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.

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.

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...

Saturday, April 18, 2009


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 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.


It sounded nice and totally lifted my spirits.
More at:


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.

PS- Check out the 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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NY Proof

I just wanted to send you a link:

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.

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.

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

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Last night I went to the NYC Premier of
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.


Friday, April 3, 2009


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 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.

by the way- this is a link that is definately not anti-social...I think.

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...