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Freedom 515 - New York

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Axel Cox
Axel Cox

Keep Your Fucking Illiterate Hands Off Us Writers

Isn't it time we collectively stood up to Big Card? Every damned card now costs $8.99 and plays the Macarena when you open it or shoots a fucking confetti cannon. I saw a Mother's Day card that actually contained a packet of flower seeds (and of course cost nine bucks). There used to be at least a decent offering of $3 or $4 cards without complex add-ons, until the vast Hallmark Takeover eliminated those options. I just want to buy a fucking folded piece of paper with some flowery or mildly humorous words that convey the message "I didn't forget your birthday this year."

Keep Your Fucking Illiterate Hands Off Us Writers

You know this napkin. This fucking napkin. It's the kind you find on the countertop at your local pizza shop. They're cheap, thin (is there such a thing as half a ply?) and come in tall, spring-loaded dispensers. They even have a name: the tall-fold. You have used twenty-seven of these nearly useless things to keep your fingers semi-clean while eating a single slice. If you're like, "I dunno those napkins aren't so bad," then I don't know what to say to you. My question is what to do with the dirty ones mid-meal. They're not designed to lay on your lap, proper-style, and the places where you encounter them aren't like that anyway. But it seems gross to leave them out in full view. I find myself balling them up and storing them between my legs. But that's a whole different kind of nasty. I'm also palpably afraid someone will use their cell phone to record my hands making all those crotch trips. I really don't need to be in a viral video right now. Your advice would be appreciated.

PIZZINI, SYSTEM OF. That Provenzano typed his hidden orders on a pizzino, then sent this note by a long, circuitous route, passing through many hands, until it finally reached its recipient, might seem like an absolutely primitive method of correspondence. In keeping with this modest man who, seen on TV at the time of his arrest, looked like a peasant; in keeping with the bare, rustic farm where he hid those last years; in keeping with the bitter surrounding countryside.

Mel, if you keep your eyes peeled you might catch Carolyn as she swings by this planet from time to time. Oh, there she is now. Carolyn, this is Mel. Mel, this is Carolyn. I think you two might get along.

"Come on," he said, "we'll make a day of it. We can stop on the way and pick up some barbecue to eat on the plane. I'll even let you keep your seat in the reclining position during take-off and landing. Hell, you can turn your cellphone on -- just don't tell the Transportation Security Agency!"

"It's a little indulgence," Kettlewell said, bounding up the steps and shaking hands with a small, neat woman pilot, an African-American with corn-rows peeking out under her smart peaked cap. "Once you've flown in your own bird, you never go back."

"You're the best," he said, wobbling a little. "You know that? Just the best. The stuff you write about these guys, it makes me want to stand up and salute. You make us all seem so fucking glorious. We're going to end up taking over the world because you inspire us so. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, because you're not very self-conscious about it right now, but Andrea, you won't believe it because you're so goddamned modest, too. It's what makes your writing so right, so believable--"

