Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HOME DEPOT and the crystal ball...

Last night I went to Home Depot at about 7 o'clock. I always like going at night, as there is usually a pretty good buzz there. People buying stuff at a steady pace but not crazy like during the work day or worse, weekends.
Anyway, last night I pulled into the parking lot, over in LIC, and the lights were off in the lot. I went inside and the place was dead. A ghost town. Man this economy is totally fucked. Home Depot is dead at night in Queens.
I am totally worried about this economy. The art market is dead and I have this big show coming up in March. It is one of these solo shows as part of an art fair. In the past 4-5 years, this would potentially mean serious cash to the artist involved. You have to pay top dollar to be involved. We are talking 10's of thousands for the weekend. My dealer is covering the costs. But yesterday I made a delivery to my framer and got
a whopping estimate for the drawings. After going to the Home Depot last night I canceled the order. I ordered a bunch of cheap-o frames on -line and the work is going to look just fine.
The art fair wants thousands more to construct walls for our booth so we can have a place to hang my work. Well, I've been building these temporary sculptures to hold my work instead. Sure the economy is circling the drain, but the way that I am saving money, I should get at least a few more trips around the bowl before I go down into the sewer.
How is that for optimism?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brother. Can you spare a dime.

It is funny and almost perfect that at the exact moment that my career seems to be taking off like a rocket ship,
the country is stuck in a free fall recession the likes of which we haven't seen since the depression. I am not complaining or anything, but shit, is this is what getting a break is supposed to look like? I mean, I am getting these pretty great opportunities
but it all seems to be happening at the moment that everyone collectively has decided to tighten their belts and
their grips on the old wallet.
So I am hanging my shingle out there trying to get some work as a contractor again. No time to complain. Lucky for me I didn't sell off my tools when I attempted to quit my day job.
If it weren't for all of the irony here, I would be totally depressed by now.


click on the images to enlarge.

I am currently putting together 2 shows that both open in the first week of March.
One in LA with Tom Jancar Gallery and the other in NYC with Aeroplastics Contemporary at VOLTA NY....
SO here are a couple of preview images as I run off to my studio...

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I got an email from a friend of mine. She has like 4 kids and was telling me about how things were going with her.
She lives in England and I see her every few years and every time we do get together she has another child with her. There was this moment in time when her first son was born and my son was born, and it was at almost the same moment in time, that we both had this tremendous connection with one another all around our mutual NEW experiences. Well she's gone on to have a giant family, at least by my standards, and we still have tons to talk about because we go back so many years, but it really has created something of a divide between us. She has been so busy. And I can't really get away with complaining about how much work is, having a kid, to her, now can I? Well that just takes away half of what I usually have to talk about.

ANyway, I was reminded of the last time that I saw her. I went over to England because I had a show over there. After I finished with the exhibition I took a train up North to where she lived, in Wolverhampton. It was fun and crazy to see her, there were at the time 3 kids running around, all under 6. And we had a wonderful time eating dinner and having drinks and the kiddies finally went to bed and we all stayed up late and drank more and looked at her husband's excellent collection of art films and videos... The next morning she had to run off and get 2 of the kids off to two different schools and I sat there with my hangover and encouraged her and tried to stay out of the way. So suddenly she said to me, "Would you watch Robyn, while I get the other boys off to school?" Of course I said yes, but the truth was I had not been near an infant in diapers in years. I wasn't sure what you were supposed to do anymore. SO the 3 of them left the 2 of us at the house and the little baby sat there in his little diaper and with in seconds of the door slamming, he proceeded to unload a mammoth load into his diaper that literally made him, sitting there on his ass, two inches taller.
Well, of course I pretended not to notice even though my eyes were getting teary from the stench. And an hour or so later, when my friend got home I pretended that this all must have just happened seconds ago.
I don't think that all of this makes me a terrible friend, maybe I should have rolled up my sleeves and helped her out. But the truth is that this was no real inditement on what kind of friend I am or am not. I probably pulled the same shit with my own son and my wife way back when when he was still in diapers. No. I am a really good friend. I am just maybe a shitty father.

Monday, January 19, 2009

GO Get'em Tiger

This is going to be great!


