Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More for Miami


Here is a drawing heading down to Miami...!

DK

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big Log Seating Arrangement + drawings


I am packing up works to go to Miami/Basel.
Including some excellent new chairs that I made. The "bark" on these logs are actually cardboard. Recycled baby!

Anyway- If you are down there, in Miami, these will be with
Galerie Laurent Godin. Come over and have a seat!
DK

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The City of Lights vs The Melting Pot.


Back in June when I went to France for the first time I wasn't drinking or smoking. It was a difficult trip. The weather was perfect and everyone in Paris seemed to be sitting out doors on the sidewalks drinking beers and espressos and smoking away. Believe me when I say it was kind of sad to be not joining in. In the past when I traveled to do a show, I would drink and smoke as much as I wanted. After all, alcohol and nicotene were ingredients there to help me cook up what ever I was to be making over there (not to mention using them as reliable crutches for whenever the stress level hit high). But I was committed to my clean living ways as I had been so sick when my liver stopped working. I didn't really even want to go back there. I was comfortable with myself, just as I was comfortable with the French for living the way that they did. The people I was working with all smoked and drank. And I was happy to be there hanging around with them.

One time I was asked to join some friends for dinner. I met the wife of one of my friends who noticed that I wasn't joining in with the festivities as it were.
"You don't drink or smoke cigarettes?" she asked. I explainedf that I had been very ill, and that it just didn't feel right to be doing that stuf right now. "Well thank god" she said. SHe said she was afraid that I was "One of those Americans" who were all fucking rightous about these things. I said "No." I am not like that. In fact, I am down right forgiving about that stuff. Come over to my studio and feel free to smoke. You can even ash right on the floor. I sill don't smoke or drink very much any more. I will now, have an occasional glass of wine. And I still day dream about when I will finally have clocked enough years in my life to take up smoking again in my sprint towards the finish line.

The other day I was on the subway. I was having enough trouble readjusting to being back in New York after a second trip to France this summer. I looked up and saw a poster of a glass brimming over like a head of frosty bubbles of a just poured beverage. But it was not bubbles that I was looking at, but a glass full of fat. The poster was designed to get you to drink water instead of sugary drinks! Yeech.
I fucking hate Mike Bloomberg and his self rightous benevolent despot routine. I want to move back to France.
DK

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some Pictures






Here are some installation shots from my exhibit-
OUTSIZING THE DOWNSIZE
from the DOCK ART FAIR in Lyon, France (September).
Viva la France!

http://www.laurentgodin.com/artists_detail.php?id_artiste=22

Monday, September 14, 2009

French wine

French Wine
or
On Getting Some Teeth Back

Right before I left for France I had a physical at my doctor's office. It was funny to see my doctor because once I saw him prior to all of my health issues of last year, and proudly had told him about my drinking and smoking at the time. I remember he asked me if I was a smoker and I told him then that I was smoking only about a half a dozen or so cigarettes in a day which I meant as a sign of my control of the situation." Well" he said, "most people try to quit at your age..." I didn't get his drift at the time, but when he asked me how much I drank, he almost fell out of his chair when I reported that I drank about a six -pack a night.
I don't know why, but the thing that I remember most was his asking "what brand" I was drinking. Maybe he was after some kind of stock tip but none-the- less, after my then-physical, all of my numbers where totally normal and I was in tremendous health. Then, of course, my health took a nosedive and the rest was history.
Anyway- so I went to see my doctor last week and this is a guy who was very familiar with my health issues and my drinking habits. But he told me that despite all of my clean living over the past year or so, the liver issues that I had had (which are now over with thank god) managed to screw up my #'s and my cholesterol was suddenly through the roof and I had not done any of the things that one normally does to throw the balance off like gain a shit load of weight all of a sudden.
So my doctor told me all about all of my food and diet and exercise stuff that I needed to be doing and then he said,
"You should probably have a glass of red wine every couple of days..." Well, he did not have to suggest that twice. I never really liked wine all that much but it sounded like a plan. SO I went out with my wife for a drink and we had one and that was great and now I am enjoying the health benefits of some good positive anti-oxidants.
Anyway- so I have been in France for over a week now. And I must say it is very enjoyable to
be here and not all that wrapped up in the saying no to all of the things that I would have been over doing in the past.
I still have to make myself say no to cigarettes, which is just about the unfair thing in the world. And I pass on the
beer and booze, but give myself a glass of the old red every once in a while.
Last night I went out to dinner with a bunch a people and we were in Lyon for this excellent art fair (which is going pretty well by the way) and we were starving because we'd been working like mad. So the guy who is paying for dinner orders me an appetizer of foie gras and big plate of frogs' legs. Listen...it was fucking delicious but if I am going to keep eating like this, I don't care how much red wine and leafy green vegetables I eat, my cholesterol is going out of sight.
I just want to know how to say Lipator in French.
DK

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Off to Paris/Lyon



I am please do announce that I am leaving for Paris in the morning to
work on an installation for the Docks Art Fair in Lyon.
The Docks Fair is particularly exciting because it opening coincides with the
opening of the French Bianalli also in Lyon.

Anyway- I have many exciting new works to show and
a large installation to realize while in Paris.

All the best,
Dk
Docks Art Fair, Lyon
DAVID KRAMER
Outsizing the Downsize
Another swank modernist apartment built out of shit materials
14 - 20 septembre 2009
Vernissage le lundi 14 septembre

http://2009.docksartfair.com/

David Kramer est né en 1963 sur une petite île au large des Etats-Unis. De son perchoir à New York, l'artiste s'amuse de l'impalpabilité démesurée du rêve américain. Cela étant, David Kramer aspire à une fin hollywoodienne tout aussi insaisissable, une fin qui règle les problèmes et satisfait tous les désirs.
Pour Docks, David Kramer transforme le stand en un environnement domestique confortable, à l'image de ceux publiés dans les magazines d'art de vivre. Toutefois l'oeuvre de l'artiste reste une contrefaçon « faîte-maison », réalisée avec des matériaux pauvres, offrant ainsi une preuve concrète que les choses entraperçues dans les magazines existent réellement.

