Hitler appears to be all the rage
Then somebody sent me this.
On July 4th, 2006, I embarked on a quest to become the pre-eminent American portrait painter of the 21st century. This blog chronicles that journey. With apologies to Joan Didion, I call it THE YEAR OF MAGICAL PAINTING.
We don't think that's the question of the day.Okay, that's a fair question. And the answer is a simple one. When I'm fucking done.
Then what is?
The question of the day is this: We know you've been painting the damned thing. When are we gonna see how it's coming?
Since when have you ever given a shit about what we think?I bring it up because it's part of the answer to the actual question of the day--that being: What is the full and complete name of the painting currently known as Big Al?
Maybe that's the question of the day.
Maybe so. But the point remains.
Okay. You're right. I don't give a shit what you think.
Then why bring it up?
Big Alan (What Fucking Bubble?) IWhat do you think?
Since when have you ever given a shit about what we think?Never. But I am conducting a poll regarding the advisability of using a word like "fucking" as part of the painting's title. Yo--we're talking scrawled across the face of the fucking thing.
Do you have an alternative?
Of course I do. You think I'm crazy?
No comment. What's the alt?
Okay, you ready?
The alternative title is "Big (What Fucking Bubble?) Alan I"
That's your alternative?
Best one I could come up with.
Just switching the location of the parenthetical phrase? That's your alternative?
I'm a narrow thinker. I like a tight focus.
(looooong fucking pause)
Can I recommend one?
Sure. Knock yourself out.
How about: "Big Alan (What Freaking Bubble?) I"
Or: "Big (What #@&%ing Bubble?) Alan I"
Both strong concepts.
You're thinking the location of the parenthetical phrase is not really crucial.
We are not.
I'm with you.
So what's it gonna be.
Dunno. Let me finish it first.
Is it going well?
I do like the idea of the background on the windward side being different than that of the leeward. I might try that with Big Alan.
1905 (165 Kb); Oil and tempera on canvas, 40.5 x 32.5 cm (15 7/8 x 12 7/8 in); Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Copenhagen
In his green stripe portrait of his wife, he has used color alone to describe the image. Her oval face is bisected with a slash of green and her coiffure, purpled and top-knotted, juts against a frame of three jostling colors. Her right side repeats the vividness of the intrusive green; on her left, the mauve and orange echo the colors of her dress. This is Matisse's version of the dress, his creative essay in harmony.
Matisse painted this unusual portrait of his wife in 1905. The green stripe down the center of Amélie Matisse's face acts as an artificial shadow line and divides the face in the conventional portraiture style, with a light and a dark side, Matisse divides the face chromatically, with a cool and warm side. The natural light is translated directly into colors and the highly visible brush strokes add to the sense of artistic drama.
It's supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. The hard is what makes it great!A reference, I believe, to hitting maybe 40 home runs in a season but which could just as easily be applied to painting portraits. I mean really, who wouldn't want to do this if they just could? It's the difficulty of the thing that keeps the throngs away, as near as I can tell.
Maybe it's the toll at the Throngs Neck Bridge.All by way of saying that my total and utter failure to render Erin Burnett in: a) a recognizable manner or, alternatively, b) a compelling one, must simply be shrugged off with the understanding that for every home run there are any number of fly-outs to third or strike-outs.
Ha. If you don't mind, I'll do the humor.
Okay. Just taking a shot.
My plan? After I hit "publish post", I'm going to pull up iTunes, put my L.P., Leah Siegel and Brandi Carlile setlist on repeat, turn it up loud, lock the door to my bedroom, go into the bathroom, lock the door to my bathroom, turn the lights out, eat a snake, and then sit, quietly, in the dark, speaking in low tones to my new [REDACTED].I loved how the "eat a snake" line just came at you out of left field. Made me laugh just typing it.
Do you remember that scene in "Fatal Attraction" when they cut to Glenn Close lying in bed, turning the light on and off, over and over again? It's the moment in the movie when you realize she's completely nuts?
This would be something like that, I suppose.
And if I get thirsty? I'm drinking out of the toilet, my friend.
What's the point of redacting something and then publishing a lot of it five minutes later in a separate post?
The point, my friends in the Greek Chorus (and welcome back, by the way), is that I don't mind people thinking I've lost my mind. What I mind is them thinking I've lost my mind and I am armed and dangerous. Two very different things.
Do you know what that snake thing reminded me of?
It reminded me of the way John Constable used to use red.
I understand what you are trying to get at. But it has nothing to do with that.
I know. But just sort of?