Spend a Day with Yaddo

If you plan to be around Brooklyn and lower Manhattan on January 24th, clear your schedule because we've got two events on that day that you won't want to miss!
Start with a meet-and-greet with some of the 30 visual artists who have signed on for the Yaddo Artists Open Studios Crawl. Visit the workspaces to view new work, some of it still in progress, and to find out what inspires individual artists. It is free, and you plan your own journey using an interactive guide and map available on our web site (click for details).
In the evening, join us at Galapagos Art Space as celebrated performance artist David Cale spins a tale and The Wingdale Community Singers (including Rick Moody and Randy Polumbo) present a rousing set of folk tunes that might have you singing along before night's end (click for details). Tickets for the Galapagos show must be purchased ahead of time through SmartTix (click to buy tickets).

To make an online donation now, please click here.

Do you know someone who might enjoy these programs? Forward this email!

You can see my show at Pierogi


177 N9th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211
Gallery is open from 11-6pm.
thanks and I hope to see you then. David


SO I had an unusually good and bad weekend all wrapped up into one. After my hissyfit about the NYTimes ignoring the NY Art scene by not reviewing any shows because of the inauguration, I went to my studio....Then I got my car towed on Friday which absolutely sucked and I would
argue was completely unfair. I knew I was close to that fucking handicap curb cut when I parked there. I looked and make a quick study of the situation and determined that it was not crossing any legal boundaries. But some fuck disagreed, and I found myself down at the tow pound. I was not allowed to get my car because of an outstanding ticket which I had been refusing to pay because I got that one for a SIMILAR infraction of inches (this time near a hydrant). SO I wound up in down town Brooklyn, arguing my case to a "judge" in a cubicle who told me I was guilty as charged, and the tiny check that I had just deposited that morning, for my work for the NYTimes, totally evaporated. I stopped by my gallery where my show is and was we all commiserated about the show not getting enough due attention, and how the economy had completely wrecked the chances for any sales at the moment. I went home and read in my friends' blog from Buffalo, NY a shout out to me saying that I was now obviously doing so well that I was going to have to change my act and stop complaining about everything....

So Saturday I went out to work early and got a real lot of excellent work done in my studio and even though it is never going to go anywhere in terms of helping to bail out my money situation, I was very pleased with myself. So I went out to Chelsea to look at some shows on my way home and stopped into a couple of galleries where I received tons of praise for my good show and also lots of commissary for the lack of sales across the art world. Then this one gallery owner woman said something totally funny...Her gallery is about as close to the Hudson River as you can be without falling in,and she said that the other day when the plan went down over there she ran over to look and could not believe her eyes. There were people being ferried over to the piers near where she was standing close enough to see that "people were walking around and didn't even have wet hair". She said they looked cold but everyone was totally healthy. No blood to body bags! This was big. So then this woman goes on to make this inspirational metaphorical speech about how this was a sign that things were going to turn out OK. ANd that Tuesday, when we get a new president, everything is going to start to turn around. Things are bad, but we will pull through. Well, I took that right spirit right to the bank and took out one of my last $100 and filled my wallet with a sense of hope.
Everything is going to be OK. I look forward to tomorrow and I am happy to be alive today. Tomorrow morning, I am heading straight down to the Parking Violations Burro and appealing my tickets!. That's right, the people will not be kept down.
So somehow I was inspired this weekend. In my book, it was n't such a bad weekend afterall.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I am a little tired of all of this inauguration stuff. Enough with Barak Obama. My attitude really took hold today when I opened up my New York Times, this morning. On Fridays in the paper of record, they will review the art shows that are going on around town. They usually dedicate about half a page. This is the first thing I look to every Friday Morning,
and at this particular moment in time, I have a show up that I am particularly proud of and wanted to see if anyone at the paper has noticed. Well, this week they decided to do away with the reviews. NO REVIEWS! ...Instead there is a whole section devoted to Washington DC and what to do while you are down there for the inauguration! Come on. Enough with this.
I like Obama and wish him well and lots of luck with his new job..but if I were him, I would have a pretty simple swearing in and just get right down to work. That is what I am trying to do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Here is a nice interview...

Origionally from Ashalt Eden...