Cet environnement sert de toile de fond aux dessins de Kramer, inspirés des réclames issues de l'âge d'or du rêve américain, une époque optimiste mais révolue. Avec des clins d'oeil satiriques, l'artiste incorpore ses propres vérités à l'intérieur de concepts pré-formatés, et s'accroche à l'idée très romantique qu'un jour il se réveillera, et que ses désirs seront devenus réalité.

--------------------------------------------------

David Kramer was born in 1963 on a small island off the coast of the USA. From his perch in NYC, Kramer makes quips at what he sees as the outsized impossibility of the American Dream. That said, Kramer yearns for the equally evasive Hollywood ending that will solve all of the problems and fulfill the desires.
For Docks, David Kramer builds a comfortable domestic environment as he has seen in numerous lifestyle magazines. But Kramer's construction is a low-budget facsimile built with cheap materials, that provides him proof positive that these things seen in magazines actually do exist.
This setting serves as a backdrop to Kramer's drawings, which depict ads from a past, and more optimistic era in American advertising. Using satirical insights, the artist tries to place his own realities into the packaged dreams, while trying to hang onto the romantic notion that one day he will wake up and his dreams really will have come true.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meet the Mets- David Wright's new helmet




Ever since I was a kid, I've been a Yankee fan. This all started many years ago when I was 5 and my dad took me to a ballgame at my request for my birthday. This was in April of 1969 and we went to a Mets game and the Mets went on to lose to the Cubs. I was very upset with the team for loosing on my birthday. How dare they. And being the stubborn kid that I was, I went on to devote my anger at them all in vain as the Mets became the Miracle Mets and won their first World Series.

The Yankees stunk back then. But I always did seem to gravitate towards rooting for the underdog in my life. How was I supposed to know that this was just a lull and that the team I picked was before and would someday become again the proud winners that the Yankees almost always are.

Since my childhood I have continued to root for the Yankees despite there defence of my usual "underdog" criteria for a team that I root for. But usually I am grateful for my "mistake" back then that got me onto the band wagon while it was in the repair shop.

Anyway- I always sort of love the Mets in a funny way. In 1986 I totally embraced that team and loved the way that they won the World Series (through the legs of Bill Buckner and the Red Sox).
I have also loved the way that the Mets lose. The wheels seem to always come off and it is almost comical when this happens. This year has been a sad joke because there is nothing funny about everyone on the team getting hurt. Until now of course. Met 3rd Baseman David Wright got hit in the head with a pitch last month, and went on the DL for the first time in his career. Last night he returned to the line up. But the Mets were not going to take any chances at him getting hit in the head again. So they provided him with a special batting helmet to insure that if he does get hit again, there will be a maximum of protection.
Hmmm....to me it just seem like a much bigger target.
But sometimes being a target is what the New York Mets seem to do best....
DK

Saturday, August 29, 2009

World's Greatest Dad


A year or so ago I went to this sample sale. Our friends
run this ceramics business and and to help out the elementary school, they
donated their entire inventory of samples to the school to be sold.
This husband and wife team had built a huge business out of selling coffee cups and dishes with cleaver sayings on them. And although I like there products, I walked around the school cafeteria at least a couple of dozen times looking over the hundreds of samples and still could not find anything there that day that struck my fancy.
And then I saw "IT." I stumbled upon this giant coffee mug in teal and white with big letters that said "You are a Wonderful Father ...and an Excellent Husband!"
Well I snapped that sucker up before anyone else could get their hands on it and ran around showing off to all of our school friends the cleaver and poignant gift that I had just bought for myself. I found this to be incredibly funny even though I think that no body else did.

Tonight I saw a movie that I would recommend to anyone who likes my jokes.
The movie stars Robin Williams as Lance Clayton, a single-father-high school English-teacher-failed-novelist whose career would be on the down hill slide had he ever had any success in the first place. His son Kyle (Played by Daryl Sabara) is an incredible jerk who wants to do nothing other than hang out in his room and beat off looking at the most grossest pron he can find. He seems to enjoy sex involving shit and piss although the closest he has ever come to a date is masturbating in front of his computer, which he does while strangling himself to heighten the experience. Things go bad and he ends up killing himself. You can not even feel sorry for the kid because he is such an blight on everyone from his father to his friends from school.
But Lance can't let his loser son leave the earth in such a loser fashion, so he channels his writing skills and authors a suicide note that seems to capture the pain and isolation that Lance feels from the steady stream of rejection letters that he gets for his failed novels, and from having to live with a thankless and awful son who never had any empathy for anyone.

The suicide note gets published in the school newspaper and captures the imagination and sadness of all of the students who rightfully had despised Kyle for being the jerk that he was. But in the prism of the tragedy and the touching note, the students all rally around the lonely English teacher. Lance has been in an on again off again relationship with the school's sexy art teacher (Alexi Gilmore) and the fallout of the tragedy has brought her closer to him. To seal the deal Lance provides her with a post mortem diary that his son supposedly kept. This too is written to capture the hardship of going it alone, and, due to an overly zealous grief counselor, the diary is reproduced and distributed to all of the students whom have begun to build a shrine to Kyle, their fallen hero.

Lance winds up on an Opera style show and is offered a chance to finally publish his books. But this movie, which was written and directed by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, surprises by disrupting the obvious Hollywood endings. And only at the end of the movie do we get to see Robin Williams look comfortable in his skin, as Lance finally figures out that maybe the life of a lonely loser that was his up until now was his because he actually kind of liked it. It wasn't nearly as confusing and disingenuous as the life that came with all of of that attention.

