as the author deems prudent.  Quite lovely, really.  I'd certainly recommend it if you're in the right mood.

Update:  The Book of Salt: A Novel, by Monique Truong.

What I'd also recommend is turning to FX on Sunday nights and watching The Strain, which is unique among vampire sagas in that nobody in the viewing audience (or the cast for that matter) wants to go to bed with either the handsome vampire or his beautiful victims (see: The Vampire Diaries and/or the Twilight series), since neither of those things exist.  The vampire appears to be about ten feet tall and looks more like a lizard than anything else.  And the victims appear to be pretty much run-of-the-mill folks who wander by at the wrong time.

Plus there are these extremely disturbing, blood-sucking worms that, honestly, you do not want to get one on you.

Next time we speak of The Strain, remind me to broach what I call the The Following Paradox.  Although it might not actually be a paradox.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Revisiting Recently Deceased

It is with considerable annoyance that I report that the date of this painting should be 7-16-14, not 6-16-14.  Ironic, perhaps, that the man painted dates and I managed to fuck up the date of his Eulogy Map.  Also, curiously, Kawara apparently didn't want the exact date of his death published.  Some reports peg the date as near the middle of June -- roughly a month ago.

Wouldn't it be cool if I nailed it?

Also, just so we're clear, I just photoshopped at random the white type from one of his paintings into the middle a dark pool I had floating around.  There is no significance to that date beyond the arbitrariness of cut and paste, although it is worth noting that on the 16th of September, 1975, the Pirates beat the Cubs 22-0.  Which is a whack to the side of the head, no question.  Assuming you're a Cub.

Rennie Stennett went seven for seven, which has to be some kind of a record.

Map of Troy

But I did finish this ...

Which, to see in person, is to see Marxism die.  I'm not fucking kidding, either.

There's a Summer Place

I love that song.  Lovely to hum as you stand barefoot in the grass slopping some Buff Titan onto Big Boris.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons?
The Lettermen, I think.  Maybe Andy Williams.

Regardless, I wanted to start spreading some color on the man's hair and, around the jaw and neck, do a bit of the tighten up with some gesso.

Surely that's the Four Seasons.
Dude!  James Brown.

Regardless, this is what it looks like ...

I'd do more, but I think it's fixing to rain.

The Buff Titan is a bit darker than I thought it would be, but that's okay.  It's a means to an end.  Just how even though his face was really dark when we last visited him, it's coming back to a normal color as we speak.  Likewise, just the way, when you're painting gray hair, the first thing you do is lay down a layer of black ...

Part of me says you should leave it like that.
The self-portrait?  
No.  Big Boris.
That's why you're the Greek Chorus and I'm the Painter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Kawara, Recently Deceased

An artist I enjoyed.  Herewith, this from la fromagerie ...

Kawara's big thing was painting the date.  Here's an example ...

He never painted random or selected dates.  He only painted the date of the day he was making the painting.  If you're with me there.  Were it me and I had come up with the idea, I'd immediately paint something that looked like SEPT.30,1953 because I'm an egomaniac and that's my birthday.

Not so much my boy On.  And if he couldn't get the painting done before midnight of that particular day he destroyed it.  Which I admire.

There is a school of thought that says this is total bullshit.  But if you stood in a room filled with his date paintings it didn't feel that way.

Sometimes he'd throw in a blue one or a red one, but mostly he was a black and white guy ...

And if you bought one of his paintings it came is a lovely little wooden box, sometimes lined with newspaper clippings of the day he painted it.

Here's the chant from The 13th Warrior.   Skip to the 2:45 mark if you can't stand the Antonio Banderas cheeseball stuff ...


Actually it's rice.  Growing in paddies.  In Japan.  Full story here.  What a long strange trip that must have been ...

June Bug vs. Hurricane

I refer, of course, to the Lucinda Williams song on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.  Which surely must be one of the best albums of, well, ever.

I now call your attention to a Map of Troy painting in its early stages ...

The computer study for it is this ...

And someday it will look just like it.  But these days, since I have guests in my guestroom, I'm painting outside.  And there is something about a bright white canvas covered with wet paint that attracts bugs.

Which is annoying, since you lay down your coat of white and then watch the little motherfuckers just settle in.  Later when it's dry you smush their little dead bodies with your finger and they leave a little red streak.

Really fucking annoying.

Actually, it won't look like the study.  The black pools, or whatever they are, are vastly more compelling when rendered in paint.

So that's exciting.

Big Boris 2

When last we spoke we were here ...

 We're still there.  But now, armed with this ...