7 Minutes in Heaven with David Kramer
David Kramer is the type of artist whose work makes you laugh at self-absorbed characters who ironically lack self-awareness ... then wonder if maybe you're laughing at yourself. Poking fun of hipsters, the art world, American consumerism, and even himself, the New York artist creates cheeky drawings and light-up signs that might just lead to self-actualization.

Kramer's latest exhibit, Snake Oil, opened at Williamsburg's Pierogi 2000 (177 North 9th St., Brooklyn) to a packed crowd on January 2. This is one exhibit you will not want to miss (it closes February 1).

[image of David Kramer's Snake Oil from Pierogi 2000]

We caught up with David Kramer, who answered a few questions for us.

Asphalt Eden: Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
David Kramer: My therapist. She's an excellent listener.

Asphalt Eden: If you had to have a portrait of yourself made, what artist would commission?
David Kramer: Do you mean like a mug shot? I can't imagine ever having to have my portrait made.

Asphalt Eden: What is your favorite time of day?
David Kramer: 5am.

Asphalt Eden: Where in New York is the closest place to your own personal Garden of Eden?
David Kramer: Coney Island.

Asphalt Eden: What's on repeat on your iPod?
David Kramer: Hypothetically, it would be Destroyer. This Night. I am still an album guy. I don't have an iPod.

Asphalt Eden: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
David Kramer: The chicken or the egg?

Asphalt Eden: What message do you want people to take away from your art?
David Kramer: I think that in the end my work is funny and optimistic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Hey- I have a piece in the today!

Thanks. DK

7 days left.

Today marks one week until Barak Obama gets sworn in as the next President of the United States. Yesterday GW Bush made his last press conference as acting Commander and Chief.
I don't know about you but I am stuck here in a holding pattern just waiting for this week to pass. I have a show up in a gallery, no one is buying much of anything.I talk to people in all kinds of businesses, they are stuck too. I know the economy sucks. We all are feeling the pain and hurting. And I certainly don't think Obama is going to come in and make manna from heaven over here. We have some pretty big problems to deal with. But PLEASE! Let's get this boob out of office. Yesterday during Bush's press conference, he admitted he'd made some mistakes. You know, he said he probably shouldn't have said "Mission Accomplished!" so soon. He should have waited until he was done writing checks to all of his buddies before that. During his run in office the Oil people got rich. The military industrial complex made a fortune. The auto industry got a check. The banks. Every last cent and crumb was vacuumed out of the cabinets. There is just one more week to pardon all of his friends on his way out the door and then I think we should put out the banner. The only thing that he didn't do that he wanted was to hand the White House keys over to a Republican. But he never liked John McCain anyway. SO things didn't turn out that bad.
I hope this is my last rant about Bush. But he still has a week to fuck something else up.

Friday, January 9, 2009 review

Here is a little self-promotion...I got a nice review in

BROOKLYN—David Kramer is Brooklyn’s answer to Richard Prince. Both artists rely on text and appropriated images, but while Prince borrows from joke books, and his work might be criticized for its cold indifference, Kramer’s musings are for the most part autobiographical and sincere. His kinder, gentler approach comes out of his idealized expectations of life, and his frequent disappointment.

For “Snake Oil,” his current exhibition at Pierogi in Brooklyn, Kramer exhibits a series of framed works on paper and a large sculptural diptych, all of which were created during a recent residence at Yaddo. Included are text-only paintings featuring rainbow hues and blobs of color blocking out passages. In Untitled (Retrospective), Kramer cites a conversation he had with another artist about the 2007 Richard Serra retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, without mentioning it by name. The other artist comes to the conclusion that with all of the power and influence a museum like MoMA has, it could do something more practical to help people than mount such grandiose exhibitions. Other works juxtapose personal anecdotes with imagery from magazine advertisements, seemingly anonymous and banal illustrations that could have been taken from 1970s greeting cards.

Carefully crafted to resemble a found object, his mixed-media sculpture Untitled (Snake Oil and Free Kool Aide) looks like two old-fashioned roadside signs you might see at the entrance to a gas station parking lot or outside a convenience store in small-town America. Each has bold letters and an arrow with blinking lights on the front side and hand-painted text on the reverse. One, peddling snake oil, features a stinging diatribe about a shady art dealer, while the other, promoting "free Kool Aide," boasts a rant about not wanting to pay for cable television.

