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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vigil of the night sigil

The guardian angel Artemio Lopostrix protects all sleepers and dreamers under his eternally vigilant gaze. Wielding the Flame of Truth in his right hand and the Sword of Protection in his left virtually all monsters and demons are no match for his divine might.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thunderclouded valleys

Braddock, Pennsylvania? What the hell is in Braddock, Pennsylvania you ask? Well, I don’t know in general. I have never been there. But I do know one thing specifically. Are you interested to know? Well, lean closer and I will clue you in on a secret weapon that resides in Braddock, Pennsylvania and nowhere else. There resides a group of radical and enthusiastic artists that go by the collective name Transformazium. Through various and sundry networks of friends and collaborators I happen to know a couple of these Transformaziumites. One in particular, Leslie, invited me a couple months ago to participate in a fundraising event they were planning to take place in New York. I said okay, because Leslie is a stand up kind of lady.

Well, when she came to pick up the pieces I was donating for the big show we, as is our wont, fell into broad conversations about art and future plans. In the course of the conversation Leslie asked if I would ever consider doing a wall piece or mural in Braddock. Hell yes, I would. I explained that the conspicuous lack of large scale public art in my oeuvre had nothing to do with lack of interest or ability and everything to do with lack of legal opportunity. For the kind of work I would want to do I would need ample time and no paranoia. So, we discussed the possibility of a future project together.

Well, two days later I got an invite to do a piece in conjunction with the group show that opened last weekend. The building is Monster Island in Williamsburg, and the gallery that is hosting the show is Secret Project Robot. This building is the same place where Kayrock resides, the printers that printed my wedding invitations (see the blog archives). As a matter of fact Kayrock’s air conditioner was dripping on me 53% of my working time providing me with a delightful obstacle to completing a kind of piece I have never even done before! Joy!

The show closes officially this Saturday 18Oct08, with a dance party at 10pm, so if you live in the tri-state area come on out! My piece is permanent and will be there until the building is destroyed or a hater besmirches it or the residents of Monster Island decide to commission another artist to go over it. The title of the piece is Friedrich Blitzkrieg in the thunderclouded valley of the deathless gods, check it out:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the road again

When I fly my special pens bleed their black inky innards all over themselves. I assume this is caused by the change in air pressure. Apparently Austria is a special nation-sized pressure bubble, because the entire time we were there my pens were bleeding profusely. It would make sense if Austria were a special nation-sized pressure bubble, because the entire country is apparently the model for all snow globes. Not to be held subject to a tool or be outdone by a special nation-sized pressure bubble I had to resort to using my old-school 4-color Bic pens. Ed Fella is the unchallenged master of the 4-color Bic, but I am not going to let that fact slow me down. When I have to draw I have to draw. So, here are some of the images I drew in our travel guide while on planes and trains inside the snow globe that is Austria.

Billy James and Jukie the One-eyed Flying Fighting Fish

Basho on the left. Karl on the right.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Culture Shock

3,408 years ago a man laid down underneath the head of the Great Sphinx at Giza. The sun god was at its apex, blazing heat down onto the lone figure and the colossal stone monument-to-mystery. At that time the Great Sphinx was buried in sand up to its powerful shoulders. The man searched for respite from the sun god in the Great Sphinx’s shadow. As he slept beneath the chin of the stone god he was visited by a living god. Hamarkhis-Khopri-Ra-Tum appeared to the young man. “You will become a great man,” he said, “Hear my words and heed them, and you will be made great.” The young man was stunned silent by pious awe—piety and awe are profound modes of life that modern men are no longer capable of, but they were once powerful forces nonetheless. As he gazed in silence Hamarkhis-Khopri-Ra-Tum spoke once more, “Reveal my earthly form to this waning civilization. Restore my majestic glory on earth. Do this and you will taste of immortality.” When the young man awoke from the dream he was sweating and shivering, but he was neither hot nor feverish. He had been given a sacred vision, and he knew his transcendent responsibility.

The young man was the future Pharaoh Thothmos IV. 3,400 years ago he excavated and restored the Great Sphinx, which had been buried in drifting sands after more than 1,000 years of standing watch over the Egyptian tombs called the Great Pyramids. That’s right. The Great Sphinx is over 4,400 years old. Four thousand four hundred years this mythic masterpiece of human spirit has endured. Nowadays we call it a “marvel of human ingenuity,” but that is because we moderns are alien to awe and piety. For us the sacred is just an idea, it is not a value to live one’s life in accordance with. For us such a masterpiece is a marvel of human “ingenuity” and this is why we can’t comprehend its construction. It was not mere inventiveness that made this creature possible. The Great Sphinx could only have been made by a culture in whom the infinite and omnipotent power of spirit moved. A culture quickened and galvanized by a true mythic ethos. A culture for whom ethos was not merely a word, but a living power.

In our day we pride ourselves on having abolished slavery. But I wonder how much different the life of a slave then would have been to the life of a blue collar worker now? We trudge, zombie-like, to our miserable jobs every day searching desperately for any form of distraction to keep us from facing the abysmal truth of our pathetic and hopeless existence. The life of an Egyptian slave must have also been quite painful. But I wonder what it would have felt like to know that you were working on a monument that was truly powerful? A monument that was truly meaningful? A monument that was truly sublime? A monument that was truly awesome? They had to know. There was no escaping the monumentality of that job. If Egyptian slave, Abdul, met modern slave, Bill, what would they say? Abdul would point to an image of the Great Sphinx and say “I helped make that.” Bill would point to a toxin filled burger and say “I put that in a box.”