Open Studio Hartford, My Goodness What A Mess!

Posted: November 12, 2017 in a BIG HA HA HA, for your reflection, we dig it.

by Punkpink

Down from the wilds of Vermont where any reader of this site knows I am now living on a farm with four other people, forging the woods for food, taking care of chickens, goats, two Alpacas, a few ducks, fields of dandelions, vegetable gardens and just working hard chopping wood and getting ready for the coming winter. Benny, myself and Mark from down the woods finished 2 cabins this summer and now we are trying to convince 2 certain someone’s to come on up and stay with us. Here I am taking a break back visiting my old stomping grounds of Hartford Ct. where so many times years ago I got myself in a bit of trouble with some folks in the arts, LGBT, and other communities for writing what I consider to be something that needs to be said. I always believed that I said it so well, stuff that no one wanted to hear. Too bad was my moto. So here I am in the big city of Hartford. Now I have been in bigger cities in my life, lived in some, had great times in others but Hartford is dear to me because some of my dearest friends are here and of course this is where my favorite blog is. So what to do in Hartford this weekend. I see there is something that they call Open Studio, hyped up all over the place. Come on out, get on the shuttle, see the artists in their natural habitat. You have 2 days, fill it up.

Here’s their promise from the literature that I have seen. If you go all about town you will be able to see the works of over 300 artists. Yeah, folks you read that right. Over 300 artists. My goodness there are artists here and artists there and artists everywhere if you want to believe the hype. “Heavens,” said Betsy, “maybe some type of evolutionary thing is happening on earth and we are in the mist of a great change.” You know if you think of Hartford that is only one little dot on the art trail, every city, every town, every suburb, every hamlet, even out the woods there are artists and their number seems to be growing every day. Our old art teacher used to say if everyone became an artist war would end. Well we are on fast forward to that goal and we are experiencing more wars than ever. Can’t folks spend more time on ending war than on making “not art”?

One wall as in many. Picasso Lives!!! (2)

If one was to review Open Studio and be honest without being a sympathic wimp, without worrying about someone down the street not likeing you, caring little if you are seen with the most famous artist in the town at any opening, about fitting in, or being hipper than the next gal, or of course like me able to get out of town in a flash  one would have to begin like this.

Open Studio: To Turn An Old Phrase–More is Less. 

A great mass, a Hodge Podge of doodlers, who would do well to donate their art supplies to someone else, maybe a real artist in the crowd and go about the business of saving the whales or helping to give mother earth a break by scooping plastic out of her oceans. Your passion would be welcomed in many a place. Right now you are in the wrong box no matter how hard you try you will never be an artist. You are wasting your money and your time. Come on folks let’s get real here, 300+ people all claim to be some type of artist I can only say NAH! Never! Is Not! Nor shall it ever be!! Just because you have a creative bug somewhere in your system doesn’t allow you to claim the title of artist. You copy lessons, the techniques you learned in art school, you’re making what is called “Just like art” amounts to nothing more than something that someone can use to cover a hole, crack in the wall, or to decorate their place. Got a new sofa, need a work of art.  Just think if everyone who has the art bug devoted their passion to getting rid of the present administration, filling their time with learning about revolution rather than upholding bourgeoisie notions of art what a great world we would create.

We have far too many who claim, I am artist, see what I do. I have learned my lessons well. But in the seeing all one sees is copyists. How sad. Even old aunt Helen and tattooed Joe is in on the act and Hartford will soon have its own Paint Bar. Come on in drink and paint. You can take home the painting at the end of the night. Just don’t get too drunk and paint the lady next to you with all of her clothes on. If you do remember me and paint her pink and then maybe just maybe you will have a career in art that goes beyond a one horse town.

