Archive for July, 2005

Philip Guston Homage, My Life In A Nutshell

I did some work on my page with my paintings yesterday, making the images better. Here’s a new scan that’s nice, “My Life in a Nutshell,” from 2003.

My Life in a Nutshell, 24” by 20”, March, 2003,. Oil on canvas. Click here to see larger image.

My picture is based on the 1975 painting “Head and Bottle” by Philip Guston.

I’ve always loved this picture by Guston; it’s such a great representation of obsession with alcohol. My take-off, or homage, picture shows a guy who’s enslaved himself to his keyboard instead. His only hope of escape may be the alien inside the sun.

More NYC: Pony Tail, Van Gogh, Paul DiFilippo, Ships, Granddaughter

More images of NYC. Got a photo of a woman with a no-nonsense pony tail like a dry water-color brush, reminding me of the students at San Jose State.

At the Met you’re allowed to take photos as long as you don’t use flash, and with the fast digital cams, you can get some nice things, like this detail of a van Gogh. I love what he does with his brush strokes. I always think of the “crazy-eight” motions that a dog makes with his muzzle when he's holding onto a piece of meat or a toy, shaking it in figure-eight patterns, then think of Van Gogh holding a brush in his mouth and doing crazy-eights to get his special texture.

Our last night there, John Oakes held a party on an old fire boat that’s berthed near Chelsea Piers. We sailed all around the lower tip of Manhattan. My pal and fellow writer Paul DiFilippo was aboard. Paul was in the canonical cyberpunk anthology Miror Shades and developed the “ribofunk” style of biology-based SF that I used for Frek and the Elixir. Speaking of Frek, after meeting with my editors, I think my next novel will be a sequel, starring, again, Frek and Renata.

The Staten Island ferry went past, illuminated, like the great ship glimpsed in Amarcord. “E la nave va.”

I miss my granddaughter already! Here’s a picture from when she was maybe four days old, starting to really look around and fasten on things with her eyes. Babies develop so rapidly that every day is different. Imagine if you kept that up for your whole life!

Mark Hadjipateras Mosaics, 28th St. Subway

I’m back in stunny Californee. Farewell Gotham!

Something great about the New York subways is the mosaics in many of the stations.

I particularly like the station at 28th and Broadway. These terrific mosaics are executed by some Italian craftsmen, working from paintings by the the New York artist Mark Hadjipateras — when I first saw them, I’d imagined them to be by the cartoonist Jim Woodring.

There’s even a cute animation/movie online of Hadjipateras with some of these images come to life; he calls them “City Dwellers.”

I think I’ll use the guy in the second picture as a model for some aliens to show up in Mathematicians in Love. I may call them Jimbos.

Publicity, Met, Pig Chef, Rucker Party

I met with some of the Thunder’s Mouth Press people helping to publish The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul: my publicist Anne Sullivan, my editor and long-time publisher John Oakes, and head of publicity Karen Auerbach.

We were at the Met earlier. Here’s two shots of a guy going up some stairs.

Back on the street I saw an ad for a new restuarant opened by our national execs. Note the sinister Pig Chef theme — ever consider the fact that pig chefs are cannibals devoted to murdering their fellows and selling off their oil-roasted flesh to the highest bidders?

On a completely random note, a guy called Dave Horowitz writes that he’s having “a tiny party in a small downstairs bar on Avenue A” and to add to the luster of the occasion he made up some posters as if Washer Drop were playing there!

Unfortunately, I won’t be in NYC anymore by then, or I could belt out come choruses of “Chainsaw Crying Clown” and “Hundred-Percent *sshole!”

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