Saturday, March 26, 2011

Poetic License

“Musical Legends” ran monthly from ’92 in PULSE! Magazine, which was distributed at all Tower Records stores until the demise of the corporation in ’02. The money was never quite enough, though too good to abandon the strip. Each cartoon biography involved extensive research and the occasional interview. This is the only one I made up! I thought the word “Legends” gave me artistic license. The reason it sounds so believable is that I had first hand information from my father, who was the official bat-boy for the Chicago White Sox in either ’19, or ’20. As the local purveyor of dogs to the Chisox dugout, he was pressed into service by the hungry Ruth to fetch some top quality dogs pronto. When Pop, then a mere sprout of ten, delivered the goods, the “Bambino” palmed one down exactly as shown. As for Waller, I extrapolated several details from his biographers, such as the gin breakfast. In the unlikely event that I ever have to answer to St. Peter, I’ll justify my white lie thus: “Okay, Fats didn’t mimic Ruth’s gluttonous gesture, but it’s arguably a poetic reality.”

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Pause That Refreshes

  Over the decades, words come into vogue which connote some kind of intellectual currency. From that old-saw “realms”, we’ve now progressed to such lofty and vague terms as “epiphany,” or “paradigm,” to suggest that some kind of shift in consciousness is necessary to navigate a new reality--or that it’s already here--and you better get on board, buddy. Yet when these faddish words start showing up on bumper stickers and evening news items, perhaps it’s time to look inward and define mental phenomenon with more acuity. Something is going on, though, with the role of the artist in the world-at large. The marketing of original art and all the assumptions I had about earning a livelihood through my real work seem to be in a permanent state of flux.
  In the blogosphere, I am just one more self-motivated content provider. I question my motives. I’m not sure that this rigorous self-examination (or even Spell-check) is too common among my millions of virtual peers. Let’s face it, insanity runs rampant in many fonts, including the Times that I have chosen. I am amazed at the lack of meaningful response to the verbiage I have offered (or substantive comments on the images themselves). I have no doubt that my images are compelling or that my words have legitimacy, so I must question the new culture itself. There is little hope of reaping material rewards or recognition from this egalitarian medium. All agencies of certification and qualification are gone, save for the attendance records registered as STATS. My use of the King’s English is merely a personal preference and all notions of cultural conservation are fair game for mockery. Everyman is now king, and yet, it’s “every man for himself” as the saying goes, in the face of disaster.
  Mass appropriation is a raging phenomenon. Option G (which makes the little © ball) is an antiquated notion, much like double-spacing after a period or starting any letter with Dear. While my motivation for creating this site is still unfolding, The images and entries are intended for re-publication in some format, perhaps posthumously; I have cannily posted most at 72 dpi, assuring that free usage for print is impractical (though I have nothing against sharing files). So why not take a little time to scroll through the archives? If this were some coffee table book, you would surely thumb through it from random insertion points. Start anywhere. I will provide fresh content for your insatiable appetite next week, which you can accept or reject with a twitch of your thumb.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chris Farley 1964-1997

 "Chris Farley Memory", block print & watercolor, 9" x 12", 2011

  I grew up with the cerebral “sick” comedians. I caught the Second City in its earliest days, but I am not an aficionado of modern comedy. Nor have I kept up with film or television. Farley’s tormented antics, apart from all other comedians, consistently reached me at a visceral level. His death was a tragedy that could have been prevented with a little foresight. Now he comes unbidden from the shadows, perhaps from the astral plane, and still provokes astonishment and delight. Loftier art forms lack that telepathic power.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Later Than You Think

Silkscreen print, edition of 100, 18" x 24", 2006

Holidays and noteworthy events seem to occur at a faster pace as we careen around the yearly circuit,