I am reminded of understated and funny abortion movie Citizen Ruth (1996), that starred Laura Dern. In that movie as in this none, flawed figures who are not really capable of handling the huge responsibility are thrown into the center of an American shitstorm over issues that are so divisive that they can't help but look comical even without the dull charaters there to set the comedy in motion. Let's face it, Americans on the whole have never been very good at dealing with the really tough issues. Particularly when they are to be tackled by a large group. World's Greatest Dad is a very funny movie about very uncomfortable things. Not necessarily the suicide, but how we all seem to want something to make us feel better, no matter how trite and stupid it is.

And by the way, you should see how happy I look in mornings these days, now that I have my half full "Wonderful Father" coffee mug to drink from.

DK

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TED KENNEDY-farwell


I am going to miss Ted Kennedy. And I honestly feel a bit of worry about how we will manage as a nation without him. His personal life was tragically flawed, but I never doubted his public policies and stances and always felt proud of what he stood for. He had the courage to speak for "liberal" ideals even when the conservative bent of this country became so fashionable. And he was ahead of so many with his outcry over the foolishness of the war in Iraq and in his support of Barak Obama and his attempts to get all people access to health care and education.
I will miss him and hope that he has left a legacy that will endure, because it is his kind of thinking that is the greatest hope for all of us as a nation of empathy and leadership.

Monday, August 24, 2009

SUMMER PICTURE SHOW




REPEAT OFTEN





SHITTY MONEY



HERD MENTALITY

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dog Days

I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday. We were catching up on our summers.
I was telling my friend that I had just spent the last week or so building giant crates to load up with my art work to send to France. That up until that start of the crate building project I was humming along making my new work and feeling awfully good about myself. But as I started to make these giant boxes with the oppressive heat and humidity on my back, I was beginning to get more and more depressed and self defeated. And I was telling my friend that with it being August with all of the rest of the world seemingly off on their vacations I was feeling more insignificant than ever. And , I was telling my friend that while I had been so patient and kind, once, in the middle of this brutal week of hot weather, I had to ask someone who owed me a bit of money for a very long time to pay me, and was told that I was a very pushy and aggressive pain in his ass, that I was beginning to wonder how it was that I work really hard and do rediculous things t
like make my own god damn crates for my work, that I am treated like such an asshole.

Anyway- my friend reminded me that this is in fact August. And now that my crates are off to France that I should take it easy. Relax. Veg out in some air conditioning.And don't take things so personally from the guy who begrudgingly paid me. ANd be happy to build crates because at least my work has some place to go...

Good advice. I think that in this instance, I really do deserve a vacation.
I've got to get my head screwed on straight again for the fall...
DK

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pot Belly's are way cool.



Did ya see the article in the NYTimes Style Section today?
The one by Guy Trebay? It's Hip to be Round.

So according to the piece, Hipster Dudes in Williamsburg are now sporting bellies.
Brooklyn ' Kramdens. It is a sign of totally cool oneness with one's oneness to sport a paunch. I just love the New York Times and there ability to generate a story even if there isn't a story to be told. I mean, come on! It is hip to be a chubby dude. THis is not news to me. Let me just say that I have been sporting a Kramden for years and years ago I was using Ralph Kramden as my Brooklyn Alter ego, measuring myself against his pathos.
Listen here NYTimes, get to the back of the bus for Pete's sake.
DK

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DRINKING BUDDIES

I went out last night with a couple of old drinking buddies of mine last night. The three of us all out there looking to chill out on a blistering hot night. What used to be a night that guaranteed multiple rounds and packs of cigarettes and getting home in the wee hours was replaced by 2 of the 3 of us sipping seltzers and the third being hampered by the lack of encouragement. In other words it was not that late of a night. But I still got home after midnight and this morning I am walking around like I have a super hang over, taking an extra hour or so just to get out of the house.

When I was young and used to do a lot of drugs, I used to say that I would keep going and taking drugs was OK so long as I got myself out of bed in the morning and showed up to do a full day of work.
Once getting out of bed became a problem, I weaned myself and moved on.

This morning I am sitting here wondering what it is that I have to give up if I am going to have to be so tired in the morning. Maybe I should just switch to tap water.

DK

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

OUT ON THE TOWN

I went out for dinner the other night with some friends of my wife. People
she knows, but hasn't seen since law school. These folks live in Southern California, but they keep and apartment on the Upper East Side, where the wife spends a lot of time.
SHe says she hates the West Coast and got a place here, on the same floor of the same building as her High School best friend whom also joined all of us for dinner.

Anyway- these folks were real lushes. All three of them probably have 5-10 years on me and my wife but they still drink like they are still in school. We met a restaurant where the waiters and bar tenders all knew them. And they all kept on ordering different colorful concoctions
to drink. Much of the conversation was about law school folks whom I never ever heard of, but also there were discussions of bars around town and bar tenders. They had bar tenders who not only knew their drinks, but also their drinking rules (Gin during the day light hours for example). Total alcoholics! People after my own heart. I sat there and pounded my seltzers one -after-another hoping to get some kind of buzz or something. The drinks kept on coming along with bottles of wine and many courses of food.

I told these folks about how I had been so sick as a dog last summer and how I had to give up drinking and smoking because my liver was not working and I made sure they knew
that even though I haven't had a drink in a long while, I still held drunks in the highest regard. And that even though I still haven't had a drink since my liver came through it's full recovery, I wasn't some New-Born-postalcoholic -program thumping whiner. I still miss the bar culture....

Then I told them the little story about my son, whom while walking over to the comic book store with me recently , told me that he "missed the drunk Dad..."
I told them that I asked my kid what exactly he missed about that version of me, and he said that I always seemed "to be fat and happy..."

I swear the women were almost in tears. A white sparkle came from the wife's eye.