Last year Kramer’s art was featured in an episode of Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice on NBC, although from what the artist says, the experience was not altogether positive. Maybe that’s lucky for him, though, as he’ll no doubt find a way to weave the ordeal into his self-deprecating, painfully truthful work.

“Snake Oil” is on view through February 1

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 8- Time to start blaming people...

All bets are off on my New Year's Resolutions at this point. I have done
everything with in my power to fulfill my promise. I said on New Year's that this year I wanted to make a Million Dollars and I have done just about everything possible to try to make that happen so far, and so far I have not made a dime.
It is time to start blaming people for why my life is not turning out the way that I planned....
Now comes step 8 of the plan...find somebody to blame.
I am blaming George W. Bush for why my financial situation has gone completely down the toilet. It is all his fault. I have seen checks written to all of his friends
for millions, if not billions of dollars since he took office. He set up the military contractors, he helped out the banks and paid off the insurance companies. He sent some money off to the car makers. Now I want to know where my million dollar check is. On your way out the fucking door, can't you just write one for check. You have already completely destroyed the economy worse than your old man did, and made a mockery the good name of this country and your own family's legacy (let's hope) so why not try in a final move to do a little trickle up economics and send me a check for a million and I will use that money to generate a whole new economy by spending it all over town lavishing the stores that I patronize with my good business.Hey I know that blaming Bush is old news and inappropriate at this point...but there are only a couple of weeks left. I just wanted to get my last licks in on Bush, so-to-speak... DK

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I had this job once many years ago working as a landscaper. I was living in Washington
DC at the time, I had just gotten out of school. My friend would pick me up in the morning in his jeep and he would bring a bong in his over sized glove compartment and we would take bong hits and drive to the house of the guy who owned the company, listening
to Robert Plant. We'd pick up a van filled with equipment and get a list of addresses of homes which needed our landscaping attention and then drive to Seven-Eleven and get Big Gulps and start our day. In the van we would always listen to Howard Stern as he was on the air back then in DC. Neither of us really liked Howard Stern over all, but we both agreed that everyday he said something that would make us laugh out loud. He always would manage to get a big rise. SO we agreed that as soon as we laughed out loud we would turn off our radio and get out of the van and get right to work on that note. SOmetimes we sat in the van for quite a while waiting for that perfect moment outside of the clients' house.
I have started to have a similar approach to Facebook.On Facebook's home page the account holder is asked "WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW?" One time I wrote down that I was on Facebook right now. But for most people it provides an up to the moment account what my friends are doing. I like to check in and find out. ANd sometimes I see something that let's me know that it is time to turn off the computer and start my day, or just get back to work.
Here are two such RIGHT NOW quotes that I got at just about the same moment...
Jamie writes that she 'Just had a wicked hot Bickram Class with Svenya at the original Bikram Yoga!"
And at almost the same time I got this from Jenny....Jenny is feeling the sadness of the world...
I turned off my computer and started on with my morning tea when I mentioned these completely polar opposite emotional sign posts for how my day might turn out.
I mentioned this to my wife and she just shrugged. "Sounds like you're going to have a room temperature kind of day, if you ask me..."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year's Resolution:Day 6

I was thinking about my Million Dollar Idea today as I went to the bank and took out some money from my ever diminishing reserves. I was thinking today that maybe, just maybe I should should start thinking about things in a slightly different way.

Maybe what I need is instead of a Million Dollar Idea what I need is a couple of 1/2 Million Dollar Ideas to work with. Then I wouldn't have to have so much pressure on the one idea. Not that I am already giving up on my last idea...but I am having a lot of trouble locating enough Vintage Concert T-Shirts to really go into production for my Pillow company. So instead of wasting all my time at the Goodwill,and checking out Ebay or waiting for someone to leave an old concert T-shirt at my house, I think the new approach of having more than one Million Dollar Idea might be pretty smart and might actually start to put some food on the table. I am pretty pleased with myself for coming up with this new approach.