Buff Titanium.  As opposed to the big honking tube of Titanium White that every painter in the world owns.  The challenge with Big Boris is that he has white hair and he's painted on a white background.  I puzzled over this for a while, then, while shopping for some canvas stretchers, found the buff titanium tube.  Which is a kind of off-white.  Beige is a word, although it's such an ugly one I'm loathe to use it.

The point being that judicious applications of Titan Buff and Titanium White should get us moving in the right direction.

I believe my troubles are over.

Nice bedspread.
You think?
Sure.  Why not?
It's not my favorite.  I prefer a geometric.
Says a man who's never painted a straight line in his life.
Maybe it's overcompensation.

Update:  It's not called Buff Titanium.  It's called Titan Buff.  About which I have mixed feelings.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Best TYOMP Post Ever

Here's a customer attempting to cancel his ComCast service.  Unbelievable.

It's such a nightmare that I couldn't stop listening.  It's 8 minutes long.

It makes Time Warner seem like a kindly uncle with a drinking problem.  That said, Dish TV, my current provider, remains the shittiest product in the world.

Best line:  "Is this like a joke?  Are you punking us right now?"

Full article here.

Am amused at this paragraph ...

Comcast says it's very, very sorry. "We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize," the company said in a statement.

I'm guessing the apology will come with ten minutes of hard sales pitch.

I also love that there's no confirmation number.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Also, did you happen to see that World Cup game?

The final?

Purists loathe the idea of penalty kicks.  Me?  I can understand that.  But you can't play forever, and by the 113th minute, or whenever it was that Mario Götze scored the winning goal in a manner so elegant as to make it the second best goal of the entire Cup, I was kind of hoping we'd go to the kicks.  I was watching it in a non-soccer bar (filled yesterday with pro-soccer people) and it would have been fun to hear everybody screaming over and over again.

Here's the winning goal in slow motion for your viewing pleasure ...

The other thing that happened to me yesterday was that, despite the rude saleswoman, I found a tube of just the right paint to make Boris Johnson's hair happen.

Le Tour ist finis

Zut alors.

First Chris Froome falls down one time more than he gets up.  Now, today, Alberto Contador, who inherited the favorite's spot from Froome, cracked the frame on his bike going down a hill, then cracked his tibia in the resulting crash.  Points to Contador, who's not my favorite guy, for riding another twenty minutes with a broken leg before abandoning the Tour.

It should be noted that Contador would be the first guy to have the Tour title stripped from him for doping, do his time (two years), and then come back and win the Tour again.  Which, before today, I thought he was going to do because I didn't think Vincenzo Nibali, henceforth referred to as Vinnie Nibs, had it in him to hold him off in the Alps.

But all that is over and the remaining eleven days or so should be a cakewalk for Mr. Nibs.

Which is okay.  The tour is about way more than the yellow jersey.  So don't turn away for even a minute.  There's Fabian (I am Spartacus) Cancellara in the time trial.  Marcel Kittles in the sprints.  Peter Sagan, the coolest bicycle racer on the planet, doing more or less everything.  Can Tejay van Garderen scratch and claw his way back into the top five?  Third maybe?  The competition for the bottom of the podium is way more interesting than the competition for the top.  We probably even
have time for one more long breakaway by Jens Voigt or Tommy Voeckler.

You know you've watched too many Tours when you have a favorite podium girl.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Boris Johnson

If you've never met the mayor of London, he looks just like this, upside down ...


There's a part of me that thinks it would be fun to leave his face like this, execute the hair, shirt, tie and shoulders, inscribe the title, sign the damned thing and be happy as a clam.  Because, in the end, don't we all look like this?  If we look closely enough?

I mean, Francis Bacon thinks people look like this ...

And I admire him very much.  You should see his studio.

Seriously, I bet if I just went into BigBoris and made some effort to identify the eyes, nose and mouth, then trimmed up the border of the face, it would almost work, in a sort of a way.

karma's a bitch

One can still hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming out of Brazil some days after Germany whacked their pee-pee so hard it almost fell off.

To which I say "Shut up!"

First of all, dude -- it's only a game.

Second, even if you don't believe that, the Brazilian debacle is nobody's fault but their own.  I've itemized the following for your convenience.

1 -- Brazil's junior sports organizations are a joke compared to, say, Germany's.
2 -- In the face of aging and reduced talent, they have abandoned the beautiful game they made famous and become thugs (It should be noted that Brazil committed more fouls than any other team in this World Cup).
3 -- The public outcry, led by the Brazilian coach, about the injury to Neymar completely ignores the fact that Brazil was playing a far rougher and dirtier game than Colombia in the game in which Neymar got injured, taking particular pains to mess with Neymar's counterpart James, who they almost turned into Hummus (pronunciation joke) with two particularly nasty fouls.
4 -- This same outcry, for the reasons noted above, just adds to the general hypocrisy (see: theatrical flopping) that surrounds world-class soccer in general and Brazil's in particular.