Before I used to run around all the time drinking and smoking like there was no tomorrow, up until I got really sick and thought that maybe my time was up.
That maybe there really was no tomorrow. THank god I am healthy, but I missed the old care free days. I just wish that all that care free and easy living wasn't so hard on my body, not to mention my check book.
DK

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cheap Laughs- NOT FUNNY.


I have never been good at telling jokes and I have always frowned upon the cheap laugh. I have considered myself to be something a a satirist and have always gone for the deeper more penetrating kind of humour even if it was at the expense of being all that funny.

But I have to relate what happened to me today because it was just plane funny for no other reason than it involved fat people and foreigners.

Today I went to the gym on 14th Street. I did a Pilate's class and really stretched out my core. Anyway, after my hot shower I went upstairs to the street and decided to grab a bus up 6th Ave. I had a lot to do and I was tired from working out.

So I am lucky. I see a bus sitting there on the corner of 6th and W15th and I run across the street the second the light changes and just get on the bus.

It turns out that the bus was taking a long time because just after I found my seat, I discovered that the driver was going to help some poor guy in a wheel chair get off the bus. So this guy in the wheel chair is huge. He was fat as a farm animal. And he has this electric wheel chair. One of those 3-wheel models that are meant to get people around on the street and in their small kitchens. The chair is metallic red and also must have weighed half a ton.

The guy on his chair gets onto the unfolding stair case in the back and the driver lowers him to the street. The platform cantilevers so far down that the rmp under it can't open. The guy is too fat to get off the bus.

So the driver asks everyone to get up who is on the passenger side and lean towards the West side of the street. No good.
Then there is this old man sitting behind me. A foreigner with a heavy Eastern European accent. He starts talking.
"Oh thees powerful Eunited Stets. What a powerful nation."
"Oh yees, the pooblic transportation of theese powerful country. What a joke."
"this country is a joke. It is over for this country..."

And I start to think about the giant fat people in the movie Wall-W who ride around in chairs in the spaceship, drinking out of giant big gulp cups as there skeletons entropy.

So this guy across the isle starts yelling at the old man, "Say one more word and I am warning you..."
"Shut the fuck up old man. I live in this country and if you don't like it I will make you leave..."

Finally this dispatcher from the MTA comes up to the bus and finds out what is going on. He tells the driver to pull away from the curb and leave the poor schmuck in the wheel chair on the street where there would be enough clearance to open the ramp.
The driver drives 1/2 a block. The arguments stop as we've made progress and the driver stops to let the guy off in the middle of the street. Then thee bus dispatcher tells the driver,

"go express to 42nd and then put this bus out of service."
1/2 the passengers get off wasting even more of our fucking time.

45 minutes later I am home.
I went from feeling totally great about my day to totally despondent in less time than it took to do my class. Maybe that Polish guy was right.
But thank god for the cheap laughs....
DK

Friday, July 31, 2009

BEER SUMMIT WAS AESTHETICALLY DUMB



BEER SUMMIT WAS DUMB, AESTHETICALLY SPEAKING. But maybe effective. The so-called summit arranged by
Barack Obama to diffuse the fallout of the arrest of the Harvard professor (Henry Lewis Gates Jr, for breaking into his own house), was
flawed and in desperate need of an art director to give this thing some much needed help and authenticity and flavor.

First of all, they should have done this in a bar after work. What a joke to meet up in the Rose Garden around some K Mart looking table and chairs. If they had to do it in the Rose Garden, how about a grill and some hot dogs? Men like to stand when they are in the back yard drinking....
And come on! Beer Mugs?! These guys should have been drinking out of the bottle.
I could live with them having pint glasses for their drinks. But beer mugs!!!
It all looked so goofy and staged.

Here's what I wanted to see:
I want to see these guys gathered round the corner stools of the corner bar after work, drinking up their beers and having a wise-cracking bartender looming near by bringing them the next rounds and taking the money out of piles of cash sitting in front of these guys. And for some real flavor, I wanted to see the cop in uniform, with his gun on his belt, tipping back his bottle of Bud.
And how about a Marlboro for Mr. President? Go for it.



I was glad to see that Joe Biden turned up to down a non-alcoholic beverage. Turns out he doesn't drink. Hmmm. (There goes that excuse Joe.)



Having said all of this, maybe the summit was a success.
I could not help but smile when I read the quote of
Mr. Gates Jr. when the summit was over....
He said of Sgt. James Crowley (the white cop that busted him);

"...turns out he's not such a bad guy...when he's not arresting you!"

I have to admit after reading this quote I smiled and thought of another President with whom
people seemed to think it would be a fun to have a beer with. "Mission accomplished". I am not thinking about race issues when it comes to this unfortunate episode, anymore..
DK

getting over it

It is not even August yet and already I have slipped into the
abyss. I do not know what happens to me every summer, but every summer I wind up
in this murky place waiting out for life post-labor day to begin.

This summer was supposed to be different.
The weather has been most un summer-like.
I have a couple of projects that I am working on.
Lots of personal reasons to be motivated and happy and
distracted.

I am going to commit myself to living out the next month without
complaint or boredom.

I am going to make myself a little promise here to
ignore my August swoon. I am going to use my computer and make a calendar page
that has all of August printed out on it with SEPTEMBER* written
across the top.

I am tired of pissing away my summers whining about it.
Turn on the air conditioner and get busy.
That is my mantra for the day.
DK

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Reading Suggestion

I am reading this great book. I am totally enjoying it.
Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys
about this totally fucked up writer/college professor trying to
write a novel as his life spins out of control.
Really tremendous writing here.

Here is a great passage...

"I drank for years, and thenI stopped drinking and discovered the sad
truth about parties. A sober man at a party is lonely as a journalist,
implacable as a coroner, bitter as an angel looking down from heaven. There's something purely foolish about attending any large gathering of men and women without
benefit of some kind of philter or magic dust to blind you and weaken
your critical faculties. I don't mean to make a big deal out of sobriety, by the way. Of all the modes of human consciousness available to the modern consumer I consider it to be the most overrated."

