Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Notes from an artist in the run-down section of town.

From queerartist’s memory banks and then some.

Old man Brown said that he was going to raise the rent $5.00 since the weather was getting warmer and now the studio had heat. “What!!!, you old fool, you don’t supply the sun that shines in the windows and gives us some heat each day. We survived the winter in your no water, no heat, shack of a building and now since the sun will be shining stronger you want to charge us more? Well you old fool I don’t have that much cabbage and if I did I would want to buy some food and art supplies not give it to a rich old doctor like you. Old man Brown was a classic slum lord. Lived in a nice suburban ranch and owned a couple of old buildings in Goon City. I couldn’t even sing The Faucets Are Dripping since this studio came with no running water. Bet his faucets didn’t drip in the suburbs, bet he has heat and didn’t have to decide each month is it the rent, food, the electric bill or art supplies that my little bit of money will go towards? Since its a problem that isn’t going to go away as long as we live under this dirty rotten system lets listen to Malvaina Reynolds sing her song, The Facets are Dripping and remember that landlords are a large part of the problem we face. Here is a wonderful quote from Punkerslut: One can find the essay Landlords Parasites of the Earth, HERE. The essay is well worth reading.

“The landlord lives by owning. They earn their wealth by possession and not by labor. What they live on has been made by the endless toil of workers in all nations. They do not build up or maintain the housing of their tenants. They hire from the same class that they collect rent from, the laborers. The individuals or family inhabiting the building are only paying for a place to live and sleep. Since the world has been broken up into small tiny chunks of land, the possessors of land have been exploitive of those who need the land.”

Well what was an artist in the run down section of town suppose to do. Move out?

Suppose a new studio could be found but artist had put quite a bit of work into this place and the thought of moving to another run down building in the run down section of town was not at all appealing. Where else could artist go? The old firehouse was now being taken over for a car repair shop by a hot hunky gay man. ( oh yes honey he could repair cars as well as any red neck in fact so well that he had a line of men outside of his doors all wanting to get their crank shafts greased.) Add to that mix the way he carried himself one would think he was straight except for what he like to do in bed, in the bushes, at the porno-theater, on the floor and in the back seat of any car. Now that old fire house would make a great studio, and it had heat and running water. Maybe queerartist thought, I could get a place in the old abandoned factory. Nah, too big and scary and it has Turd Brook running under a good part of it. Do think that after a while that the smell of the water and the constant running water sound would be a bit too much. One would have to burn a lot of incense in order to mask the smell of that brook. Some may like it but not me. At least my pad has electricity. ( the one modern convenience that I had in that studio).

Even with all the studio’s shortcomings it was a home. Since Phil and I took out the wall that separated the two front rooms it is great as one big room. Four windows on the south side of the room and two to the north. We were high on crystal meth one evening and I said to him, “I would love to have a large studio rather than the two rooms.” “Well, said Phil, “I am sure that it wouldn’t be too hard to take out this wall.” So we began. What a sight. Two high hippie artists taking down a wall. The first layer was some type of thin wall board.(save the wall board good for painting on) Then a surprise. The wall was made of tongue and groove boards. That wall came down real fast as it was like taking apart a toy. Get one board out of the line up and the rest came out one- two-three. Once the wall was down we had to find a place to dump the broken down wall. There was no trash pick up in the run-down section of town and everyone had to dispose of their garbage any way that they could. Most people around town either drove to the dump or hired Wilbur Giles who had most of the garbage pick up in Goon City but where was a poor artist going to get the money to dispose of boards and two by fours? This had to be done on the sly as if Stubby Stabola who owned the package store downstairs saw us getting rid of Brown’s wall he would be on the phone fast calling Old Man Brown up and telling on us. He was a funny man, a nice redneck if there can be such a creature but wasn’t happy that artists were upstairs his store.  I needed paint, I needed canvas, I need food, I had to pay my rent. Money, money, money. Maybe I should dress up, and get my money-maker out on the street. Some one may be hot to trot with queerartist and be willing to pay for a hot fast quickie.