I told my wife about my new angle here and she said, " Why don't you come up with a Million One Dollar Ideas, and then we could really start making some money.
I hate when she acts like she is all smarter than me. It kind of pisses me off.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolution:Day 5

This year I resolved to make a million dollars by the end of the year. A cool million
seemed like a good bet for me. Sure I said I would loose weight and try to eat healthier, but really what I said I wanted to get out of this year was my first million dollar payday. SO I have been making some serious strides towards this primary goal.

Step 1: Tell everybody that I am trying to make a million dollars.
Any help will be appreciated.

Step 2: Come up with that Million Dollar Idea that helps me make a million dollars.

Step 3: Apply what I came up with in Step 2 and sprinkle in some of the marketing skills from Step 1 and sit back and count the money as it pours in.

SO far I am still struggling with the idea part of the equation. Over the years I have had a lot of pretty good ideas. None of them have actually made me much money, or have even lost me some money, so it is difficult to discern which is the right idea to go with.

Right now I am thinking about going into production on Vintage Concert T-shirt pillows
as my cousin left his Def Leppard T-shirt here after our Hannukka Party and it doesn't fit any of us living here. Any suggestions on how to get my hands on more of these shirts with out throwing a party every week would be appreciated.
Please leave your comments in my comments box.

On ward and up ward.

random thoughts on birthdays and aging.

Today is Susan Mitchell's birthday.
Happy Birthday Susan. My wife and I seem to share similar
feelings about birthdays. We kind of don't really like to embrace them. Find them kind of weird.
Birthday's are weird. I don't know why but neither of us like to have parties.
I think it is because everyone has a birthday. Like, what's the big deal.
Now, every once in a while it is time to celebrate. Then Susan wants some attention.
Like not everyone turns
30 everyday. Or 40. Then you go out and make a big deal about it. Take everyone out to
the Karaoke bar.
This is one of those "Off-Brand" birthdays. Susan doesn't make much of a fuss about.
Next year she wants to party, she told me. Next year is a big one.
I am already making plans...

I always have my biggest issues with those "Off-Brand" birthdays, as it turns out.
When I think about it, that's when I get all freaked out about having to get old. 39. SHit, that one was bad.
44 wasn't so hot either.Although I am really looking forward to
52. Don't ask me why, but that is an age that I will totally be excited to wrap my head around.

I have yet to deal with my own age now..
I only recently started to act like someone who isn't 29 years old. That was a pretty big deal for me. 29 is where I have been for all these year.
It is funny how you can get stuck. My attitudes seemed to have been shaped at that moment
and that is the age that I have objectified most. I wish I could go back and do that one all over again.

I do much better with years. I can totally dig the idea of 2009. 2009 I can get my head around.
I am never anything but pumped up for any new year. Things are going to be great this time around.
Just don't remind me of how old I am. That's all.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Opening remarks

Last night I had this opening at Pierogi in Brooklyn. It was a fun night. I was totally pleased by the turnout. I had some great conversations but the one that stands out the most, of course, was with the biggest crack pot who came into the gallery last night.
I had made a drawing in which I wrote about what a terrible person that I feared that I would become, if I ever got any attention for being an artist. My ego would make me totally unpleasant. I went on to ask if all artists act like monsters, as I do, when ever things start to go their way. I questioned how horrible it would be if Hitler had ever gotten into art school... And if Dick Cheney had been an artist and had success? Total fucking jerk. He would have forced all artists to follow some insane Donald Judd- like rules or we would all be waterboarded. I suggested that I had some remote hope for mankind in that I had seen some really good paintings by Winston Churchill, and he seemed to have bucked the trend because I had heard that he was actually a pretty good leader.
Well, this crackpot who came my show practically got into exchanging blows with me because it turns out that I was glorifying Churchill, who this guy says was a war criminal. This guy was an old Eastern European guy (based on his accent) and he started to come after me for being totally insulting and naive in my story.
Fuck, I did actually wish I had been drinking alcohol at that moment in time as I wanted to have a bracer to deal with this guy.
it was a really fun time last night. I just can't believe that this nut job happens to have said the one thing that I can't seem to get out of my brain from all the good stuff that I heard. Normally this wouldn't be so bad.Maybe something to chew on too write a story about later. But the only problem is that his comments seemed so ridiculous and off the wall that I can't even get to write about it them and sound like I am telling a story that anyone will actually ever believe ever could really have happened.