Thank good this is a book all about constant drinking and pot smoking and cigarettes and men chasing after loose women and the next party, or it would be unreadable for sure.

DK

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Show


Hey-
I am in a show at Freight and Volume
that opened last night.

542 W24th Street, NYC 10011
M-F 11-6

It is a good show and a cool gallery.
Here is the link...
www.freightandvolume.com


the show is called Heartbreak Hotel.

I think my painting fits in real nice with the theme....

Untitled(Romantic Notions...) 2008

Please stop by if you can.
DK

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer of Discontent....
I hate summer usually and this one, despite all of the great weather, is
no exception. I somehow way back then seemed to get onto an academic calender, despite my complete lack of interest in school.
And so for me, my summers are spent waiting around for September.
Back in the day, when I was back in school. I
could at least have some mindless summer job to distract me.
I had jobs flipping burgers and working in a bar, I rode a bike
as a bike messenger, and worked in a sign shop. Oh sure there were others, but what all of these summer jobs seemed to include was making new and temporary friends and
drinking huge volumes of alcohol and spending my nights forgetting all about what ever it was that I had wasted my entire day doing.
The summers slipped by quickly and I didn't seem to have the time to stand around and pine for September.
It is only since I started having an after school life
and no longer had my summers "off" that I have began to find this time of year to be slow and hot and boring and
a period of time wasted waiting for the first day of school....
DK

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Examining the Navel


So here is some good news. My show got a really nice write up (so I am told) in Le MOnde.
The big newspaper in Paris. I think that I have translated the review well enough to say that the guy really liked my work. It is funny but I have this friend here in New York who often writes reviews for the New York Times and I have been having a little back-and-forth regarding my show and Paris and the Art World, etc recently. I don't want to read to into things and take things too personally but sometimes the tone of the emails that I have gotten have been on the defensive and putting down the French and Paris in some attempt to maybe temper my enthusiasm. Or maybe this was just
banter and I am taking things personally when they are not meant to be that way.
But in an attempt to understand things better on my own I am going to share the final back-and-forth here because it really revealed things to me that maybe I should have known, or did already know and didn't want to think to much about...
I will pick it up in the middle ...
Here goes:

SUBJECT: Nice Review

There are probably fewer galleries to cover in
Paris, and I would imagine that art reviews also
get a bigger percentage of their daily paper?
Just a guess. But NYC, where there are
probably around 800 galleries (just a guess
but a slightly educated one) things are spread more thinly.

I always thought the house was just to look cool,
but also to amplify the sense of danger.

[reference to the North by Northwest mention in my review]

SUBJECT: Re: Nice Review

I just think it is funny, after all of my hard work, to finally get some
nice words of praise in the paper of record (of France) and
too not even be able to read the article because I don't speak the language.
I think it is great irony,

David


SUBJECT Re. Re: Nice Revie

That is funny! I never even thought of it that
way. You can use it in future. The book looks
great, by the way [SNAKE OIL]

I think it's always hard when work is funny or
appears to be light for people to see its
essential gravitas. I feel it's often a problem
for me, for instance. But it will all come out
in the wash, as your career is obviously building
in a very good way.

The book looks great, by the way!

Best -



Anyway- I always thought that humor was the strength of my work...not its weakness.

I hope that my friend is not offended that I used the transcripts here, but it was really to reveal things more clearly for me. But if so- Se la vie - as the French say.
Or was that the Italians?
DK

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A tribute to MJ from way back when

video

Here is a version of a video that I made back around 1998- 2000.
I was always a big Off The Wall fan.

Anyway- this is sort of a truncated version here for the blog.
I also just put this version up on Youtube...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDcO9ErmtI4
All the best, DK

Saturday, July 4, 2009

INSPIRED


While I was in Paris I spent about 4 days locked in the basement of this gallery.
I had a show to put together, so things like seeing the sights was completely not happening. Anyway, after I finally got the show together my wife and my son came over to Paris to visit and we took some time and ran around and saw the sights.
We did the Louve and the Eiffle Towwer and we went and saw the Impressionists' paintings over at the D'Orsay.
We had been having this on going discussion about what my son was going to do with his summer vacation, and after we walked out of the D'Orsay my son announced that he wanted to spend the entire summer over in my studio making paintings and carving stones into sculptures. He had a whole list of things that he wanted to make and my wife looked at me and was like so proud of him and excited for his new focus and designs for his future.
I was thinking more like, "No fucking way " am I going to have to try to entertain this kid for an entire summer. I mean I have work to do.
Listen, don't give me this shit that I am some kind of monster and bad father. I have probably spent far more time with my son already than I ever spent with my own old man combined. I want to encourage him to do all kind of cool things. But I have work to do.
And besides, I mean before we had gone to France, I was hoping to convince him to go to Sleep-Away.

DK

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

bigger than Elvis'


Another tragic loss to an icon from my youth....

Karl Malden dead at age 97.
RIP
DK

Saturday, June 27, 2009

INSTALLATION SHOTS-Paris





I am still enjoying the warm glows of my show from Paris. I wanted to post a few pictures of the installation...
The front window and the project space.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paris Trip


I am back from Paris. The show was really amazing. I build this wild installation in the gallery.
Anyway- I have returned to NYC and for the first time ever in my life I am starting to really question if this is the right place for me to live anymore.
Paris was such a great city. The life lived out there on the sidewalks was something that I have not seen in New York in quite some time. Not as pervasive and integral to the culture here as it is there.