Where can I dump the wall? Goosey Bell said “behind the factory is a neat place.” Talk about illegal dumping. Old sofas, washers, collapsed boxes of crap, large piles of old skids, wet cardboard, rolls of plastic, scrap pieces of wood, an old water heater, a stove, a few old chairs, soggy newspapers and metal. Well the old wall boards would look just marvey out back there with all the other dumpings. Phil and I bundled up all the boards and tied the bundle with rope, loaded it in a shopping cart from Fancies Grocery store and in the dead of night went behind the factory and dumped the load amongst all the other dumpings. No one would know, let alone care as the factory had been closed for 4 years. In the heyday of the factory beautiful wooden pull toys had been made there.

Noah’s Ark toy. Just like the one I use to have. The ark was full of animals. The only animal that I still have is one called Quaky Duck which comes out every Easter.

Ruthie Hillard’s father owned the place. He closed it down during the depression and opened it up a few years after. The factory was sold after Mr. Hillard died. A bunch of other small factories were opened in the building and the last was a factory where plastic windowed envelopes were assembled. Now it just sat there empty.

According to Bob Bee a few squatting hippies had made their way to Goon City from California, on the invitation of Gail hung around in there and had painted up the place real nice. They had made a hang-out hippie pad in the sections that were the offices. Their bathroom was over Turd Brook. A hole was cut in the floor and a chair without a bottom and sawed down legs was placed over the hole. Topping it off was a toilet seat taken from the no longer in use restrooms. This building had no water, no heat and no electricity. The hippies toilet worked quite well. Bombs away right into Turd Brook. That is how Turd Brook got its name from all the turds that floated along in its waters. Anyone whose homes were anywhere along the ridge above Turd Brook, the people on Summit Hill and workers who worked in the factories on the border of the run-down section of town all pooped and the poop went through the sewer pipes and into Turd Brook. It was like that for years and years. Back when we were young kids we always were overjoyed to spy used rubbers caught in branches all along Turd Brook. We wondered who was fucking who up there on Summit Hill? At least we had the sense not to play with or try on the rubbers. We just looked and laughed and wondered what it was like to fuck, be fucked, and us little sissy boys dreamed of some of the big hunky men up there stretching those rubbers over their dicks.

The Run Down Section Of Town.

I found while surfing around the net this old photo of this section of town. My studio was upstairs in the white building on the right. The train trestle separated the town. Many a kid would go up on that trestle and try to get to the other side before a train came along. By the time we came along there were no more passenger trains coming through from New York City making their way to Boston. I am not sure what year this photo was taken but I notice the road was dirt. It wasn’t that way when we lived there but the freight trains still ran through town.

The run-down section of town was just that. Most of the people who lived in the area were those who had rejected society or had been rejected by society. Artists fit right in with some of the people except for a few that hung out in the Purple Cow and those were men who came into the run-down section of town to drink, none of them lived in the area. Billy always said, “Well they have their problems too or they wouldn’t come around here and drink they would stay in their own section of town drinking at some of the more fancy establishments.” Must be something there that pushes them down here towards us. The Purple Cow was the mother of all dives. Let’s talk restrooms. We have to tell you about the men’s room at the Cow. There was a hole in the floor with out a chair  that served as a toilet. We heard that the toilet was ripped out and used as a weapon during a gang fight a few years back. So now it was take a piss but try to get it in the hole buddy. This place was for pissing only. Don’t think that anyone would even want to try to squat down and take a good number 2 as I know that several people talked about something coming up out of that hole and latching on to your ass or chomping off your dick and balls. There was a rumor that Razor Blade one of the local motorcycle guys had thrown his pet alligator down there or some say it was some type of snake. So truth be told no one was taking any chances. Did you ever see a dirty sink that was so dirty that all you saw was the dirty? Dirty, greasy, grubby, dirty dirt. Forget soap and paper towel. Here is a photo of a sink. Just like the sink in the old Purple Cow.

