Saturday, April 30, 2011
For a few years my dearest friend was a young man from Oxkutzcab, Yucatan, by the name of Andres Mena. We are still friends these many years later, but I hardly ever see him now. His cousin, Edgar Pacheco, is still my roommate after 16 years (which certainly wouldn't have been possible without my preexisting friendship with Andres,) and he, also, rarely speaks with him. Andres's two children are rapidly growing up and he's obsessed with his amateur baseball league (as Edgar is with his futbol) and he only gets in touch with us if he needs a favor. I think the favors he asks of us are really excuses for seeing us and not the other way around, because what he asks of us is usually something someone else could do better or doesn't really need to be done.
The images I've chosen here are not necessarily my best portraits of Andres; rather, each is a photo of him posing in front of a mural I painted; that is, except for the very first image, which is a portrait I painted of him as a character in my Briar Rose mural, where he portrays the young prince who wakes the Sleeping Beauty after her hundred years of sleep.
This final photo is a study for a portrait of Andres and his then fiancé and now wife, Miriam; and it was used as the basis for two figures of the central figures in the final mural I painted for The Cheap Art Store.
Friday, April 29, 2011
One of those rare souls who reads this blog regularly asked me in an e-mail to not stint on the young Latin sex gods I indulge myself in exhibiting from time to time. Noticing that I had not done so of late, and per his request, I now would like to introduce you to these images of a young gogo-boy from Los Angeles who had a profile on Xtube in times seemingly long past. While I have never had any direct physical or verbal exchange with this fellow (though I was briefly one of his many thousands of "friends" on the aforementioned site where he presented himself,) I have long admired his great physical beauty and openly comic soul.
For me, Chopan has the appearance of not only a young man of exceptional good taste, but one who must taste good as well.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
For the sake of some friends, one of whom recently died, and as research for the novel I've been working on for the last four years, The Crumpled Bills, I started investigating how one goes about removing the Trustee of a Trust when this person violates the terms of the Trust. I'm not sure that the process is worth pursuing through the Courts, as the above passage from The Pickwick Papers is meant to demonstrate; but when faced with blatant venality (according to my dictionary: the use of a position of trust for dishonest gain) what is one to do?
The images presented here all relate (at least tangentially) in one way or several to this matter I'm investigating and the narrative I'm constructing. The architectural renderings were painted by Joseph Gandy, a brilliant architect in his own right and an extraordinary illustrator of the visions of his master, John Soane. Both of these men served as the models for characters in my unfinished Magnum Opus. The Mosaic of the Skull (circa 30 AD) decorated a table top found in the ashes of Pompeii; and the Plastered Skull from Jericho (circa 7000 BCE) is considered to be the first known portrait of an individual person.
Monday, April 25, 2011
These drawings, other than the one above, were made seven or eight years ago and were based on photographs shot from a VHS tape recording of the Expanding Secret Company's dance theater play: Girl In First Position, which Tamar Schumann wrote, choreographed and directed in the summer of 1986 in Vermont. Another (expanded) version of this show was presented at La MaMa Galleria at 6 East First Street in Manhattan during the winter of 1987. It was based on Charles Perrault's La Belle et la Bête and I had the privilege to play The Beast. The drawing above I drew this morning and it is based on a photograph of myself and Talia Falconi taken during the first run of the show in a scene where she is posing as a boy. Talia is an Ecuadoran dancer and graduate of the Martha Graham School, who now has her own dance company in Venezuela. She, appropriately, played Beauty in the summer production, along with Susie Dennison and Maria Schumann. In the winter, Talia was back in Ecuador and couldn't appear. The final drawing below shows, arm in arm, Susie & Talia (front) and Maria & me (behind.) The drawing directly below shows Talia with a lit candle, me, crawling on my belly after her, and Amy Trompetter, as her jealous older sister.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The performance, La Ley Es Ilegal, was presented to a small invited audience in the storefront of The Cheap Art Store in March of 1994. It was recorded on video, and documentary photos were taken. The first part consisted of a puppet play using Francois Villon's poem, Le Debat de Villon et Son Cuer, as dialogue. The second part spoke of a recent INS round-up of "illegal aliens" conveniently scheduled at the end of picking season so as not to disrupt the agri-industrial economy. This monologue compared recent immigrants to a living human heart (the strongest muscle in the body) and accused the INS of enacting a grotesque parody of the Aztec Heart Extraction Sacrifice. I then pulled a pig's heart from the inside breast pocket of my jacket, dosed it with alcohol and set it on fire in a porcelain bowl. As the heart burned I danced a simple rhythmic step dance to a cancion Peruana from the mid-sixties that recounted the many deaths of the construction workers who built the Peruvian stretch of the Pan-American Highway. The performance ended with my offering the audience some tea that was said to be good for the heart.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Sadly, I don't have more extensive documentation of the performance, Nostalgia, which accompanied the murals inspired by Zéro De Conduite. All that remains of this short spectacle are the remnants cast before you here. Still, as photographs of these remains, I find they hold up rather well.