I'm on vacation in Brooklyn. Not a painting in sight--my only responsibility is to feed the cat and walk the dog. And while the dog is a handful, it's not as stressful as, say, crawling belly-down through a wet Cambodian jungle humming the bass-line of White Rabbit over and over again, like some kind of mantra, eighteen hours into your first Black Beauty; the other one wrapped in a plastic baggie, which is in turn wrapped in a small plastic container, which is in turn tied around your neck with a leather thong that is otherwise decorated with six or seven dessicated human ears (which look a lot like dried apricots, for you completists), shirtless, slathered with a combination of pig lard and camo paint, a knife in your teeth and a beat-up AK-47 slung across your back. Don't even ask about the AK.
So, given the alternative, I'm pretty relaxed. And although there's not a painting in sight, that doesn't mean I didn't come up with the next big idea.
More specifically, I sat bolt upright in bed a couple of nights ago, awakened from what I thought was sleep, realizing that if I didn't grab my phone and email this idea to myself I would forget it the next morning.
My email read verbatim:
Time: 3:28 am
Subject: Stuffed head attached to chairs
Lord have mercy! Can you imagine?
If you're not fully grasping it, consider this: a stuffed deer head is purchased from some flea-market. These things are typically attached to some kind of wooden frame (for lack of a better word), or plaque. On the other side of the frame a long thin sort of a sculpture will be constructed from the carcasses of old wooden kitchen chairs (also found at flea-markets), held together with long screws and perhaps epoxy-infused rattan cord. Total length, perhaps ten or twelve feet. The chairs will be painted gloss black. It will be suspended from the ceiling so that it rides perpendicular to the floor at an altitude of perhaps three feet.
Is it clearer now? Suffice to say, I barely slept the rest of the night. At 3:49 I followed the first email with a second, the text of which read:
The impossibility of Lehman brothers in the mind of a rational market
Which has since been modified to this:
The physical impossibility of 2008 in the mind of the rational market
Wow. Now consider this:
Other than perhaps a couple of his dog sculptures, this is Damien Hirst's most famous work. Hirst, it should be said, is a charlatan of the first rank (although his balloon dog does make me happy). The title of the above work?
The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living.
Are you with me? Since I'm on vacation til Friday, I'll leave you with this:
John Chamberlain, the guy who makes the huge sculptures out of brightly painted automobile parts--bumpers in particular--once said that all his standing sculptures point directly back to Rodin's statue of Balzac, one version of which stands in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art:
This is a Chamberlain piece:
Can you see what he's talking about? They're sculptures, so the pictures don't really do them justice. But assuming your answer is yes, now picture yourself on a train in a station.
Good. Now picture a stuffed deer head (perhaps a moose) attached to a vertical pile of wooden kitchen chairs, titled:
Richard Fuld, in the manner of Rodin's Balzac.You
do the math. I'm going to the Georges Braque show.