So stop whining, shut up and deal with it, Brazil.  Karma's a bitch.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Big Boris

I'm painting an inverted portrait of Boris Johnson, mayor of London.  Don't ask ...

I think it's going well.


I refer, of course, to Lars Boom.

No longer a relative unknown since he was the winner of today's remarkable Stage Five.  I can honestly say I can't remember a more amazing bike race.  Absolute carnage!  Wet cobblestones; traffic furniture; slippery Belgian concrete roads; big-name guys going down left and right; Chris Froome, the race favorite, hitting the deck so hard so many times that he finally abandoned the Tour.  Unbelievable.

Me?  I'm a bit bummed since I'm a Froome guy.  One now wonders whether the two minutes or so that Vincenzo Nibali has on Alberto Contador will stand up in the mountains.  I'm guessing no, but all sorts of interesting things are happening in this tour, including the likelihood of high finishes for two Americans.  So I'm sanguine.

Did I mention that Boom, like me, rides a Bianchi?  It is our only similarity as bike riders.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Don't forget your wellies.

You might as well just resign yourself now to a torrent of stupid/insipid/insightful/emotionally wrenching/boring posts about the Tour de France.  This would be the first.

Don't forget your wellies.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Rape, murder. It's just a shot away

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the people on whose necks I stepped while climbing to the zenith of my profession.

As you can imagine, this moment of humility and introspection comes after finally watching "Twenty Feet from Stardom," the Academy Award winning documentary about back up singers.  Watching Darlene Love (who managed to come out the other side alive) talk about being screwed over and over by Phil Spector made me really sad.

I'm glad he's in jail.
Me too.

Plus, honestly, how hot were the Ikettes?

The coolest part was watching Merry Clayton listen to the discrete track of her part of Gimme Shelter.  Which, amazingly enough, goes like this ...

Wait -- check that.  It's not amazing at all.  It's U-Tube.  You can't always get what you want, but you can -- with effort, apparently -- get what you need.

And the colored girls go
"Doo do doo do doo do do doo ..."
     --Lou Reed

Friday, July 04, 2014


Because The Year of Magical Painting is like one of those radio shows, we always do stuff on certain days.  On July 4th we always post the lyrics to 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), which I've mistakenly called Angie in the title.

The other thing we do is, on a situational basis, never go back.

Can you use the words never and situational to describe the same thing?

Thus ...

Sandy, the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight
Forcin' a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July
Down in the town, the Circuit's full of switchblade lovers, so fast, so shiny, so sharp
As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark
And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers on the shore
Chasin' all them silly New York virgins by the score

And Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh, love me tonight, for I may never see you again
Hey, Sandy girl
My, my, baby

Now, the greasers, ah, they tramp the streets or get busted for sleeping on the beach all night
Them boys in their high heels, ah, Sandy, their skins are so white
And me, I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades, bangin' them pleasure machines
Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they all promise to unsnap their jeans
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on it last night and my shirt got caught
And they kept me spinning, babe, didn't think I'd ever get off

Oh, Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life on the water
Runnin', laughin' 'neath the boardwalk, ah, with the boss's daughter
I remember, Sandy, girl
Na, na, na, na, na, baby

Sandy, that waitress I was seeing lost her desire for me
I spoke with her last night, she said she won't set herself on fire for me anymore
She worked that joint under the boardwalk, she was always the girl you saw boppin' down the beach with the radio
The kids say last night she was dressed like a star in one of them cheap little seaside bars, and I saw her parked with lover boy out on the Kokomo
Did you hear the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do
For me this boardwalk life is through, babe
You ought to quit this scene too

Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh, love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever
Oh, I mean it, Sandy, girl
My, my, my, my, my baby
Yeah, I promise, Sandy, girl
Sha, la, la, la, la, baby

And ...

The Fourth of July

Ahhhhh, birthdays.

I refer, of course, to the birth of our country.  The radical social experiment that yielded a nation that is both the strongest and richest nation in the world but which also manages to trail Serbia in infant mortality rates.  Serbia!

Imagine saying to your friends something like this:  "My wife and I are having a baby.  Because of this, we're moving to Serbia to increase its chances of reaching the age of one."

This shameful business is no longer of concern to me since I've changed my name to Geef and become Dutch.

I also refer to the beginning of Season Nine of The Year of Magical Painting.  Season One of which began on July 4th, 2006 like this ...


Chuck Close Must Be Freaking Out

If I'm to become the pre-eminent portraitist of my time, I'll have to somehow get past Chuck Close to do so.

