Feb 26, 2006
Lately i hate going to movie theatres. The other night i went with my girlfriend to see "Capote." We met in front of the theatre at 5: 30, got our tickets, bought some water at the concession stand and then entered the theatre. Every seat was filled by showtime. No one can budge. Since when did they start showing tons and tons of dumb commercials. The advertising world used to at least make a special commercial or two just for movie theatres. Now they show every piece of junk imaginable. These ads run on forever. I am not paying my money to watch advertisments. Then the previews start or should i say the barrage of previews. One or two is fine but when it gets to six and seven previews, i'm over it. This is all followed by the shut off your cell phones, please be quiet films. By the time the movie starts i'm ready to leave. I got out of Capote at about 8:15, nearly three hours later. I really wish they would release movies on DVD the same day it is released in theatres. I am so much more comfortable watching it on my high definition television with 5.1 surround sound. This Steven Soderbergh character is the first dude i've heard of who is actually going to release his movie on DVD the day it opens. It's a cheap little film he's made called "Bubble." There's no stars in it. Finally i feel like someone is trying to do something for me, the moviegoer. I hope this is the beginning of big changes in the film world. When i was a kid theatres used to show cartoons before the movie. People loved it and you felt like you were being given a treat. I would go back to movie theatres if they started showing a cartoon or two and one preview. It's unlikely to happpen so i will just do what i have been doing, wait for movies to come out on dvd before seeing them.
I remember how terrible i felt when the nutty Taliban blew up those giant Buddahs in Afghanistan. They were 165 feet high. Today i read that the Sunni's blew up a beautiful Shiite shrine in Samarra, Iraq. They knocked down a huge golden dome. Now the Shiite's are going to be blasting a few Sunni mosques. Every week some animal burns a church to the ground in Alabama or Georgia. Me, i just like sitting in front of my flat screen television with a cold beer watching the show "Extreme Home Makeover." It's the opposite of all the bad news stories in the world. They find some unfortunate souls with huge problems like their whole family has cancer or half the family dies in a car crash. Then they bulldoze their house to the ground just like the Taliban. In it's place they build the greatest home you've ever seen with every modern space age convenience. I never fail to ball my eyes out like a big queer. My girlfriend Yun always reminds me, "hey isn't your makeover show on now?" She just likes to see me all weepy and sissylike so she can mock me. Just like Extreme Makeover, all those shrines, mosques, temples and churches will be brought back to life better than before. Hopefully in the end right wins out over wrong just like in the comic books. Maybe i'm too simplistic but i feel i know a lot about the real world. I watch it every week on MTV.
Danny Gregory and i went to the Cental Park zoo to sketch on sunday. It was friggin cold. Nothing bothers us though because we love drawing so much. After the zoo we went to the Wolman skating rink. I drew the skyline beyond the park. When we were done and walking to the subway i brought something up to Danny that had been on my mind. I asked him if he thought it was weird that George W. Bush's Vice President shot a guy in the face while quail hunting and that by coincidence his father had a Vice President who just happened to be named Quayle. I told him i'd heard a hundred jokes but not one had made the quail, Quayle connection. Was it just an impossible task to make a joke out of this? I don't know the answer but it is strange given what a joke Dan Quayle was considered. My business is full of writers with plenty of free time. They spend most of their day surfing the net and coming up with jokes. Everyone from Leno to Letterman to Jon Stewart seemed to draw a blank on this one. If anyone's solved it, e-mail me i'd love to hear.
The latest issue of Photo District News (Feb 2006) has an article about my friend Chris Collins. You can view his photography work if you click on his name on my links. Part of the article talks about shooting a shoe for an ad we did together for Steve Madden. Collins and i have collaborated on many campaigns over the past fifteen years.The articles in this magazine are very technical. It's for professional photographers. When i am mentioned in these things i'm usually referred to as the asshole who had little to do with what was going on. And that my freinds, would be completely accurate. A few months ago they did a story on my friend Eva Mueller. That article also talked about ads we had done together. You can also check out her work on my links. It's always nice to get a little free publicity from your talented friends. If you spend a little time trolling my links you may find a lot of talented people. Most are friends of mine. The rest are people whose art work i have acquired over the years. It's definately a nice collection of freaks. You can check back from time to time because i will always be expanding my list. In New York you get to meet so many unusual people.
I like to really exaggerate people's faces sometimes when i draw. It still looks like them but i go as far as i can to make their features look all discombobulated. Here is a sketch i did of a model we used for an old Steve Madden ad. I also enclosed a close up of her face after the photographer Butch Belair distorted it for the print ad. The only thing i don't have is a straight photo of her. Too bad, it would have been great to compare.
Our Vice President shot a lawyer in the face the other day with a shotgun. Now we know why he received five deferments. My friend who hunts says an accident that like occurs when you clearly don't have a clue of what you're doing. All this Dick Cheney is a hunting woodsman gun toter is a lot of smoke and mirrors, i say. When hunting birds you form a line and only shot what is forward of you. Old dick swung the gun around and was blasting to the backside. Plus he had a cold brewsky beforehand. I asked my friend to look on the hunting blog sites to see what all the hunters were saying. He went to all his favorites and guess what? Not even a mention. It was all censored. All of it, on every site we searched. Spooky. Here we are fighting a war for people to have so called freedom and The NRA republican hunting dudes were all censoring their sites to help out dead eye Dick.