“Oh come on,” says Mabel, “No one is hurting anyone by doing what they do.” “Well, said Joe, “how about art?” Art is getting a bad name. No I must say “Please remember art is much bigger than do-dads saying we make it.” Remember also that we do have other fish to fry in the art world. The money folks. The bastards that love art, buy art and all the while murder not only others in war but kill our earth. The 1 %. The Ugly, the horrible, the nasty, the unfit for humanity. Kill them now or kill them later? We would prefer now so their dirty works do not have a chance to spread.(1)

Reading over the overly glossy brochure I thought I was reading descriptions of previews or coming attractions. Here is some of them try hard now not to laugh: Meticulous drawings and dream like paintings, Lush and atmospheric, A painterly interpretation of reality, Compelling expressions from a vivid imagination, Painting that pop with provocative color and flirtatious style, (now give that the yum, yum come on over and see me sometime award), (we love this one) A conversation with the Divine. Painted Prayers, Vibrant abstract depictions of the world around me, Art which delights the senses and rewards the curious, Made from a mixture of junk and imagination, Celebrating the majesty of nature with cloth, yarn, and thread. WOW!!! and remember lots and lots of pots and bowls, scarves and hats, jewelry, beads, cards, knick knacks, whatnots, this and thats for everyone and more.  Bobby kept asking, “Is there was a petting zoo?” “I want to rub a goat.”

Art show greeting wall. Hi Keith!

As we said we really are starting to think maybe some type of evolutionary change is in the air. With all of these folks becoming creative maybe just maybe real change will happen. Well I for one am not going to hold my breath. All these folks becoming creative just in time to see Mother Earth die. How long should we keep our fingers crossed that this change will some how do more than satisfy ones own craving, ones own need, and build a better planet? Around and around you go, doing the same old thing over and over, making “like art”, being the Sunday Painters of today but doing it while being hip. Very one is hip now-a-days, hip hip hooray!!  I was told go to the ArtSpace Building where there is a group show and most of the artists have submitted one piece, from there I could find the artists whom I liked and go find them. Take the Shuttle, go man go. No telling what you will find. Maybe the next budding artist who will make it big in Hartford. Sister, let me say, by the time I got done looking at what amounted to sardines crammed in a can my neck hurt, I had a visual overload, needed a strong opiate and wanted to go home, give myself an eye bath and take a nap.

Then I heard someone say to her friend, “Have you seen the junk in the basement?” That crap that is trying to be art but nobody likes?”  Hey I said to myself, if those two plastic looking blonde bourgeois ladies think there is crap art in the basement then to the basement I must go.

Just a small part of some of the art. Pages from a Burn’s book I took apart.

Well what a relief. I finally found some real art. Real art of the day. Real art of today. Putting up with all the shit was worth it just to come down to this space. This art that is. Give the artist another show.

“Hey,” said a little red devil, “maybe if you jump on the shuttle you can go and find some other real art.” Yeah okay, I looked over the towering mass of sardines, maybe I am in a bad ass mood, but nothing could convince me to jump on a shuttle and seek out other “real” art. Goodbye Hartford, my train to NYC leaves in a half hour.

Later on the train to NYC.

pink sent the following to be included in the discussion saying, “You know me I always like to upset the apple cart even if the cart is my own. So here is a little bit on art from Uncle Karl Marx, which I remembered, looked up and want you to include it. So I will say, okay, if all of these 300 artists want to become communist then I am all for it. But be real. I know most of them most likely have to have a working job to support themselves like a good many others so maybe everyone is almost there. Now boys and girls put down your paint brushes, your cameras, your whatever tools you use, it is time to become communists. First let me introduce you to the fields, go help the farmer dig some potatoes. Anyway, here is the essay from our dear old Uncle Karl Marx written by Bertell Ollman and published at Dialectical Marxism:

“Besides contributing to production, each individual also participates in cultural and scientific life, and not just as a consumer of other people’s products but as a creator. We have met communist men and women as workers, farmers, hunters and critics, and Marx now introduces us to the same persons as artists: “The exclusive concentration of artistic talent in some individuals and its suppression in the grand mass which springs from this, is a consequence of the division of labor…In a communist society, there are no painters, but men who among other things do painting. Being a painter is to be subjected to the division of labor as much as it one only did weaving. Every person in communist society is relieved of the burden of narrowness which plagued his or her ancestors, weavers and painters alike, and given the opportunity to express him or herself in all possible ways.”