8/24/2012Who wrote the famous ditty Funculi-Funicula? Tony Danza? Ted Danza? Luigi Denza?Young Land. Imitation One. End Apathy. Definite Hate. These are the names of bands. If I painted these names on canvas... should you love the painting, hate the painting, not care about the painting?James Joyce's title to his poetry collection Chamber Music was inspired while Joyce was entertaining a lady of easy virtue who retired behind a screen to relieve herself in a chamber pot. Upon hearing the sound of her "stream", Joyce declared, "now theirs a critic"... I'am always disappointing guests at party's... I'am neither inclined nor able to shine socially.'Why should I regret my talent? I haven't any... Chance furnishes me what I need. I am like a man who stumbles along; my foot strikes something, I bend over, and it is exactly what I want.'Virginia Woolf described Ulysses as 'an illiterate, underbred book... the book of a self-taught working man... egotistic, insistent, raw, and ultimately nauseating.''Piracy... Commerce without its folly-swaddles, just as God made it'. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911'.'There was a young man from St. John's/ Who wanted to Roger the swans./ "Oh no," said the porter,/ "Oblige with my daughter,/ The birds are reserved for the dons." 'To make something an entirely new thing... it can neither be what the eye sees or the ear hears. It can be only what the mind imagines from moment to moment.Woman's undergarments are a powerful fixation. I carry a pair of women's draws (from a doll) in my pocket.Footheated faces. I have found my new whetstone."If I am a sun, as you say, it's a sun which is often under an eclipse."As an artist, I am against every state.The word "amanuenses" will be the subject of a new "definition" painting by Howard Johnson.My story? You want my story? Fear of betrayal, unfulfilled marriage, sexual frustration, thwarted ambition, the smothering effects of religion, cruel and casual bigotry, the wretchedness of wasted lives.I painted nurses as a protest against myself.7/29/2012Let it bleedI wouldn't mind re-creating the stage that the Stones played on at Altamont. When you see it in the film Gimmie Shelter, it's pretty close to the ground and not at all that big. In other words, it was small and thrown together with crappy plywood the night before the concert. There was no "moat" or fence or other barrier around it to keep the fans away. I guess I could hire a Hell's Angel to walk around on it and keep a look out. ChuckwagonWalter Pichler passed away on July 16th. I remember seeing a catalogue of his "fantastical structures" in 1975? Anyway I loved them and the way he drew them and the fact that he retreated to his farm and built "underground" bunkers on his property. I loved them so much that I aped his style of drawing back in the mid-seventies and made several "after" Pichler drawings myself. I used hot-press drache paper and a number two-h pencil to do them. I stretched the paper with water-tape and applied a watery acrylic that would "pebble" on the surface of the paper. Fast forward... I just completed a small house shingled with "vinyl" long playing records on my own property upstate called "Loud Song"... It's just a simple one room structure, maybe 150 sq. ft. at most, with the most amazing views looking back at the Catskills. I'm thinking now maybe I should hang some of my Pichler-like drawings in the "Song"....7/4/2012I've never been a fan of "performance art". Well, maybe the word "fan" isn't the way to describe it. Indifferent is perhaps a better description. But I have to say after seeing the HBO doc. on Marina Abromovic I was kind of bowled over by the simplicity, and all the elemental stuff in that last piece of hers she calls The Artist Is Present. I think the title is brilliant. I can't think of a better way to describe what she was doing. And what she was doing hardly anything. I liked the way she muted her performance so that the audience became the real performers. Some of the relationships between her and her "sitters" almost became religious. (I wonder if she thought about providing them with a day bed instead of a chair.) I've always thought that piece she did with her boyfriend Ulyee back in the seventies of just her and him standing naked in a doorway so that when and if you went thru the doorway you kind of had to step in sideways and maybe even the stepping in sideways might make you brush up against their nakedness. That piece for me is the spiral jetty of performance art. And while I'm on the subject, don't forget Valerie Export. I met her once out in L.A. I've always loved that photograph she did where she's sitting down full frontal holding a gun and has cut a hole in the crotch of her jeans exposing her vagina and a big bush of pubic hair... I mean the whole vibe of that image was so "right on" late sixties up against the wall motherfucker don't cry for me Patty Hearst. The way she "electrified" her hair in that picture kicked the ever loving jams out of the park. On an aside... Valerie's "tits" in a box piece is in the top ten. Just to re-aquaint... she strapped a cardbox over her chest and if you gave her something like a dollar you or a friend could put your hands in the box and, well... cop a feel. There's great footage of her walking