Because it's a friendly competition, I painted this picture of Chuck. I call it "Close, But Not Quite", which does make me laugh.

Although I used a grid technique for all my painting, I left it more conspicuous in this painting than I usually do, as a bit of homage.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Polaroid No. One

This ...

Then, after sitting outside on a beautiful afternoon, drinking beer and staring at my painting, I picked up my tube of white and ended up with this ...

Almost done.

It should be noted that almost all of this painting was executed in my back yard.  Which is quite a bit of fun.  I wish I'd remembered to shoot all the stuff that happened on the way to getting here, but in the heat of combat I got rattled.

Like when you call in the artillery strike and you mistakenly give them the coordinates for your own position?
Something like that.  Not quite so dire.

Anyway, I say almost done because I still have to throw down a coat of gloss white on the border and write Polaroid No.1 underneath the image.  And sign it, of course.

Miss Bey

I like it when she sings "she ain't even half of me."

The Beautiful Game ...

... played, unfortunately, in the ugliest way possible by Americans.  Jürgen Klinsmann was right:  We're not going to win the World Cup.

The last fifteen of the 120 minutes played versus Belgium were scintillating.  A pleasure to watch. But rose-colored glasses shouldn't be allowed to tart up the reality of the public embarrassment that was the first 105.  Or our consideration of the general USA performance.  Which, frankly, was ugly.  Were it not for the stunning play of Tim Howard, you could have turned the match off at halftime.  Done -- let's find a bar.

Yes we made it to the Round of 16.  And that's something, for sure.  But of the 64 teams comprising the World Cup field, we, as of just prior to the Belgium game, ranked 63rd in possession time.  63rd!  Dude!  It's hard to believe that, at this point in the development of US soccer, we could field a team with such miserable technical skills.

Part of why they call soccer the Beautiful Game is that it's not obvious.  It's a game full of subtlety.  A backwards pass can be as important as a forward one.  One pass sets up a second, which sets up a third, which sets up a shot, etc.  A magical geometry of triangles.  Flow flow flow.  Blah blah blah.  I'm babbling, but I suppose the point is that one can go on and on.

Anyway, there are no magical triangles in the American game.  In fact, one rarely saw them piece together three passes period, much less three with any degree of cogency; with any sense of a larger strategic purpose.  Leading the way, in my book at least, was Michael Bradley.  Which is sad -- maybe he was hurt or something -- because he's a better player than what he showed.  But he stunk up the joint almost from start to finish.  And I say this with the full knowledge that it was his supremely sweet pass that led to our only score in the Belgium match.  And I also acknowledge that he probably runs longer distances and generally hustles more than anybody on the US side.

And I don't care how much sunscreen he puts on, how does his head stay so white?

Maybe it's like a thing.

There's a school of thought that suggests Bradley was asked to play too forward a game, that his strength lies in orchestrating from more of a defensive position.  Maybe so.  Hey, you do what the coach tells you to do.  So maybe that's Klinsmann's bad.  But if I have to choose between Bradley and my boy, Klinsmann, I'm going with Jürgen all the way.

At least when he was playing he knew to pass the ball to the Germans.

Wait ... I take that back.  Bradley was also excellent at passing to the Germans.

Let the Tour de France begin.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

"On the road again"

We're quoting Willie Nelson?
Yes we are.
A suggestion that you're no longer off the rails.
An intimation.  A whiff.  Hard to say.  But the camel spits and the caravan moves on.
Nicely said.
After all these years I try not to get too high or too low.  
Smart move.
Just paint, baby.

And this...

This is kind of cool, too.  Although perhaps a bit clunky in the execution ...

The lighthouse is a bit troubling, if you ask me.  This by the same artist ...

I don't actually like this one that much, but it reminds me of this ...

Just when you think that Ai Weiwei is the Jeff Koons of the new generation he comes up with something like this.  I saw it recently in the Asian Wing of the Met and it just blew me away.

Interior decorating

I bet these boys are expensive.  Still, when you see a good idea you have to say something ...

Like when you see a bag left under a subway seat.
Pardon me?
$5,800.  That's how much the table costs.
Is that expensive?  I mean, it's not just a table.  It's art too.
Hard to say.  It either is or it isn't, typically as a function of your annual income.
I wonder if it's signed on the bottom.

I like this one, with the little lake ...

People pay more than $5,800 for my paintings (although if you order today I'll paint a small portrait of you for exactly that amount), and you can't put your coffee mug on them.  Or a lamp.  Or part of your collection of old Artforums.  Although I do sometimes think you could make a cool floor covering out of one, given enough coats of whatever it is you slap on fabric that makes it a floor covering.

According to this, it's non-yellowing latex polyurethane.  And I'm fine with that.