The walls were painted dark brown on the bottom half and the top was a fading green with chips and graffiti. Most guys went out the door and to the back of the Cow and took a piss there. Well that men’s room, was the strangest place that most of us had ever been in. Peter told me that years ago Old Himmey Johnson who to lives up near the town dump use to give blow jobs in there. Phew. Never got one so I wouldn’t know if Peter was passing on tall tales. Gail told us that the women’s room or better yet, Babe’s Piss House (as the sign she put on the door said) was cleaner. But no man would dare use it. The only time a guy got in there was if Babe was performing a cheap trick or two. But when she was there sitting on her stool she had a view right to her room and once or twice when we were in there feeling our oats we heard Babe yell out, “Get the fuck away from my restroom,” which alarmed Willy the bartender who went back there to yell that the trespasser was not to use Babe’s special restroom. “Gotta shit,” was met with “squat over the hole or go home and do your business.”

The Cow had its share of red necks, a few fathers of the local kids, us young artists with connections to the place via family, our friends, some motorcycle guys and their girls, and Babe Moon. Babe was the queen of the bar and if you wanted to be accepted in there you had to pass her test first. She sat up at the end of the bar, on “Babes stool” (and don’t anyone forget that was her stool,) right in the window holding court each and every day,  afternoon, evening, and to closing there she was up on her stool. Her stool even had her name glued on the back. Some of us artists got a pass as Babe rented an apartment from old Edgar up above his pit and she knew us from hanging out there. She knew me since I was a baby and told me once that I was a very ugly baby. I had big ears, and lots of dark hair and a scrunched up face. “I declare,” she said, “you looked like someone elses monkey which had been left on the doorstep.” Ugliest baby I ever did see. I saw a lot of babies in my day, before I became a drinker I was a nurse.

Well Babe takes one to know one. You’re no beauty yourself. You know that I grew out of my baby ugly but honey take a look at you. You got your ugly all over the place. From the top of your head right down to your toes. Up on your stool you sit like a rough rouged old queen, in heat for all the working class men that come in to the Purple Cow. Truth be told around town they say you can be had for $10.00 and give an okay blow job. Men around here don’t really care if it’s only ok as they get nothing from their wifes at home. No wonder they stray into your mouth.  But you know Babe I got the cute ones. Yes Babe, baby ugly me. Frankie the Hells Angel, (he always got good dope, and a dick so suckable too) Ray the fighter, (hot Italian, man does he sweat when fucking)  Billy with his long blonde hair that most people think he is an apparition from the heavens (very careful sex as he is fragile). We do it to each other and we do it for free. Make Love Not War that is what we do. 3 men you will never get. They got me and I don’t charge. So Babe go suck a Purple Cow’s teet. I found one for you and it looks as goofy as you do in my memory banks.

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I would rather see a purple cow
Then be one. (more…)

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Here is a little dream for you. Then reality snuck in. A talisman perhaps.

And Benny was dreaming up the large mountain to get to the other side. No, he knew he wasn’t the bear that went over the mountain just to see what was on the other side, not Benny. I’ve been up this mountain before. On the top of the mountain was a large tall building but Benny couldn’t see above the 2nd floor that was skinned down to only its girders. Funny place Mr. Johnson is renovating that floor for his new condo. Someone lives up stairs but we only hear them. Benny walked to the back of the building hoping that it was all down hill from there but saw in front of him a large swamp. The swamp is wide and I can not cross over, wish I had wings to fly, that old folks song came in his head. Shit if I did I would be home by now having my dinner in my cozy little cottage. Suddenly Benny’s eyes spied something moving across the swamp, dodging the trees of the forest. It was a wolf, and Benny was afraid not so much of the wolf but about what could have happened if he hadn’t spied the wolf from where he stood and ran smack into its snarling face on the other side of the swamp. Glad I saw it as if I figured out a way to cross this swamp I could very well be the next Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma. Eaten up by the wolf and no telling how long I would have had to spend in the belly of the wolf before some handsome woodsman came and slit open its belly and let me out.

Handsome Hank the Handy Woodsman

Went up to the 2nd floor, I will stay up here safe from any prowling wolves. They say they come in packs though I have heard of lone wolves before. Maybe there is something to block the door. A boy named Billy tried to find an old door that had been taken off its hinges, or some boards just lying around. Come on now all places should have a board or two to do the trick of blocking the entrance so a wolf couldn’t enter. Others joined us looking out from the floor and then we spied the wolf which had now crossed the swamp and was going south on the path down below. A lone wolf if one ever saw a lone wolf. A woman with us couldn’t see the wolf no matter how hard she tried. No wolf out there I am going out for a walk, she told us. Passing by cubby holes after cubby holes down the ramp and outside she went.