around somewhere like Prague and having complete strangers coming up to her and fondling and holding and squeezing and basically just getting it on with breasts. (Oh and and)... before I forget one more performance piece. David Hammonds selling snow balls on St. Marks Place. I don't know what to say about that one. To good to be true? Pure? Perfect? (This "oh and and" could go on) Chris Burden hiding on a platform he built into the corner of a gallery in the late seventies in NYC, (I forget the gallery... it was uptown). The platform was built "kittycorner" and just high enough off the floor so when and if you stood in the gallery you wouldn't know he was there. I mean I was there. I remember. I was. Standing, looking up, wondering... is he there? I'm here but is he? I once did a performance piece in the late seventies. At a place on Broadway in Soho called the Gromet Theater. It was pretty lame. I put my girlfriend on a swing, naked... and I laid underneath her in a black suit and as she passed over me swinging, she would mark me with a piece of chalk. It had something to do with Jesus but exactly what I forget. Flesh? Sacrifice? Pulling a "dater" from a fishes mouth? As I said pretty lame. (At least the audience got to see a naked lady). Maybe that performance was why I've always been a bit ambivalent about the art form. 7/1/2012"Horsing Around"The Priest says to the Rabbi: "See that alter boy over there? Want to fuck him?" The Rabbi says, "Fuck him out of what?"When Tim Curly, the official in charge of the campus police at Penn State was informed that a ten year old was butt fucked in a Penn State locker room shower by Jerry Sandusky, he insisted that the nature of the assault amounted to little more than "horsing around". "Horsing around"? A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says to the horse... "hey buddy, why the long face?""A horse is a horse of course of course". Mr Ed.I'm not sure where this is going. I guess my going has something to do with that "description". I understand "why a duck"... but why a horse? When I read Tim Curly's description... that he was "under the impression" that the assault was little more than "horse play"... I couldn't stop thinking about those words. Curly's "impression" was what? A different color? Or was it something more artful? I don't know. I don't have a clue. I'm at a loss for words. 6/30/2012"This morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How it got in my pajamas I don't know." Marxism, 303 Gallery NYC June 29 thru July... 6/29/2012"Garbage and trash are pages of history just as valid in their own way as generals and kings." Richard Brautigan"When I had Kennedy assassinated I didn't mean to get my good friend John Connelly wounded." Lyndon Baines Johnson"How to make art part two. You take a glass eye and ask your wife to put it in her vagina. You take a photograph of the glass eye in your wife's vagina and call it "'The Hairy Eyeball'." Howard Johnson6/24/2012Panaman is the name of a new superhero. He's Panamanian. He was unearthed when the Americans were down in Panama digging the Panama Canal. He's 115 years old but looks 35. He calls himself a Zonian. His power is not unlike that of a diplomat. He's immune. To what, I cannot say. (I've already tipped off the anti-aging angle). I hope to debut this character at the next Comic Con... The one thing I can tell you is that "he's" down to earth. He will not "transform". If he looses an arm it will not grow back.There will be no magical surge or pulsating lights emanating from anywhere on his body. He will not be leaping over buildings in a single bound. If he needs to fly he will take a plane. (They'll be nothing StarTrek about the guy) Right now he will be "protected". The where's and when's and how's of this "protection" will be revealed after he gets some much needed sleep. All I can say is that his "actions" will be a result of the knowledge he gets from reading twenty, thirty, forty books a day. All you need to know is that he knows... and what he knows is how he survives... One more thing... he likes the jungle...6/23/2012According to the Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the killing, "the people who were killed were dancing". "Dancing is strictly illegal and prohibited in Islam".The bulkhead of the ship the Lightburne, which sank in 1939 about 35 miles east of Montauk on Long Island has over the years been encrusted with blue mussels. The "look" of the wreck reminds me of a new Damien Hirst sculpture.Someone named Ken Johnson wrote in the New York Times today an article on LeRoy Neiman. "The Art of LeRoy Neiman Made a Splash But Never Waves". I think this "hack" Ken Johnson is himself covered in blue mussels and doesn't dance. Either that or he's never been in a position to claim responsibility...6/20/2012Sofa SizeLeroy Neiman passed away yesterday. He was an artist that was linked to Playboy Magazine and the sports world. He created a character called the Femlin for Playboy back in the late fifties that continues to appear in the publication to this day. I own one of the earliest "studies" of this "character/cartoon" and have it hanging next to a copy of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. (The album is signed by Gerhard Richter, whose painting appears on the