Tuesday, April 27, 2010

kill the artists

My work borders on a sensibility that transcends contemporary art clich├ęs to include social issues of media influences and psychological hierarchies. I am stimulated by culture, either popular or ethnic. The hybridity of human behavior with the influx of the media has been a constant factor in my work over the years. The formal aspects of my work involve the investigation of form relating to illusion and image in motion. This contributes to how the viewer uses personal experience for image interpretation.
Being an artist I challenge ideals of beauty, normalcy and the voyeuristic desire behind the act of seeing by my combinations of form-based abstractions; attempting to bring self-consciousness to the prestigious power structures in human tastes. I work intuitively, seeking to express my human sensibility to the workings of what surrounds me. Travel, music, pop culture and the Internet provide the research grounds for the incubation period of my work.

Or, you could make things people want to look at.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

skid row - west madison

In the moth-eaten fringe of Chicago's Loop, TIME Correspondent James Bell encountered a wayfarer.
I found him at the corner of Desplaines and West Madison at 10 o'clock in the morning outside the House of Rothschild bar. His eyes were very red. He wobbled over and grinned a fixed grin. "Mister," he said, unsteadily touching his cap, "I gotta have a shot." He explained that he had just awakened in the alley behind. "I didn't get in no fight last night," he said more or less proudly, and then felt his face to make sure. No marks. No dried blood.
His name, he said, was "Juke." He was a little 125-lb. fellow. His eyes were sunk back in his ash-colored face; there was grime under his eyes and pasted into the wrinkles around his mouth and on his forehead. He wore a shirt that was once white; now it was black and yellow and there was spaghetti sauce over the left breast. His breath had the smell of vomit and cheap booze. Juke was unmistakably one of West Madison Street's citizens.
On Inflation. I bought him a drink, then three more, at Frank's tavern, and he told me how tough things were these days along Skid Row. "It's the inflation," he said, "a guy can't make a living on the bum any more. You gotta have 15 to 20 bucks a week. Used to be you could walk into the Shamrock and lay down 11¢ and the barkeep would pour you two stiff shots of rye. Now it costs you 20¢ a single shot at Frank's or Jack's or the House of All Nations.
"Bay rum is way up, when you can find it. Some of the boys used to swipe quarts of milk and then go to the gas station to beg gasoline for a spike. Milk isn't left on doorsteps any more. It costs 20¢ a quart and the jerks at the gas stations ain't very friendly any more.
"The food situation is just as bad. Used to be you could go into Thompson's and get two eggs, toast and a cup of scalding black coffee for 15¢. Now it costs you 35¢. Two sinkers and a cup of coffee is up from a nickel to 15¢. A plate of beef stew used to sell for a dime: now it costs you 30¢ and it ain't got no meat in it."
On Housing. "The flop houses—same thing. There was a time when you could go into the Workingmen's Palace, the Gem, Starr Hotel, the New Norway or the Portland and get a corner in the dorm for 14 to 20¢. For a quarter you could get a shower, too, and there were lights in the big room. Now you don't find a place to lay down on the floor for less than 30¢ a night and most places charge 40¢.
"Bumming is tough. You just can't go up and ask a man for a dime: he knows you can't get nothin' for a dime any more. Trouble is there are too many jobs offered along Madison Street. The railroads are doing everything except promising vice-presidencies. You can get 84¢an hour with $1.50 a day for board and room, plus transportation from West Madison Street to wherever the gandy-dancing job is. But the railroad employment offices on West Madison Street don't get any more men today than they did before the war when the standard wage was 45¢ an hour."
Juke finished his fourth drink. His eyes were clearer now and he could talk more distinctly.
We walked out of the tavern. Without a word of thanks, Juke walked down the street. The morning was hot and sultry. The wind blew the filth up from the gutters into your face. A workman was painting out the "25" after the "Rooms" sign at the Portland Hotel. I asked him what he was going to paint in its place. "Forty cents," he said.

Time mag 1946