Yeah. Sort of.
What's that song you're humming.
Early Stones. Called "Paint It Black."
I am not surprised. My guess is that the elation you were feeling a day or so ago has passed and the grim spector of abject failure is clanking its chains around like the ghost of Christmas Past.
Something like that.
Senior Buendia is going to kick your ass when he sees this painting.
Who the hell are you, anyway? And where's the Greek Chorus?
They asked me to step in. My name is Remedios.
Really? And that would mean what to me?
Suffice to say, you ignorant gringo, that I'm a friend of Sr. B. And he's going to shoot you with his musket when he sees that picture. Man, that is one scary chick, Senior.
A little bit, yes. I have to admit. But if Sr. B shoots me with his musket, who's going to finish the painting. I mean, he won't want it like this.
He's gonna shoot you from a close distance, just to send you a message. The bullet will pass completely through your body, miraculously missing all the vital organs. Then, in order to keep you alive, he will dip a length of rope in iodine, poke it through the hole in your chest, I will grab the other side and we will, together, Senior Buendia and I, run the rope back and forth, sterilizing your wound and reminding you that he is not a man to be trifled with.
Crikeys, that sounds unpleasant.
It will hurt like a motherfucker, you ignorant gringo.
Is there anyway to avoid such a scenario?
I'm sorry, I don't follow.
How about making the painting look like the person you are supposed to be painting.
And you think I haven't been doing just that?
Not as near as I can see.
Okay, how about this one:
Hey, where are you going?
I am going to load Senior Buendia's musket.
Wait. What about this:
Hmmm. You may be on to something with the raccoon eyes. Although I think the eyes themselves may be too widely spaced. Still, on the strength of this, Senior, I will not mix salt in with the buckshot. But as I am still loading the gun, I would describe your timeframe as limited.
Has anyone ever told you that you are really, almost excruciatingly attractive.
Ha! I was warned of such an eventuality. I was warned that the gringo would attempt to exercise his considerable charms on me.
Perhaps you'd be interested in having your portrait painted.
Nothing I've seen so far makes me interested in that, I can assure you.
Your skin is the color of ripe olives.
Really? And is that a double chin or has a small dog attached itself to your neck?
You are really the most unpleasant person I've met in a while. And, for the record, you're not that hot. Look at your stomach. Ever heard of a sit-up.
And where, just out of curiosity, is the Greek Chorus. I think I like them better.
They are at a local union meeting. They're thinking about picketing "Sweeney Todd, The Movie." Which is not without irony, since your most recent version reminds me of Helena Bonham Carter.
Sure you're in a good mood now. Wait til you get to the studio and look at that goddam painting in the cold light of morning. Morning, in this case, being defined as quarter after two. You'll be singing "Paint it Black."
Senior Buendia is gonna kick your ass when he sees this painting.
If I see that idiot Cramer stare down my dress one more time I'm gonna freak outwill read a far longer message, circling the perimeter of the painting, perhaps twice, proceeding, approximately, along these lines:
You think this job is easy? Constant public scrutiny ... a new hair-do every freaking day ... a parade of creeps staring at my ass ... and the idiot who's painting me insists on calling my lavaliere a surrogate nipple! What's up with that? Sheesh.It may not all fit, and it may be a bit much after I think about it for a while (some fine-tuning is bound to happen), but it does make me smile.
Artist Geoffrey Raymond, who has in the past peddled larger-than-life paintings of Maria Bartiromo, Dick Grasso, and Rupert Murdoch on Wall Street, was out on the Street today with his latest work, a portrait of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein titled Big Lloyd II (Now More Than Ever). The painting, an acrylic rendering of a smiling, multicolored Lloyd ("an excellent example of Mr. Raymond's drip technique," according to the artist's statement) with the words "Big Lloyd I (.6 Billion)" lingering in the space above it, is indeed big, at four feet, five inches. It is available on eBay at a starting price of $3,999. "I painted it in acknowledgment of Mr. Blankfein's stewardship of Goldman Sachs through a recently difficult environment on Wall Street," sayeth the artiste. "It is either homage or fromage — whichever isn't the cheese." So far, there are no bids.They did screw up a couple of details which, I think, they fixed in later editions. Those, most notably, would be their confusion with the names of the two Lloyd paintings, and the inaccuracy regarding the painting's size.