Benny woke from the dream frightened. Wondering out loud are there any packs of wild dogs here in this city? Now I know there isn’t any wolves. Scaring himself more and more thinking about snarling dogs, biting at him, surrounding him and pulling him down to the ground. Hey there can’t be wild dogs around here as I have to go out this morning at 4:15 way before anyone would hear my screams if attacked by a pack of wild dogs. What do I have to protect myself, no gun, no baseball bat, no mace, nothing. I suppose that I could throw ammonia at the dogs and that would chase them away from me. I certainly don’t want to become any dogs meal I would be rather messy if anyone could tell it was me after finding what was left there in the early morning hours. Wild dogs must be hungry with all this snow around and all the furry little animals hiding in their den, not venturing out or maybe not at all able to get out. Hole buried by so much snow. Wild dogs gotta eat.
Well thought Benny the laundry must be done and no fear of a pack of wild dogs is going to bother me and get me to stay home and not do my early Sunday morning job.

Benny left his apartment and out on the side sidewalk he looked down and saw the word wolf. WTF!! WOLF stared back at him. He pick up the round little container and read, Longcut Wintergreen Timber Wolf. Something to protect me on my journey thought Benny. I use to know all about such things back in the day when I was with Harry. What to do with the snuff in the can if any wild dogs come around. Sprinkle it all about and hope for the best. Tune up your fine senses, tune up your eyes, tune up your nose and walk lightly. Remember the old ways.

The wind began to howl and blow so cold. Pssssssssssssssssssssssst- Art comes in many strange ways now doesn’t it.

Benny gave us the can of Timber Wolf Snuff and we promised that if invited to show in the next art show we will show it.

INTRODUCTION:

Anyone who reads this blog knows that we have published articles on earthworms off and on. We just love them what can we say. We celebrate the earthworm as our friend, a friend that should be cared for and a friend that we should keep off of fisherman’s hooks and never spray the ground they live in with insecticides which is one of the biggest dangers to the earthworm.  Want to care for the earth then start with the lowly earthworm which does so much for the planets health. We have been busy working on this collage of found interesting facts, pictures, and videos for your viewing pleasure.

Information on The Earthworm. 

“It may be doubted whether there are any other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as have these lowly, organized creatures, ” Charles Darwin. (1)

When it is stated that in this vast array of creatures the lowly, segmented earthworm is probably the most important to mankind, the uninitiated might aptly declare that such a statement sounds neither logical nor reasonable.  That little slimy thing, that small creepy thing, good only for fishing bait, and to chop in half and see if they grow themselves back together again. (they don’t). Yet few creatures equal the burrowing earthworm as an essential to better health and greater growth to plant and vegetable life, and, therefore, indirectly is of the utmost importance to man. Now we all need our plants and vegetables, this is true and we need these things without a chemical side dish to worry about. So get up, boys and girls give a salute to the worm, say thank you, thank you. From the small and slimy we get great things.

Earthworms doing their job in the vegetable patch.

The burrowing earthworm is Nature’s own plough, her chemist, her cultivator, her fertilizer, her distributor of plant food. In every way, the earthworm surpasses anything man has yet invented to plough, to cultivate or to fertilize the soil.

 

Red Worms the best for the job.

Red worms are nature’s waste-renewal units.  They don’t simply consume the waste, they turn it into something far more useful: nutrient-rich compost.  Red worms cut the composting process down to a third of the time it would take without the presence of worms and eliminate the need to turn your compost! (one less thing to do around the farm, take a break at that time.) Got a compost bin get some worms, stick them in, feed them, water them and all the plants you grow will say thanks farmer Abbey.

Can we say it? Yes we can. You know us yes we will.

(4)

There is nothing short of a revolution here. Has been for a billion years. Earthworms survived the great calamity that killed off the dinosaurs and been ploughing the earth ever since. We’ve been ploughing the earth for a billion years and we plough the earth still. This unpaid handy worker goes about its business creating a revolution in farming, a revolution in the way we produce our food, a revolution in our health, and a revolution in the way we treat our waste. The worms are like the masses, working together the worm has power, individually they are powerless, but together now they are capable of breaking down and transforming all kind of biodegradables, including perhaps the rot that permeates our society. Take a tip from the earth worm, oh you artists you. Take a tip from the lowly worm. Join the revolution.