“We read further on these thoughts: Marx not only ascribes a world of activities to the communist person, but believes they will be proficient in their performance. To achieve this is the aim of communist education. At the same time, Marx recognizes that not all people will be equally good in everything they try. As regards to painting for example, he admits that only a few will rise to the level of Raphael. On the other hand, the quality of other people’s work will be extremely high; and he maintains all paintings will be original. By original means that each person’s creative efforts will be a true expression of his/her unique qualities. Marx would probably be willing to make a similar distinction between average and exceptional ability in science, farming, material production, etc., always with the proviso that those who lag behind are still extraordinarily good.”


(1) In the United States, the 400 richest individuals now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the population and the three richest own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent, while pervasive poverty means one in five households have zero or negative net worth. See Here.

Of the top 10, luxury goods tycoon Francois Pinault is the wealthiest, with around $1 billion of his $9.9 billion net worth is tied up in art. And Hollywood mogul David Geffen has the most valuable collection, with around $1.1 billion worth of art. Art is a passion for these billionaires, but it is also a valuable asset.

(2) Kudos to both the curator and the people who hung the show in ArtSpace Gallery.  What a pain in the neck that must have been but you all did a good job.


Who the fuck is this punkpink anyway?

punkpink was not the name given at birth. Changing ones name is like changing ones socks to match ones outfit. Before, pink left a career in the fluxus movement in NYC and after a stint in Hartford left for the woollies of Vermont. pink works hard on a farm, a place of refuge, a place where any of pinks friends are always welcomed and a place that will serve as a refuge from the continuing and coming calamities brought to the people of the earth by Capitalism and the bourgeoisie excessive consumerism. Making ready a small refuge for friends and loved ones is all about pinks art now. pink slips in and out of the art world, loves to visit friends in Hartford and NYC but after a dally finds it more rewarding to escape back to the farm. pink is now writing a tell all book, Not another Moe, Before Pink was I, about pinks stint in the art world and it is sure to be a kiss and tell book.


  1. Alice says:

    Who do you think you are coming to Hartford and writing an essay like this? You are doing nothing more than discouraging artists from making art. I get a great deal of pleasure and much of my daily tension is relieved when I make my beaded and feather jewelry. I know many other people who are artists in Hartford who are trying hard to make it in the art world. You are not a very nice person and should stay up in the woods of Vermont and feed your chickens.

  2. Furbirdsqueerly says:

    My goodness Alice your knickers are certainly in a knot. No we can not vouch for punkpink but we are certain that there is no wall or guards who stopped him at the border of Hartford and read a list of rules and regulations on conduct in the city. Vermont is not that far away and we welcome the free flow of ideas. Let us just say this before going on. This blog has visitors from all over the world, anyone who has followed us for awhile will attest to that and if someone from India, France, Germany, the Philippines or wherever wants to comment we are tickled. In fact we are thrilled.

    Please above all means continue to make your beads and feathers if it relieves your tension. Probably in the long run much cheaper than seeing a shrink and there will always be someone who needs to accessorize their outfit.

    As far as discouraging people from making art well, we first would have to agree with punkpink that what they are doing is “not art” so we are discouraging them from doing that.

  3. Sam says:

    Come on you guys. Open studio is a once a year event where all artists and creative people gather to show their work and discuss art with the general public. It gives us a chance to sell our work and a chance for people to buy our work. Maybe you should have gone around to more art shows and you would have learned a lot about art.

  4. Furbirdsqueerly says:

    We were wondering when you would put in your 2 cents. Thanks as always. We are very amazed that there are so many people who are “creative” in the world today. Just think over 300 in Hartford alone. My goodness it just may be a movement. Organize them. If only we could. But I bet most would draw a line and say, “I am an artist I am not political.” Where of course the artist is always political. We know that these creative types are no trouble and I am glad they are making not art rather than causing mayhem with all of their creative juices. But really speaking we could give one rats ass less if everyone and their Uncle Bill makes something, calls it art as art will exist despite the doodling.

    If you want please send in an essay about all of this. We don’t care if it erases what pink wrote or not or challenges pinks view point. We are sure that pink would love it as pink states, and upset apple cart is a real delight. (Here’s to hoping that there are hungry people to grab all of the apples and flee)