Tuesday, April 28, 2009

guys and dolls

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about a friend of mine who was in the south of France. Im sure dear readers you all remember the story (see march 11th blog entry ). While she was walking through the countryside she came across a plastic doll and took a photo of it, then she sent it to me (the photo not the doll) but she did promise to bring the dolly back with her. Anyway, I went to pick up the doll in question sunday and now have it in my studio..
I knew I would love this doll since I first saw the photo, and when I finally set eyes on her , I was not disappointed, far from it.
Yes! she smells. Yes! she is a little scary looking. Yes! she has mange. But after a day of photographing her, she promises to be a wonderful piece of art and maybe has a future as an artists model (o.k. I may be going a little too far with the last statement)
So what is a grown man (thats me) doing with a sunburnt doll from the south of France? This I think is a good question. Here are some other good questions 1. At what point does it become art? 2. Why would something like a plastic doll interest me? 3. What do I see in this object that will make me work for a solid 2 weeks? 4.Is it o.k. for me to be seen playing with dolls? (the last question was a joke of course....wasn't it?)The truth is I work on instincts, I will produce the art first (with all my electrodes firing rapidly )and when the art is finished, I will start to pull apart all the reasons for making this a project. I realize that logic would have me work the other way around.I just didn't wont to talk myself out of this.Usually my instincts are dead on.
The image above is just a snap shot, nothing like the finished image, which of course isnt finished yet, because I just started working on this project today..whew!!!!!

You will have to excuse me now. As much as this doll promises to inspire great images out of me, she is stinking up the place with a kind of burnt rubber, mixed with hot rancid, cooking oil smell.
Ah! art has never smelled so good...............then again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

springtime for Hitler

Last year I went to England to photograph something really strange and really quite horrific.I don't want to give too much away because I want to continue with this project .Let's just say I photographed a gathering of military people (all civilian) in the heart of the English countryside. They were dressed in army uniforms of every shape and size and nationality.Let's just say there were hundreds and hundreds of them, a small army in fact. The uniforms that stood out the most and for good reason, were the Nazi uniforms (I should point out that these uniforms are beautiful and very striking in there own right, if it wasn't for the dark cloud that looms over them) I tell you this because on this most beautiful spring day here in Paris, I stayed in (except to shoot the photo above) to work on this fascinating project. I could say a lot about how I feel about grown men dressing up in Nazi uniforms, and trust me, there is a lot to say. I could show you the beautiful dark photographs I took on that gloomy day last year (but I always fear copycats) So instead I decided to show you one of the streets near my apartment in full bloom.I actually have a photograph of this house shot in 1903 but alas I cant find it. My brain and my street both in full bloom.
This isn't really the sort of photo that belongs on my blog, but if I posted one of the uniform photos you might say the same. I will continue to work on this project but I wont continue to post pretty photos of flowers...promise.

GROIN UPDATE; Im feeling a little better...I know you all can sleep a little better for this information.

Monday, April 20, 2009

table for one

I ventured out this morning for the first time in a week (read posting below to know why) I ventured out and for the first time in a week and I started to breathe. This city for me is the biggest tank of oxygen (with a glass of wine mixed in) Even though I just made it as far as the supermarket, I realized I was alive and kicking (not quite kicking but you get the idea). I also realized that its a city I explore alone. Actually I never feel alone. This city always feels like a wonderful motherly woman (with an occasional bad temper) but always with her arms around me. Its a city that makes you feel that there is a lot to explore, not just the surface stuff but deeper more meaningful things. A woman with great stories.A woman thats lived.

Yes this city is a woman. A woman in her late forties who wears a little bit too much make-up and who refuses to give in to her age.But a beautiful warm woman all the same.She must have been a very sexy in her youth.She still has a lot of seduction.I like that in a woman....oooops!!! I mean city.
Yes this is a city that I explore alone. I feel I am on a mission. An explorer of sorts. Now leave me in peace so I can smell her neck.....The city that is. MMMMmmmmm! Slightly older perfume but what a body.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

book of the month

As you can probably guess from the dark and gloomy images above, I'm back in Europe, well Paris to be exact. As you probably all know, dark and gloomy are my middle names (even though I don't really have one...yet) Well let me explain.When I was in Miami I picked up a very very very (a million very's) heavy TV set. To say that I heard a orchestra of snaps and twangs is an under statement. Needless to say, I hurt myself.I hurt myself in places that don't have names, or if they do they are all in Latin. Thats all I'll say about this matter because a lot of you might be eating while reading this...Don't worry, Im getting better.......OUCH!!!

Which brings me to todays topic (yes there really is one, its not all going to be about my groin...sorry) I have had time to look at my past work this last week. This is something I don't often get a chance to do.The images above are from my 'Death Sentence' project. The images above are from that project but in book form.I sometimes like to take my projects and apply them to different mediums (books films etc).I made this book about a year ago and I just looked at it again after sometime.It got me excited again (as excited as I can get at the moment with this groin strain) It got all the brain cells firing at full throttle.This year I will produce this project in a box portfolio or a 'real' book.I will also start my film about this project. In fact I will shoot the first scene this month.I will tell you more about this later.Yes! I just got back to Paris and my brain is on fire again.I just wish I could get to the shops to buy some wine or better still some vodka.

It's for medicinal reasons you understand..o.k. o.k. I might just enjoy it as well.......