Anyway- I have another project to do in Paris (and then Lyon) in September.
So I am on my way back there already.
Please check out the link to the gallery to see more of the show. i am really excited.
DK
http://laurentgodin.com/exhibition_detail.php?id_exhibition=39

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ROCK BOTTOM at Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris


ROCK BOTTOM opens in Paris at
Laurent Godin on Saturday June 20 §-!.
Anyone who is in the neighborhood should please stop by.

The show looks greqt.
Checkout the link for images:
laurentgodin.com

Paris is great but
I picked the wrong city to be in while experimenting with not drinking and smoking...

XO DK

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I like this piece


I hope that I don't seem like I am pandering the French with this drawing ...

DK

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sorryass Disclaimer

I've been rather delinquent about blogging recently. Lots has been going on. And I am afraid
that the posts are going to be put up here in bursts and stops for some time now.

I am going to have a show in Paris in June at
Galerie Laurent Godin.

The work needs to be shipped out in about 2-3 weeks. So bare with me. i will do my best to keep at this. But for now,
thanks for your patience.

DK

Monday, May 4, 2009

Art is the Drug

I haven't been writing much recently. In fact, recently I have not been a very word oriented guy. Even the work that I've been making in my studio doesn't really rely on words. I've been drawing pictures and coloring them in and that has been totally satisfying as well.

I have been really broke again and this is no fun. I looked up at the beginning of the month and noticed that I was down to an embarrassingly low balance in the ol' checking account. And aside for some art sales that are out there waiting to be completed, I don't really have much coming in on the horizon. Am I worried? Not really.
I am feeling really good about things and the way things are going.

Why? Because I am on drugs.
I have a show coming up in a fancy European city with a fancy European Gallery, and it is like mainlining drugs for me. I have a project right there on the front burner, who cares how broke I am. Art is my drug and it is the grand illusion. It is the ultimate distraction.

And isn't that what art is supposed to be all about in the first place? Isn't that what people love about art when they buy a painting or go to the museum. It is to get distracted. To be able to get away from it all.

My art is a drug and it is a distraction for me and anyone who happens to buy it.
I just wish it was as highly addictive for those who collect my work as it's been for me.
DK

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birthday Well Wishes

To day is my birthday. I turned 46 years old today. 46. I have to say that I have never imagined myself being 46 years old. It is a strange number.
I got all kinds of birthday well wishes from my Facebook friends which was really very strange. Kind. I usually keep a low profile about my birthday, but there it is on my Facebook page.

Sometimes I hate my birthday. Like the year I turned 39, I was so depressed and angry about getting older and leaving my 30's behind. 40 was a piece of cake but last year was terrible. Turning 45 really freaked me out and I was very unhappy. I have a much better attitude about this one. Oh sure, I am on the down hill slide heading towards 50. And yes, I realize that even if I am lucky enough to get to be 90 years old before I die, I am already more than half way there. But 46 feels good to me.

A couple of years ago I started attending this "boot camp" and doing all kinds of crazy work out stuff. Maybe that was purely a function of being afraid of getting old, but I would get up at 6 AM and go run around like a 20 year old for an hour, even though I would still be drinking and smoking like a 20 year old too. I thought I could handle it and I was strong. Last summer when I started to have serious liver failure I was at the beginning of a contract with the boot camp guys. I thought I was terrible dehydrated before I found out that my liver had stopped working like it used to. SO the guys at the boot camp suspended my membership and now, this month I have returned to the gym. It has been going good and today I went for a Saturday morning workout. I told this one woman there that it was my birthday. When I told here I was 46, her eyes almost popped out of her head. I am not sure that she had ever met someone THAT old. But really, she said, she never would have guessed I was over 39! That sounds pretty young from where I am sitting these days.
All in all it has been a pretty good birthday.
DK

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Here is another dream...
I dreamt that I was an American living in Nazi Germany during World War II.
I was living below the radar but I was in fact living surrounded by German solders.
I was living with a bunch of other prisoners of war.
There was a plan to escape. A train to catch at the station. We all had fake papers and cloths to wear. Very much like that old Steve McQueen movie, The Great Escape.
It was the time and day to make our escape. I was dressed in a woolen suite with a hamburg hat. I looked in a mirror and I had red and blue paint all over my face and neck.
I had to sneak back into the barracks to wash. I had to slip past the guards and I did not speak a word of German. I had to get past a particularly Arian looking guy and I was terrified as he said something to me and I grumbled a response. I was afraid he would start a conversation.
I was in the bathroom washing my face and hands and I could not get all of my mess off. But it was time to go.
I could hear the train whistle and had only moments to get to the station....
Then the alarm went off and I had to get my son off to school.
DK

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Baseball Stories- Passing the tradition From Father to Son to Father to Son

I went to the New Yankee Stadium last Sunday. I decided it was for some reason really important to take my son to a game there in the first week of the New Stadium.
My son doesn't give a shit about baseball, but I felt compelled to take him anyway.
When I was a kid my dad didn't know or care anything about sports, but every once in a while he would get some tickets from a client and feel compelled to take me to a game. Sort of like forced fed bonding was the way I saw it even back then when I was in my youth. I mean my dad did not give a shit about sport, he once told me that he wasn't sure, but he thought that he might have met Babe Ruth once...
There is a funny/tragic story that I like to tell that one time my Dad was driving me to a game at the Stadium. There we were stuck in traffic. Neither of us really comfortable with each other or having anything to say. My Dad had the radio playing and suddenly that song, "The Cat's in the Cradle with a silver spoon, little boy grew into the man in the moon....When you coming home Dad? I don't know when..." You know the rest. Whell the silence in the car was totally palpable and I just couldn't take all of the irony so I started talking just to say anything, trying to start up a conversation. And I remember my Dad pointed at the radio and said to me, "Shhh- I am listening!"
Anyway- such is the ethos that compelled me to take my own son to a game. He had a really good time. The Yankees won which was important to him. Although, even though he really doesn't know much about baseball, he's told me for years now that he is really a Red Sox fan. He asked me on the way to the game when I was going to take him to see the Sox? NEVER son. I am trying as best I can. But you have got to be out of your mind if you think I am going to contribute to some awful habit that you are starting now...
DK

