Thank you Huffington Post and Foursquare!

Well, even I must stop now and then to give myself a bit of kudos….   Several years ago I was involved is designing and constructing the interior and exterior of a a coffee shop named Rev in Smyrna, GA. Specifically, 1680 Spring Rd SE Ste B (at Jonquil Dr), Smyrna, GA 30080. Originally, it was a automotive repair garage, we morphed it into a coffee shop that has been operating successfully for a number of years now.

On January 20, The Huffington Post announced it was THE “best place for coffee” in the state of Georgia! The article was picked up by the Atlanta Journal/Constitution and cited “Foursquare users site the coffee (duh), quiche and bacon and cheddar muffins, as well as the atmosphere, as reasons Rev ranks so highly.”

I don’t make muffins and I don’t make coffee, but, I did make the atmosphere. (Also if you look closely at the first picture below, you will see my artwork for sale).

So, there you go…..   Thank you for indulging me and my ego.

Dreams…

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So how do you know when you are dreaming. A dreary day. Sunday at the Peter Anderson Arts Festival in Ocean Springs, MS…  Steady drizzle. Cool weather.

What you don’t see is the dreamy part.  Directly behind me is the show organizer, two hours earlier she asked me to come to the main stage because “I had won an award” but she wouldn’t say what it was for. Earlier in the day, my wife noted that they only gave out an limited amount of awards…four I think…  Anyway, I was surprised at best.

I wandered around for 15 minutes until I found the stage. A rather talented slide guitar player was entertaining twenty or so fans all huddled under an EZ Up tent in the middle of a field. I asked the man working the sound if I was in the right place. He assured me I was.

The drizzle left no where to “be.” I sat in a folding chair and immediately noticed it was a lot wetter than it looked. (Now my ass was sopping wet.) Several speeches later, they came to announce the awards. I remember hearing “Best of Show” then a seemingly long pause. Then the young woman (the show organizer) said my name.

I was floored.

I was summoned to the front of the stage, where I was handed the extremely large plaque I am holding. In front of me are a battery of photographers using a plethora of devices such as iPads, iPhones and alike. Not a camera in sight. However, each beckoned my attention.

Not being able to turn around, I heard a voice in my ear. It was the judge. She was gushing over how much she enjoyed my work. Unbeknownst to me was her identity. I could feel her hair touching mine, I felt the cold air and the drizzle that was falling horizontally with the wind, but, I had no idea who was talking with me.  Dreamy huh?

Later a fellow award winner sent me this photo. I think it is the woman in the orange ski vest that I owe my gratitude to?

I don’t know, but I was struck with the idea that perhaps dreams prepare us for the unworldly, unexpected things that happen in life. I don’t know, I’m just sayin….

Miraculous cures and the canonization of Basquiat

From Brian Eno, 1993

In the 18th and 19th centuries people were ‘taking the waters’ for a wide variety of illnesses. By this time the scientific medical establishment was quite well developed, and careful records were made of the patients’ conditions, their treatments and their progress. This documentation was made by doctors of good character and reputation: their work in other areas substantiates this. They were interested to discover what special properties spa waters had, and why the cures were so often effective. They failed in this, and the search for the curative agents was gradually abandoned, on the assumption that whatever special balance of minerals the waters contained was too subtle for the instruments of the day to register.

Modern instruments are much more sensitive, but they reveal (again and again) that there is no consistent difference between spa water and other kinds of water. It’s just water, exhibiting the natural variability of that substance. The effect of this non-discovery (the repeated failure to identify any special properties in spa water) diminished interest in water cures, which anyway by the late 19th century were going out of fashion. But it left unanswered a question, which seemed to be this: ‘Were those doctors of the 18th and 19th century wrong in either their observation or their reporting, or was there really something in the water?’

A possible solution appeared a few years ago. It was discovered (a surprise result of space exploration) that prolonged periods of weightless-ness have the effect of precipitating out heavy metals from the body. Heavy metals are mostly toxic. Space travellers return to Earth with less of them (and therefore less toxicity) in their systems. Now think back to ‘taking the waters’. Remember that these cures were of very long duration: typically you might remain in the water several hours a day for several weeks or months. In water, of course, you approach weightlessness. Could it be that ‘taking the waters’ is a way of cleansing the body of heavy-metal toxicity? Continue reading “Miraculous cures and the canonization of Basquiat”

Wow, we are going way faster than I thought.

Who won the war?

The Military-Industrial no, Media-Political Complex

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A week away and in NC more than $100M has been spent to win a job that pays a little over $100K per year…what?  Forty five years ago, Crosby Stills and Nash sang a song at Woodstock – “Wooden Ships.” In the song the lyric goes, “can you tell me please, who won the war?”  At the time we believed that the vast Military-Industrial complex were the rulers of the world and we were their pawns.

Today, I think differently.

The mainstream media creates a divide among the people. The create sides and force us to take sides. Their truth is ratings and money. They create situations which get people so worked up that the political machine can reach out and ask ordinary citizens for money…its called fund-raising. I can’t begin to tell you how many emails I got this year from both sides of the aisle.