cover) Neiman's work was never embraced by the art world or its critics. He didn't stand a chance. He was a stud muffin. A guy with a mustache that crossed his entire face. A bon-viant. A rake. A man about town. He was right out of central casting. I always thought if Hollywood were to cast an artist for a movie they couldn't of gone wrong casting Leroy. Neiman wore ascots and favored Nehru jackets. He was never without a cigar known as a "charute" (not sure of that spelling) The guy had style. Not only in the way he presented himself but, if and when you look up "painting style" in the dictionary, Leroy Neiman's name is part of the definition. Neiman, in an interview in 1996, said he didn't care what the critics said about his paintings. He knew he wasn't going to be part of the "inner circle". (What can you say when your muse is Leon Spinks) October and Art Forum were never going to put his work on their covers. The best he could hope for is a "listing" in Elle Decor. Neiman's paintings were a concoction from a fanciful dandy. A head-on collision of abstract expressionism and Monet's water lilies. (Monet was Neiman's favorite painter) They were done quickly, in a day, sometimes done on camera, right in front of a television audience that would burst into applause after he "flourished" his name and signature on the bottom right of the painting. Yes, Neiman was a showman. A master of ceremonies. Step right this way. His paintings? To me? It's simple...they're naked and they dance. 6/13/2012This coming Tuesday I have a meeting with the folks from HBO. They want to talk to me about my idea for a new game show. It's called "Who Gives A Shit". I think the fact that they don't have game show in their line up appeals to them. Either that or they just want milk my brain and be polite. (Humor me? I don't think so...Fuck me over and steal my first born is more like it). My pitch to them will be simple. Holograms of dead TV stars mixed in with real live celebrities. For example Bob Krane and Richard Dawson, (dead) saddled up next to Mason Williams and Jimmy Walker. I was thinking about Art Linkletter as the host, but I think he's still pissed about his kid thinking he could fly out of a ten story window when he was on LSD. (Kids say the darndest things) That's all I can tell you right now. I'd let the cat out of the bag but then I'd have to have a cat to let out of a bag. This much I can tell you. The show will be a serious mash up of Soupy Sales. Queen For A Day. Uncle Floyd. Glenn O'Brian's TV Party. And the Joe Franklin show. As they say in La La Land... "stay up, stay hard, stay tuned"... 6/1/2012When Richard Brautigan was told he wrote like a sixteen year old, his reaction was "really?"...Brautigan was "gruesomely loathed to talk critically" but when asked to comment on the new James Jones book he said, "terrible, everything is in there, nothing is left out."Out now... "Jubilee Hitchhiker", (the life and times of Richard Brautigan), by William Hjortsberg.And if you happen to come across this post Mr. Hjortsburg, I read your books Alp and Grey Matters years ago and really liked them.5/30/2012Jacob Zuma, the president of Johannesburg? Cape Town? South Africa?... all three? had his portrait done by Cape Town artist Brett Murray. The painting portrayed Mr. Zuma "in a Leninesque pose with his genitals exposed". Mr. Zuma has four wives and more than 20 children. The artist titled his portrait of Mr. Zuma "The Spear". This is something that the artist Mark Flood might interested in commenting on. If he is aware of this story I would welcome his thoughts. I asked my new artist friend Howard Johnson his take on the matter and he said, and I quote... I'm still a bit puzzled over the word "genitals".(On another matter) To Russia with love: Let my Pussy Riot go!Henry Ford once said "I wouldn't give you five dollars for all the modern art in the world".William de Kooning would spread his arms out and say, "this is all the space I need"....Is there such a thing as God Paintings?When I was growing up the Lone Ranger and Tonto were an important part of my day.Lew Welch, the beat poet, once worked for an advertising company in Chicago in the fifties, and came up with the jingle..."Raid kills bugs dead"....It's hard to ignore the influence of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone.Lothar And The Hand People was one of my favorite Boston bands.In 1954, Lord Buckley wrote a little book of verse called "Hipporama"... He later appeared on the television show You Bet Your Life, (hosted by Groucho Marx)...Two of my favorite painters are Jonathan Winters and Phyllis Diller...The Diggers opened up a store in 1967 in San Francisco. Instead of charging the customer money, everything was free...I'm going to be giving a talk, a "lecture" at Yale soon. Sometime in late April. I would like to talk about photography and how it coats and pours over what's out there in front of me...I just had a show in Malaga... at the Picasso Museum. I always liked the fact that Picasso grounded his work in the figure. And... when he was in his "rose" period, he used black and white photographs of Greek and Roman sculpture as source material for inspiration. The way the photographs would "shade" the features of the


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