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

I want to know what is wrong with me. Last night I went to a dinner for this prestigious Art Magazine. They had this big fundraiser and I was asked to contribute some works. I was asked to create a special project for them, to lend my name and my talent to them and help them. Of course I said YES. I did this project and I was told how wonderful I am by all of the staff. I went to a huge cocktail party and I was asked to stay on for the exclusive dinner part of the program as “thanks” for lending my help. Throughout the evening I was told how great the project turned out by so many of the guests.
There at the dinner was this art dealer who once shunned me, and whom I had hopped would give me time of day now that she saw me there in this new light. WELL. I could not have been more mistaken. There I sat at a table for the guests whom had contributed their sweat. This art dealer came and greeted every other artist at the table but seemed to make a point of avoiding me and then, later in the same evening, when I said “Hello” in passing, was so physically bothered by this that my wife commented that I must have done something to have offended her. I must have done something. I mean, I have no fucking clue what I could have done, but I must have done something to bother this woman when all that I have tried to do was to be the kind of artist who made the kind of work that this woman would want to sell; to be the kind of artist she would find irresistible and want to associate herself with. Instead, I have alienated myself from her with that being the total opposite effect of what it was that I really wanted to achieve. I just want to know what the fuck is wrong with me. How come I am so bad at what it is that I want to be good at and why is it that I am so fucking good at being terrible at what it is that I want so badly to do well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here is a nice comment from the NYTimes.com proof

#7 –s. “Proofreaders are no fun to drink with.” Nice pun there!

I’ve loved Proof, particularly the writings of David Kramer and Sacha Z. Scoblic. Kramer because he just has a fascinating mind and communicates his perspective on the world so warmly and with such humility, Scoblic because hers were most often the entries at which I laughed out loud in (self-)recognition.

Cheers!
— FJP

It sounded nice and totally lifted my spirits.
Thanks.
More at:
http://proof.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/last-call-readers-speak/
DK

Go See GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN



Not to come off as a movie reviewer but I want to write about a movie that I saw last night, and, of course, about me.
Last night I went to see Paul H-O's Guest of Cindy Sherman. Paul H-O is this irreverent New York City Art World hanger-on er who back in the 1990's, when the art market was sliding into oblivion during an economic downturn, started a Cable Access TV show called Gallery Beat. Paul forsakes his art career to put all of his energies into this show which, to paraphrase him, maybe 40,000 people watch. But his infectious energy and from-the-hip candor leads him to meet all in the art world just as the economy takes shape and the Art World goes on a joy ride that takes it out of "homier" So-Ho and into Corporate, and humorless Chelsea.

Anyway- Paul somehow gets the attention of Cindy Sherman, the great Artist/icon/photographer and does a multi-part interview with her. Sherman is known as a recluse when it comes to the media, but she provides Paul with total access. They soon are smitten with each other and Paul and Cindy become something of an item just as her career leaps from stardom to super-rock-star Madonna-like status. For a while the ride is lots of fun, but soon Paul is becoming uncomfortable with his role (or lack there of) . Paul is sick of being seated separately at dinners (with place cards saying Guest of C.S.) and begins to look for an outlet.

As a chronicler of things over almost a decade, Paul does what he does best and carries his camera with he tries to figure out this dilemma. His access is now even greater through his connections to Sherman, so Paul goes on to interview David Furnish (otherwise known as Elton John's husband) and other spouses of uber-famous people as they all commiserate about things like getting cropped out of pictures by the paparazzi. It is really sad, funny and Paul is endlessly infectious.

A nice movie for anyone who has been around the New York art scene for the past 10-15 years.

Which is where I come in...I watched the movie and fully expected to see myself walking past the background of any number of shots. But what was most telling and most articulate about the film was Paul's compelling description of how his Cable Access show went from running joke to "Get the fuck out of my gallery" once the art world started to crank in the money. It seems that no body liked or wanted to hear anyone say anything about the emperor's new clothes once the money rainstorm started to rage.

All of a sudden it was totally clear to me what happened to me and my art career over the last 10 years. All of my best attempts to be a gate crasher were appeased and then ignored, hoping I would just go away. Cindy Sherman, being a great artist, knew damn well that having Paul H-O around would keep her sane and grounded during this crazy head trip. And Paul, being a shrewd street smart guy got as close to the center as possible until he was finally asked to leave.

I've been saying for years now that the 90's was the best time in New York that I can remember. I got to see the 1980's up-til now. I am glad that money is leaving the scene. Oh-sure, I only wish I had got some before the faucet was turned off. But now that it's off, everyone can get down and dirty again. And I do better when everyone around me isn't turning away because I am such a slob.

I just have to keep reminding myself not to get too bitter about not getting what I never had, and start working again. Hopefully Paul H-O will keep on doing just the same thing too.
DK

PS- Check out the NYTimes.com opinion page for the Proof section. Nice comments there from the readers Re: My Posts.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dreaming Large

Last night I had this dream. In my dream I was a bad guy, sort of a street thug.
I dressed like a kid from a bad neighborhood, with gold teeth and gaudy jewlery and a bright
red track suit with something like Southpole or Ecko written is script across the chest.

But there was trouble in these parts and the whole community had come together and everyone needed some help. For some reason people were making sandwiches and somehow in my dream, these sandwiches, when at a certain proper thickness, would please someone even bader than me and make all of our collective problems go away.

I was handed a sandwich that was about 1/2 an inch too thin and was told by some desperate people that that was all there was. The sandwich was not going to be enough to stop the wave of shitstorm that was heading right our way.

