Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank Others For Your Sanity Daily- 28 Feb. 1998

"NO, fuck! That's my birthday too, dude! I just turned 18!!"

I offer my hand in a high five he was too stunned to complete right away as he sat across from me in the well-lit bottom floor of Duquesne Towers.
That's how it all began, though.
The exchange of the fact of the shared birthday- us and Smokey Robinson and Seal (black vocalists, this one no different) and our same destination! Toga party @ Binh's.
"A quarter? Sure. For an apple pie?"
I smiled my stupid smile in a fresh-from-Sam-Goody Korn T-shirt. Reading the blue "How to survive your freshman year" booklet.
Tip 1: Bring alotta booze.

Jill arrives in the blue Toyota @ 10 instead of 9. We're pissed, but just glad she's here. Wendy dressed up almost naked in peter pan toga garb. She delivered us safely home, all thanks to tolerance.
Jill- the 23 yr old grad student- in Devil Red. Her oily white blond pixie cut shining from glittery face powder like Wendy.

123 in the South Side. Smile where I fucked you last.
Many beautiful individuals, past the glow room, the kitchen, the bathroom. Standing beside the sink. "Wanna go for a walk?" (This is me to Eugene.)

Outside into the many blocks of winding streets. Down to the corner with the white car and opposite the convenience store. February in Pittsburgh. I lean into his big jacket, on the car listening to his words, loving every melody of motion they created. How suddenly I'd found someone special.
Past Nick's Fat City on the main drag to Tuscany on the corner.
Lemon and Orange and Cinnamon. His colors and the coffee shops and mine.
Paid for my house blend and we sat in the back. Too briefly.
Back to the party. Then home. Home sweet dormroom.

Megan in "I'm dying!" mode. Wendy in hyperdrive. Me between Arturo and Eugene in the back seat: in heaven.
Crawling into the elevator to the 7th floor. Playing doctor to Megan and girlfriend to Eugene until 3am. I smiled and kissed him, he smiled and kissed me back. Only the presumptuousness of youth scared sober with love causes one to laugh nervously as they ask: "Do you want to see my dick?"
Another nervous laugh from me as I say "No."
Vampires in the bathroom. Jessica polishing off the VDK with her friends.
Sitting in silence with the Xmas lights on. People screaming up the street below.
Christmas on a cracker, it was a good night.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


On September Eleven, Year Two Thousand and One, I was in college in Indiana, Pa.

Went to class that morning, which was promptly cancelled. The instructor had friends in NYC whom she'd just been with the week prior. She couldn't get hold of them via phone, and was visibly distraught. A TV was on in a lounge, and I watched it with some others for a little while.

Outside. Headed back to my dorm room. Then I discovered all classes were cancelled for the day.
I decided to go to my mother's office (in now nonexistent Gordon Hall) instead.
A TV had been brought into her space. She had work to do so she wasn't watching that intently, but her boss and I were when the 2nd plane came thru.

It was then I opened my notebook and started taking notes.

I worked part-time at a radio station back then, and knew I'd have to be there in the evening, maybe into the next day after this. I took notes the whole time.

The following are the transcriptions of the few pages I kept of things heard and observed.

There is no pattern.
There is no peace.

Men walking into the white dust
Fire, Police, ATF.
("We saw on Television")
Cloth in the window.
Media incompetence/inflated speculation- since 2000?
1991 clip faked- misdirected hostility
FOX best footage sensationalist
Black smoke and cameramen
110 stories
Surrounding buildings collapsed- Man carrying other's bags
American flag still wavering on TV
Gulianni on Telephone "Democracy is our Future"
Reiterate the Facts.
Mayhem 9am-11am
BUSH SPEAKS- Placated statement
Flight 11
Flight 77
Boston to LA hijacked by suicide "damage"? terrorists
Eyewitness bodies
Firetrucks demolished by debris
(Saviors go in to die)- Lost Firefighters
Western Pa Seword, H-city, PowerPlant Area
Comparison to Pearl Harbor
Gaping hole- dramatic smoke (on the water)
Both collapsed
Evacuate thru basement
Company sponsored terrorist acts! (this bomb brought to you by Verizon)
Oliver North - Al Haig - WAR!
Pentagon, F to A, plane collapse
-Have something to do with Gore and Clinton!
Stock markets closed/ never opened
economic carnage
2:05 pm Evacuated - bomb threat- taped and cautioned off
United and American Airlines
2- 757
2- 767
#'s 77, 11, 175, 93
Bush- from FLA to Lou. to Nebras. to
more than 50,000 people in center
Osama Bin Laden?- Afghanistan/Iraq/Middle E./Israel-Palistinians
Land dispute- Libya, Syria, Sudan
Voice Recorder "The Black Box"
Flights bound to LA- most fuel, least amount of time between conveniences
THREAT CON DELTA- highest formulated response for FBI & CIA alert Military
gravity kills
threat received against presidential mansion/residence
Yasser Arafat announcement- excited PLA
"The lure of the innocent"
Fed. Emerg. Response plan
Washed out holocaust film footage
abandoned bike
The Nature of Credible Threats
calling in threats
4 hijacked and are missing = 8 total?
asbestos/toxcicity/clothes blown right off
stoney creek township
where did #5 go down?
Somerset- shot down by apache helicopters? (coming 45 degree angle)
Newark to San Fran
No chunky debris, 45?ft crater, clipped trees, smoke, fire
Def Con 4
Capitol- car bomb
Camp David/White House intended target
FBI/Tom Ridge Press
9:58am call from bathroom
turned at Cleveland
Ignored warnings from associates of unpresedented US attack (blowback)
Cold War- well defined enemy
walking out of (US) on racist conference
boxcutters & knives- back of plane.
Tom Brokaw/Peter Jennings/Dan Rather
1,200 businesses
99 elevators
1976- Architectural edifices 1,350 ft. tall
6 stories of rubble
9/12- Noon. Somerset FBI Press Conference
6,000 body bags on standby
10:_ - President Address
Chuck Schumer (D.NY)- "New Era- Middle Ages clock)
US- the new colonialist Europe- (suitcase Nukes)
Progressives vs. Leftists?
diplomacy vs. nationalism!
"Orientalist" standpoint
Peace talks to back heritary regimes
Sanctions as govt?
American economy=people are money.
Taliban- "student", erected in 79- Russian conflict- 2/3 afghanis made refugees
Majority German or Russian NE US Policy Makers
"triage"- multicolored tags- red, yellow, green and black.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hype Alert!! - Introducing Modern Artists