Sunday, April 12, 2009

a sorry state of affairs

Don't ask me why, but when I leave miami I start to feel very strange, very strange indeed.I have tried try to figure out what it is that makes me feel this unsettled, but to no avail. Is it my on going feeling that I haven't quite achieved as much as I could have (maybe I should have worked 20 hours a day instead of 16) Is it that I don't quite know where my home is?
As you can see from above I have made yet another card with my name and phone numbers on it. As you can see from above, it looks like another creative funky little card, that people will just throw away, or keep, as is there want. I might sound a little strange at the moment (how could one tell?), because the truth is, in a few days before I catch a flight. I start to think this could be my last few days on earth. I know this all sounds very dramatic, but its true.I don't subscribe to the notion (as most people do) that when your time is up, its up.I try to put everything or most things in order, I pay all my bills, make sure my will is updated, make sure nothing is left exposed for the cold clawing hands that would come seeping into my life (or death) before my body gets a chance to cool.Putting things in order is easy, its just stuff. Putting feelings and very strong emotions in order is another situation when it comes to people.There are so many things I want to say but cant.There are so many things I should have done but didn't. I know I have hurt, when that was not the intention. I wish I could make everything wonderful (Im very bad at this) I have been down this narrow gravel road before with no success. So here I am, writing a kind of apology (again) Hoping that it will all be fine, fine is a thin word, I hope it will all resolve itself (it wont)
My cards are made, my apartment is a mess (unusual for me) and I will have to start thinking about packing (always so much stuff to carry).I will have to bring all my sad flowerless flowerpots inside and close my rusty shutters in preparation for the looming hurricane season, which is just around the corner. So much to do, so much to think about.

Dont ask me why but I get this very strange feeling when I leave Miami......Sorry

Thursday, April 9, 2009

now thats a concept!

I use to do illustrations for business week. Usually they were quite interesting assignments. Usually they had to do with the stock market or hedge funds, things of that nature. But once and a while they threw me a curved 'illustration' ball. For example; Alan Greenspan in a speedo jumping into an empty swimming pool from a great height (the art directors concept not mine) later they decided not to use it on the grounds that Alan Greenspan looked to disgusting in a speedo, DUH!!!. Yes, I was paid anyway. I could give you a huge list of amazingly bad ideas that usually came from the minds of editors (not known for there great visual thinking) I always knew when it was a bad idea, the first clue was when the art director would apologize before telling me about the assignment, It would go something like this 'I'm really sorry about what I'm about to tell you, its not my idea , really! its not!!!' and then go on for about 20 minutes saying things like 'do you hate this as much as me?' or 'I'll try to get you more money for this one' I have had editors tell me not to use a certain colour because the publishers wife doesnt like green or could you make 3 versions and we will pick one. The truth is I always did what they wanted. I would always put my spin on it of course but basically they would get what they asked for every time. Which brings me to the illustration above.I think everyone knows that creative people do there best work when they have the freedom to create. No horrible guidelines , no colour restraints, no speedos.So when this wonderful magazine calls me 4 times a year, to create a cover for there tech section, I cant help but smile. Its a joy to make these illustrations. Freedom of design and colour and expression. I always put my heart into these illustrations, they are basically fun.I have had many wonderful assignments over the years and here is hoping more come my way. Did I ever tell you about the snake giving birth to a turtle illustration? Time magazine, and no! it never ran, because it was killed before I ever put pencil to paper, and no! I wasn't paid.

P.S. Nobody should wear speedo's

Monday, April 6, 2009

bottoms up

Is it really the goal in life to work work work.I came from a family that did just this, 24 hours a day. So it isn't any real surprise that I never seem to sit still for one minute. Well actually I did,it was last night and it was for just about a minute (maybe 2) It went like this. Yesterday I did so many things that listing them here would make your heads and mine dizzy. Last night after a day and a half, I talked myself into having a martini (it didn't take much talking as you can imagine) I whipped the glass out of my cupboard and just caught the base and it shattered everywhere. Not to be swayed by my slightly shattered misfortune, I had another stab at the easy task of making a martini.This time it was a huge success.A huge success until a piece of the dead previous and very hidden martini glass cut my foot, quite badly. So Dear reader I did get my one minute of relaxation, just enough to swab the cut and stop the bleeding. I'm sure there is a moral to this story and if there is I would love to hear it. Today is monday and I feel I have done a million things already. Is it really all about work? I'll let you know later, now I have to go back to (yes you guessed it) work.
IMAGE ABOVE: The actual martini from last night, version 2

Sunday, April 5, 2009

miro miro on the wall

When I was a young man (20) I use to walk around New York like I owned it (but in reality I was a little bit scared) I use to visit the amazing museums everyday, or at least it seemed like everyday.I use to spend hours and hours studying the paintings. Then I moved on,taking a little sketch pad and a 2b pencil and would walk from Picasso to Braque to Miro making little notes. Most people wanted to see what I was doing (but alas I couldn't show them ) .To most people it seemed like I was one of hundreds of students who would faithfully copy the masters as best one could. It would seem like I was drawing my little heart out, trying to capture the essence of these most beautiful paintings.The truth is, I was, but it wasn't the paintings I was trying to master, that would have been way too easy (for I had started copying paintings since I was fourteen, mainly Picasso and Braque) It was the signature I was trying to perfect. I wanted to get it right. Picasso's signature changed over the years as did most of the artists I was studying (thats a nice word, as we will see later for forging) I cant go into what I got up to in New York.I would be crazy to lay it all out here on my blog, But let us say that I produced some amazing paintings over the years .I produced as many as one hundred , mainly Picasso, quite a few George Braque, many Modigliani's, and a few Miro's, the list goes on (and so mabe do I ) These where not copies, these were 'original fakes'. Beautifully perfected so that even an expert couldn't tell. Once again I would be foolish to tell all here. I still relish my freedom. I became very very very good till one day (well Im sorry I cant tell you) Lets just say I had studied enough.....Sometimes I hang a painting from those days in my house. I would hang a painting minus the signature of course. Like I said, I relish my freedom.

NOTE TO FRAUD SQUAD; The above painting is not signed.