So I reached into the pocket of my red sweatpants and pulled out a thick wad of bills folded in half and put it on top of the Ham and put the bread on top of that and BOOM! We had a thick sandwich.

I wrapped the sandwich in paper and handed it to some starry eyed kid and I was a hero across the land.
Then suddenly I noticed that I still had my wad of bills. I had secretly slipped it back into my pocket. I saved the day and I was still holding onto the loot.

I woke up totally pleased with myself...
I have no idea what that was all about, but not a bad little story.
DK

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NY TImes.com- Proof


I just wanted to send you a link:
http://proof.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/last-call-dispatches/#kramer

As you may know,
For the past few months I have been contributing to the NY Times on-line
section called Proof: Alcohol and American Life
This morning they posted my last contribution
as the series has come to an end.

Hope you enjoy it, and there are also 3 others in the archive.

David Kramer

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

GW Bush appears in Public...and is Booed


I just read that G.W. Bush was booed loudly throwing out the first pitch fro the
Texas Rangers yesterday.
Finally he's even unpopular in his own damn state. Maybe we are learning something, even if it is too little too late.
Someone whould have thrown a shoe at him or something.



I heard he threw a strike though.
DK
Link: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/30/bush-booed-nationals/

Monday, April 6, 2009

GM Rally Caps- I am not inspired...

I was watching TV tonight. I hardly ever do.
But anyway I was watching this ad for
GM, and they were saying that America is ready for a come back!
That it is time for us to put on our "rally caps"!

GOD I hope that we don't give any more money to that company
if that is what they are coming up with to get them
back on track.
It is just tragic really.
RALLY CAPS!

Oh-my lord, America is in trouble.
WHo are they trying to Rally over here? Us or them...
DK

Saturday, April 4, 2009

RED CARPET TREATMENT


http://www.thegiganticmovie.com/

Last night I went to the NYC Premier of
Gigantic
a movie by Matt Aselton and starring John Goodman and
Ed Asner and Paul Dano and Zoe Deschenal...

First off I recommend it!
Secondly, my artwork is all over the movie in the scenes at John Goodman's apartment.
So it was like I WAS IN THE MOVIE.
Last night I escorted my lovely wife to the premier and
to the gala after party.
Anyway- Please go see it.
It is Matt Aselton's and MY first film... and it is really good.

DK

Friday, April 3, 2009

ANTI SOCIAL COMMENTARY / POLE HUGGERS /BOOM BOXes


A couple of years ago I was talking to a friend about my affection for Belgium, a country that I had been visiting frequently on business. My friend had never been there and asked what was so special about this tiny country. I said that I really loved the people. I said that although they were just like the Dutch in terms of their roots, only they hang out in bars sharing cigarettes, and drive cars, where as the Dutch get stoned and ride bicycles....by themselves.
What I was getting at was that the Belgians were partiers and entertaining while the Dutch were stoic
loners. Take your pick but I prefer the crowd at the bar.

Anyway-I have been noticing a change in New Yorkers recently that I have the feeling is becoming a trend, and I really do not like it. Since the advent of the unlimited ride Metrocard, I ride the subways maybe 4-6 times a day on the average. And for years I have seen that people tend to create their own space just by not looking at anyone else directly, or just reading. But everyone always seemed totally conscious of each other and, sometime without even looking up, would make room for the fellow passenger on board.
What I am noticing now is something that I call POLE-LEANERS. Or POLE-HOGS. I have begun to notice in the past year that now when you get on a train that it is totally normal for someone to get on a crowded-standing-room-only car and lean their entire body against a pole. What is basically happening is that the new-comer to the car will simply ignore the environment around hog up the whole pole and leave others to reach high or around them so that we won't fall over during the thrust of the moving train. I have even had people lean on poles right on top of my pole-clutching hands, ignoring my touch as they make themselves more comfortable...
I find this behavior to me my particular pet-peeve and I have been noticing that it seems to be perpetrated almost always by some "kid" wearing an iPod.
What bothers me here is NOT so much that I have to adjust myself in deference to some unthinking or self centered ass,
but is something that I am afraid is much larger than just someone grooving to music to the exclusions of others. What I am thinking is that what was once a town filled with talkers and opinions is becoming unfriendly and cold. New York is going back to the Dutch in a way .
I don't want to turn into some vigilant weirdo and start confronting the POLE-HOGS, but I do think that maybe it is my duty to get into the face of the tuned out jerk and force them into a little banter. At least while I am trying to pry my hand out from under their leaning body. I'll try to be niice...but I hate these POLE_HUGGING DOUCHEBAGS! And PLEASE! Bring back the BOOM- BOXes. I am tired of having to craning my neck just to see the tiny screen of an iPod to figure out what the fuck I am listening to anyway.
DK



by the way- this is a link that is definately not anti-social...I think.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVeqNuHcb-I

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Yorker Cartoons?





When I was a kid, I had this idea that I wanted to be a cartoonist for the New Yorker.
We always had those magazines lying around the house, and even though I never read them or looked at the photos or had any idea what the magazine pertained to, I was drawn in by the whimsical covers and read all the cartoons.

I've never really done anything about this desire. I moved on and became an artist, and never really looked back with any remorse that I didn't fulfill this childhood dream. Much like I have lived without any regret about not becoming a Farmer or a baseball player or an astronaught or the fucking President, for that matter. You grow up and get a real job and that's that. I never said as I kid that I wanted to be an artist. But that seemed like the best use of my talent and skills.

Anyway- over the past few years people often say to me that my artwork reminds them of New Yorker cartoons. ANd recently I have been thinking more and more about this.
So I am going to do a little experiment here and see if maybe there is some way that I can pursue this...

Here are some recent drawings that I have made and there New Yorker equivalents...
Maybe it is a round peg into a square hole, but I think maybe I'm sitting on something here that I should be trying to take advantage of.
Just an idea...
DK