Augustus "Gussie" Fink-Nottle is a recurring fictional character in the Jeeves novels of British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse, being a lifelong friend of Jeeves's master Bertie Wooster, and a possible member of the Drones Club. Described as "a teetotal bachelor with a face like a fish", he wears horn-rimmed spectacles, and devotes his life to the study of newts.The answer to the opening question is, actually, immaterial. Because we are here, dear readers, not to discuss my man Gussie Fink-Nottle, but rather, my man Gussie Klimt. Gustav to many. An actual person, who also warrants a Widipedia entry, a portion of which goes like:
Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau (Vienna Secession) movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism--nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil (see Mulher sentada, below). These female subjects, whether formal portraits or indolent nudes, invariably display a highly sensitized fin de siècle elegance.For the record, I very much like the idea of the use of that last sentence to describe my work. As far as frank eroticism is concerned, I think he had the house two doors down when I was growing up on the Jersey shore. The other side of the Shelbys. I think I dated his sister Maxie.
If I could get some acid like that, I could really paint.Anyway, the middle one above has always been one of my favorite paintings. And it is this whole realistic/abstract blend is what we are shooting for with "Hey Joe..."
That, my friend, is a slippery slope.
What do you know? You're just the Greek Chorus.
Exactly. It's my job to know shit like this.
Okay. Let's change subjects. How did you feel about them taking the "Sweeney...Sweeney Todd" number out of "Sweeney Todd, the Movie"?
Don't even get me started on "Sweeney Todd."
What's that--like a union thing?
The Greek Chorus union? What's that--like Local something something something?
Thistorically? Shit, I've made up my own word!Anyway, thistorically speaking, the Enunciation of Joseph is when God sends an angel to tell Joseph that the reason his wife (Mary) is pregnant is a bit more complicated than his current working theory, and that he should remain calm.
Pretty cool word, my friend.
I should notify the Vatican.
I'm sure they'll take your call.
I don't see why they wouldn't.
"Hey Joe. Where you goin' with that gun in your hand?"At which point Eric blurts out, "Don't do it. It's a career killer!"
He said it's a career killer? Those exact words?
That's what I thought.
Did you tell him about the strippers?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did.
I don't think he fully got it.
Perhaps it would help if you explained.
Well, okay. I suppose that some of his concern is that, in this polarized world, I get characterized as a nutjob, a religious zealot, some combination of the two.
I think the cat may be out of the barn on item one.
Perhaps so. Anyway, given that this is, from a purely marketing standpoint, a legitimate concern, I've positioned my series of stripper paintings as what one might call an analog (analogue?) of a hedge fund, back when hedge funds were actually hedge funds.
A kind of yin-yang thing? Fathead Minnow as a renaissance man kind of a thing? A deep thinker? A deeeeeeep fucking thinker who explores, through his art, a wide range of things, not the least being the relationship between the theological and the secular in this complicated world? Something with that kind of a feel?
Exactly. Not so different from the intention behind that painting of St. Joan that you like so very much.
The one where she appears to be having a massive orgasm?
She's receiving the spirit of the Lord.
So you can take down the copy you keep next to your bed.
I'm not comfortable talking about that. Besides, this isn't about me. I'm just the Greek chorus. What are you going to do?
Me? Well, nothing taps into my own personal set of disfunctions more than somebody telling me that what I'm about to do will kill my career. I'm heading for the studio.
Hallelujah, brother! And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
My interest in LSU is recent and the depths of my fervor is, as yet, to be determined.I apologize. Upon reflection, I would have used the singular "depth" instead of "depths." Second, I certainly would not suggest that "depths...is" represents good, clean English.
"No woman as hot as Julia Allison would try to pick you up at a party. And we don't care what bogus school of painting you cooked up.So okay--I just made it up. And I pulled the video from Julia Allison's blog--which I visit every once in a while when I'm really bored.
All the best, The FTC."
(Two quick parenthetical thoughts: a) it takes a big man to admit he is wrong, even when the evidence is staring him in the face, and b) this is one of those moments other than at the beginning when we actually do use a paintbrush.)Obviously 14a and b are now one box. We just couldn't sort it out otherwise and come up with a convincing image.
What? Weather, or report? And really, who doesn't?
No. I'm talking about buoyed.
Yeah. A lot of people pronounce it like it was spelled Boyd.
There's a pretty fine line, don't you think?
If you are pronouncing buoy, do you say boy?
The screen door slamsYou know the rest. It seems like a good way to start a new year.
Mary, dressed, waits...
I've got this guitar and I've learned how to make it talk.Actually what I have is a Christmas present from my Goddaughter Katie--a bottle opener that plays the Virginia fight song. I will also be sporting a bright orange Virginia hooded sweatshirt, a gift from my daughters.