A while back, way before I got into this modeling racket, a friend from high school, Brad, asked me a very astute question: where could he start buying art.

Real modern art with investment value with which he could fill out a budding collection.

Often, from working so closely with artists, I think the whole world is composed of them. I don't realize that there are potential buyers out there my age and even younger who are really hungry to establish for themselves a solid collection.

Most of us "stumble upon" the things we like. The internet has fucked with this kind of culture in repeated ways, some good most bad, but fortunately there is still nothing in the world like going into an antique or thrift shop and entering a different world. Becoming enamored of an object (or three!) of often pragmatic but certainly always aesthetic, value, and enhancing your life or the life of someone else thru a gift.

This is slightly harder to do in the "show at the gallery" culture. All the artists I know are true this way- they would much rather be making art and working in their studios than standing around talking about said piece or process in a crowd of people. If you want to get to know an artist personally, this is not the place to do it. Find a way to contact them and make an appointment. Altho' artists (sensitive, compassionate, etc.), these are still business-minded individuals and this means "time is money."

This is not to say that the gallery opening is not ideal. Good art sells. Period. And it is a buyer's market right now. Go early so you can see what you like. Visit again when you've turned over the image in your mind and the crowd is away. The art won't be available for you to take home until the show comes down, so you'll have about a month to decide where said piece fits amongst your belongings. There is no such thing as buyer's remorse when you support those who dare to define culture thru a singular articulate vision.

With this in mind, I would like to introduce you all to some artists whom I consider to be masters of their craft. Some teach. Most are based in Chicago. I have been privileged to work with each on at least one occasion.

These artists are the living canon. All of them are prize winners, and some have work in the permanent collections of museums. Their work and the work of others like them accurately represents the majesty of not just the figure (their subject matter varies), but also the magnificent possibilities of the mediums in which they work (mostly oils, but sometimes watercolor, pastels, wood, etc.).

Best of luck!

Bruno Surdo - Founder of the School of Representational Art in Chicago and mentor to countless artists, budding and established alike. A man enamored of craftsmanship and wit, Bruno paints with an eye for the timely metaphor and purpose of pose. Very much in demand.

Mike Rubenstein - Here is an artist who reveals a story inside of every single piece of work. Exuberant, luxurious, and a modest observer of the 80s with a penchant for the feminine form.

Andy Conklin and Helen Oh - A husband and wife whose bodies of work couldn't be further from one another in scope and scale, and this is what makes them so dynamic as a pair. Instructors at Harrington College of Design, they must be seen to be believed.

Tom Robinson - A star of the current issue of New American Paintings, Tom's work is sweeping in scale, edgy, sexy and celebratory of the feminine. The complexity of his woodwork is always new, always amazing.

Richard Halsted - Portrait artist for the individual and the family. Never have I seen work so well done by students, or someone as passionate about teaching. "Radiant" and "Intuitive" are two words that come to mind immediately for Richard.

Mary Qian - Here's a woman who would teach if she could tear herself away from her own canvas for a minute. Paint, breath, sleep, eat- in that order. Her work is gaining international attention, and the prices are going up because of it!

Amanda Johnson - Young, beautiful, electric. Amanda has studied art all over the world and it shows. With massive abstracts or gentle interpretations of nature, she too is fast gaining attention and moving lots of work.

Stephan Gianinni - Stephan's work rings a beauty that aches to be seen (Girl-in-Subway painting above). I'd swear actual, physical love comes thru this man's brush. An adept restorations expert with a mean case of wanderlust, find a way to own something this soft genius touched. You won't be disappointed.

Stuart Fullerton - A driven "plein air", or outdoor, painter, Stuart's work is subtle magic. Very active with the Palette and Chisel Academy of Art, and shows frequently. There is something here for anyone with a pulse.