I've lived in manhattan for 25 years now. Recently it seems to be changing for the worst. The bowery has now become a place where new apartments go for 3 to 12 million dollars. The meat packing district has very little meat packing going on if you catch my drift. The second avenue deli is dead along with several other little eateries i used to frequent. All replaced by Starbucks, K-Marts, Dunkin Donuts and Chase banks. The only time i feel any creative energy or see any real mom and pop shops is when i visit Brooklyn. Of course all that is going to eventually change too. Especially when yuppie assholes like myself move in. I have become what i used to despise, the well to do jerk who sells his place for a lot of dough then moves into the seedy cool area only to want nicer places to open in that area. Thus attracting more advertising morons to move into the area until it is finally ruined. Watch out Brooklyn i may be on my way.
The old head of Fema, Michael brown, is going to testify again in front of the Senate this friday. He is publicly telling the white house that if they don't protect him and pay for his legal defense he will tell all he knows about his communications with Bush during Katrina. Translation: As bad as we think Our commander in chief was during the hurricane it was really worse. Far worse. I hope this Brown character does finally come clean. It will at least be a step in the right direction fixing the problem that occurred. Maybe Brownie can finally do something useful. Wouldn't that be a change.
The reason i journal is all because of a good friend of mine, Danny Gregory. He's published a few books on the subject and he has the best website bar none for learning how to journal. dannygregory.com. I have learned so much from this guy it's not even funny. I used to only draw in my house or office or stand at my easel and paint. He opened up a whole new world to me. Now i draw all the time. On a plane, in hotel rooms, travelling, waiting for a friend to arrive at a bar. Basically most of my free time is now in pursuit of being a better artist. It seems so obvious now to bring a small sketch book along wherever i go. But for 45 years i never thought to do it. Danny changed all that for me and i am very grateful to him. He also encouraged me to write my thoughts down. Believe me i have plenty of dumb thoughts rolling around in my head waiting to jump out onto the page. Go to his great website and you'll know what i'm talking about.
I did these drawing's at my freind Pat and Licha's farm in upstate New York. People always say to me it must be fun to draw. Yes it is but it is also torture. It's a kind of mental and physical torture. The only real fun is when i am finished and get to admire what i've accomplished. Drawing for me is a constant series of mistakes followed by constant attempts to correct the mistakes i just made two seconds ago. I need all the concentration i can muster. I'm never quite happy or satisfied while i'm in the actual process of doing it. It's very frustrating. People watching me must think that it looks very relaxing and joyful. I have a very calm exterior while i'm working but inside i'm full of doubt and anxiety. I don't want to put people off about drawing. I'm sure for some it is fun and relaxing. When i finish a drawing or two i am spent. i need to relax for a bit and rest my brain. Maybe the point i am trying to make is that even people who can draw quite well can have as much fear and uncertainty as someone who is a novice. So just keep trying. That's what i did.
Laura Bush visited the new Pope today. She is on her was to the Olympics in Torino. I wonder how difficult it is for her to travel around meeting people overseas. This summer i spent a month in Australia, a week in Hong Kong, a Week in Amsterdam, a week in Rome and a week in Venice. Everywhere i went, the second people realized i was american the first thing they wanted to know is, "how could you have voted for that George Bush fellow?" And i do mean every person. In Sydney i was staying next to an Australian naval base so i ran into a lot of sailors at the local pubs. Every one of them hated our President Bush, and these are our allies. It was very depressing to have to go through this routine again and again. Telling them that i did not vote for him and explain that there is a large part of america that feels the same way they did. It was the first time i was not proud to be from america. When Laura Bush goes around Italy i wonder if they hire actors and pay them to pretend to be ordinary citizens or does she get the same treatment i got everywhere. Trying to explain away the mess her husband has caused in the world must be a gruelling task.
I get to make a lot of silly ads for companies. One of the good things is casting beautiful models. The girl i chose for this wine ad was very unusual looking. I did a drawing of her at the shoot. She was quite surprised. I just got an e-mail from her saying she mailed it to her family in Ireland and they were all excited about it. This sketch came out really well. Deep down i still get a thrill out of getting a compliment although i don't always act like that is the case. I know very well i have skills and have accomplished a lot but somewhere inside me still lives a voice that says you're not really that good. There are millions of people better, that i basically suck. I guess that voice is what continues to make me strive to be much better.
A japanese magazine did an article on me. I think it's about a groovy talented art director doing unusual advertising. But of course i can't read japanese so it probably says i'm a stinky smelly american dog with very limited abilities. That would be closer to the truth anyway.
I see a lot of people are upset about cartoons lately. Muslims are burning every embassy in site. i wonder if any of my silly cartoons will upset anyone that much. Maybe just some corrupt Republicans. Although some of my friends get pissed when they see the portraits i did of them. My mom said, "do you HAVE to put in EVERY wrinkle?" I guess deep down cartoonists want to get a rize out of people.
I watched the big game with my friend of twenty five years Frankie V (V stands for Vigilante). There was about twenty of us. The V drank two sixes of beer, Smoked pot and ate ribs non-stop and never shut up once for three straight hours. I can't think of a better person to see the game with then him. We had a blast.