When I looked into complaining, I found that the politicians conveniently allowed themselves permission to “spam-at-will” and merely requesting to be taken off of their mailing lists is impossible. The rules don’t apply to them.

So, if I can put this in context, the “news” of the day is that there is an impending crisis caused by one side or the other and the only answer is for me to contribute money so that the problem can be addressed. When I push send, my contribution might as well go directly to a particular broadcast, newscast outlet…the media!

In North Carolina, the system is working like a charm. More than $100M is going to those folks who run the machine. Nice cars, lavish homes, etc. Not a cent goes towards anything that could be constructive.  Its found money!  Money from yours and my pockets. They are preying on us like there is no tomorrow.

If you want to define the country as haves and have-nots, then look at the power holders and the non-productive members of our society…those who make nothing but money. Look at the media and the politicians, not our nation’s industry.

Art Is the Last Weapon (Give Peace a Chance)

The headlines are throwing me for a loop.  The one thing you would expect from a Nobel Peace Prize winner is, well, peace…  Not so fast.

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In 1969 John and Yoko offered a solution, an alternative, a simple idea…Give Peace a Chance.  There has not been a day of peace since then in my life. Peace has never gotten its “chance.”

The latest straw was a bunch of union thugs acting as protesters for “climate change.” Movie stars, musicians, celebrities, politicians, and other ne’er do wells flew in on private jets, the so called protesters left mountains of trash and hardest of all, when asked why they weren’t protesting the new military initiatives in Syria, the response was they were “burned out.”  Protesting is just another job I guess, everybody needs a small vacation. The environment can’t cry out at the hypocrisy.  On to page two in the news.

It wasn’t always like that. A simple idea like peace used to carry water.  People used to actually care.

I guess the bottom-line is there is more money in making bullets than making art. Both sides have got to get that stuff from somewhere. Democrats and Republicans agree on it.

As an artist, what is left? We can’t rely on the media, they are totally indifferent. Naked pictures of celebrities are more important than death in the desert. Most people get their news from the mouths of comedians. Talking heads make millions. Does anybody care?

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Art. Art. Art. All we are left with is making “peace bombs.” Art is the other end of the spectrum from war. Guernica never killed anyone, it only reported on killingThe only way for peace to ever get its chance is in a painting, a sculpture, a small  thing of beauty, a respite from the madness of the world.

I mean, what is the point of saving the earth if it only to be populated by vicious killers?

Eric Legge, America’s Newest Reality TV Superstar!

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Check out this new pilot…

Visual art, tatoos and food

How Food Stole the Avant-Garde: Letter From Copenhagen

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http://hyperallergic.com/148589/how-food-stole-the-avant-garde-letter-from-copenhagen

Good morning. I am sitting here wondering if one of those man-on-the-street, horseback research studies would show that people are more aware of “pop” chefs than of contemporary “artists.” I would love to go around and ask a dozen people to name a living artist…

Balance this with the phenomenon of the investment folks make in tattoos…they pay top dollar for a small image to be permanently put on their bodies, yet are reluctant to purchase wall art?

Just food for thought.

Walking is falling forward…

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“Walking is falling forward.

Each step we take is an arrested plunge, a collapse averted, a disaster braked. In this way, to walk becomes an act of faith. We perform it daily: a two-beat miracle—an iambic teetering, a holding on and letting go.” Paul Salopek

Rained out at an art festival I sat down and by chance opened this NatGeo.  This was the opening to a story about walking the path of civilization. I negotiated taking the publication home with the promise I would return it upon completion. Last night I settled in to read it and well, it wasn’t much of an article and the book will be completed in 2016. Oh well, what a start!

For more you can go to http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com

The “New” Fame

bankseyIt hit me like a brick this morning. The price of fame has inflated to such a high price that it is no longer desirable!

In one hand I have a doll of Andy Warhol, in the other hand a doll resembling Banksy. The Warhol doll was carefully crafted to be “highly recognizable” in black and white, the two most dominant colors of print media ( i.e. newspapers) in the 1960’s. It has a wig, the face is pale, often the wardrobe is black and white. Overall it is highly recognizable.

In my other hand is a doll with no face, no clothes, no distinguishing marks whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I am not really sure it is a “Banksy” doll?

Each of the dolls sells well. Each has made its mark on history. The work of each commands a small (or large) fortune, each has legions of followers.

The odd thing is the Banksy doll is newer. It no longer wants to enter a room and have everything stop. It much prefers to go into a restaurant with his family and sit down to a “normal” dinner. It doesn’t want to be hounded by the press, chased by paparazzi, filtered by handlers and molded by critics…Jerry Saltz is sooo jealous of this doll.

What makes the newer doll most interesting is that it is the only doll of all of the dolls on the shelf – the actor/actress dolls, producer/director dolls, political, musician, and performing arts dolls that can go down the street unnoticed…yet it can communicate with its audience at will bringing uncensored messages, messages that do not have to pass through social filters…this doll goes where it wants does what it wants to do, this doll is “part-of” rather than “apart-from” the society it choses to mirror.

Huh?

Welcome to 2014. Have a nice year.