Last week I conducted business, I had fun at Mardi Gras with family, old friends, new friends, I ate food, I spent money I shouldn't have, I asked out a girl who turned out to be engaged, and the whole time I had no idea that on Saturday, Feb. 13 my friend and former employer had been killed while walking alone after Endymion. This man was my first real boss. He took me in when I couldn't get a job anywhere, when I was just a dumb kid who wanted a cool summer job in an art store. And then, seeing that I was no good at being a salesman, he put me to work building shelves and patching holes in the antique building. Firing me was never an option, even though he could have saved money by doing so because sales are always lower in the summer. I don't enjoy Uptown New Orleans as much as I used to: too many college kids living transient lives, here for the semester, gone for the summer, one batch replacing another every fall.
John Ward made Uptown feel like a real neighborhood, simply by deciding to always be there, and making us the better for it. Now that he's gone, somehow that permanence persists.
Pulitzer winner Chris Rose has some words about John as well:
(copy and paste, for some reason it won't let me link)
Monday, February 22, 2010
joint pain, perfume bottles with poorly rendered chinese sex drawings, movie star, red-eyed drunk named Twilight Joe haven't seen him in rotgut years, senility, virility, he always wanted to marry some white girl, old piers and crumbled pilings, goats goats all the time goats, sirens drowning out the calliope, Batman Zorro Snake-Eyes and Zatoichi heroes all but lonely and fictional, some guy did a study- Conclusion: Men who don't look at porn don't exist, movie star, Excerpt from Le Roman de Penceforest: “He fell in love with a young Roman girl from whom no good ever came to him, nor did he ever seek to acquire honour, but just persisted in trying to marry this Roman.” one 23 year old decided to marry a 45 year old, another 23 year old decided not to, "Dear Margo: I'm tired of your crap. You're ok, but get a crapometer please and thank you." "Dear Tired: This movie star, she's single, ok? Obligingly, Margo." some places people speak to the land, here you speak to the city, which is on the land, which is threatened by the water, which stares into you at night, waves are not moving water they are energy passing through water while the individual H2O's stay in the same place only Not because they are in discord, dis-coordination, or disco-ordination, either way it's about not being told what to do but just absorbing and releasing energy because that's what you were made to do, such a thing is more beautiful than God, but not movie star, a label in the archive: add all this up and what do you get? Honesty without context.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I haven't painted like this in a long time, but I figured I should get a new watercolor pad and see what I could do. These were all done over the weekend, and they go back to paintings I did a few years ago when I was trying to convey the idea that the human body is not singular in nature, rather a "swarm of swarms", as Michael Crichton of all people once put it.
Friday, February 12, 2010
There are parades. Not big paper mache floats or anything, but groups of people around my age with dreams of being gypsies and vagabonds. They're often led by troupes of musicians with trombones and tuba that lost their shine years ago, were probably found in a dumpster, then brought to a workshop and lovingly restored to life. They parade all the way down my street to a bar called Mimi's. If you don't know New Orleans, Mimi's is the place to go for dancing. We don't have clubs here. Am I fond of Mimi's? Yes. Do I go there often? No. I sit usually at the coffee shop across the street and usually read or sketch. Say hello to the people walking by. Read Franny and Zooey for the first time the Sunday before Salinger died. That night a guy on hydraulic stilts dressed up as a cyborg dinosaur came strolling out of Mimi's. He was about eight feet tall, with fingers about two feet long, and little l.e.d. lights like antennae going down his spine from forehead to the end of his long rubber tail. Living in the Bywater is like being told you did everything in your life right, everything that brought you to this place was the right decision, have some mirliton cole-slaw.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The most interesting thing about art is not questions answered, but questions left unanswered. This painting was done on a large (about 5'x6') canvas, and believe it or not took me several months to paint from concept to completion. I think it'd be better to not say as much as possible right now about why I did it, but I will give you this small back story:
Several years ago, I interviewed my uncle for a class project, and one of the questions was "Where were you the day Kennedy was shot?". He told me that he was in class, I don't remember which grade, and they were watching coverage of the assassination on tv. At some point the teacher felt it prudent to turn off the tv, for whatever reason, so he/she did so and tried to start the lessons. My uncle told me that he got up in front of class and turned the tv back on, was not reproached or reprimanded, and the class continued watching the days events unfold.
Fast-forward to September 11, 2001: With the terrorist attacks weighing heavily in my mind, I walked into my senior civics class and watched the first tower fall on CNN. The other guys in the class, for it was an all-boys school, had mixed reactions. Some thought it was like watching a demolition show on the Discovery Channel. Some thought it was funny. The teacher came in, turned off the television, and told us about how worthless we would be if we didn't register to vote. Simply put, I didn't stand up to turn the tv back on.
That's one reason I painted this.