What are those tiny little mounds almost like a sandcastle we see on the ground?

These here? Earthworm castings on the dirt.

Earthworm Castings are the excretions left behind by worms after they finish digesting the organic matter that makes up their diet. The process of creating worm castings is probably the most efficient means of recycling kitchen and yard wastes.

Benefits of Worm Castings in the Garden

More than just a great plant fertilizer, castings are also a terrific soil amendment, plant growth enhancer, and the gardener’s ultimate compost. Earthworm castings are clean, odorless, and can be used indoors and outdoors to provide a boost to all of your plants.  Indoors, castings can be added to potting soil or mixed into the containers of established houseplants. (5) Outdoors in the garden spread worm castings and incorporate them into the surface soil levels of your raised beds. Castings can also be added to the bottom of the planting hole when setting out transplants, or scratched into the soil surrounding established flowers and vegetables. Worm castings are loaded with beneficial soil microbes and other soil organisms that will help restore life and health to depleted and worn out garden soils. (more…)

PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……PRESS RELEASE……

ARTIST FLIES, SCARES PEDESTRIANS, HITS TREE AND FLEES.

An artist took off flying when the person who was taking him and his art out for a walk fell in a hole and let go of the tethering rope. The artist and his contraption, “Teaching an artist to fly,” took off from a parking lot, flew over a small inlet of water, continued down the street, scaring pedestrians as the artist flew along. The contraption which was attached to the artist and held aloft by 14 weather balloons continued on its merry way before hitting a tree tangling the balloons in its branches. Fortunately for the artist being close to ground level two good Samaritans were able to cut off the contraption and free the artist. The artist took off running leaving the art work contraption behind with the police in hot chase. On examination of the art it was noted by Mary Bellweather the following, 14 weather balloons, 6 fake crows, 3 large pink bows, black cloth, and plastic bubbles made up the flying machine. Everyone shook their heads and pondered the meaning of such a thing having never seen the likes of it before. “Better keep away,” said May, “might be some type of a witchcraft.”

Bill Jones who happened to be in the path of the fleeing artist told the news to amuse reporter that he saw a half naked man running down through the woods, around the inlet of water south on Laurel Street.

The police department attributed the fleeing artist as a very knowledgeable person who knows the layout of the area. They have asked the general public for any information that they may have as the artist is wanted for questioning.

Once upon a time, not so many moons ago Goosey Bell was living in Europe and announced plans to travel the continent. Well said May Day, Ritchie Poor, Larry and Moe if that be the case let us in the fine tradition of that great but never late artist Marcel Duchamp send to Goosey Bell a jar of air from the other side of town with the instructions to read, “When in Paris please release this air and capture some Paris air and bring it home to us.” “Okay” said Larry and Moe what kind of jar would be appropriate for capturing air and sending it across the ocean to our favorite artist Goosey Bell?” “Well,” said May Day spying in the kitchen that wasn’t a kitchen, as there was no stove, refrigerator or running water a jar of Maxwell House Instant Coffee “What a lovely jar with a star on top, just right for capturing air and just right for sending it off before Goosey Bell leaves his home turf.” “Let’s do it they all shouted at once.”

Here is a copy of the jar so entered for this piece.

Lovely isn’t it? Just right? Let’s go out on the back porch and capture some air. When the air was all captured the jar was wrapped, boxed and sent off with the instructions to let the air go in Paris and to fill the jar with Paris air May Day went to the local post office. We don’t care where in Paris you get the air from just get us some.

…so up up and away Goosey Bell went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and let the Other Side of Town air out of the Star Jar and captured a filling of air from Paris.

Bringing the Star Jar out for a walk. Then a trip up on the stairs. 

Up the stairs in Trafalgar square tripped. The Star Jar smashed in hundreds of pieces. Oh me oh my all of the air from Paris escaped and joined the English air.

The cover of the Star Jar was returned to the Other Side of town.

There is a renewed interest in Absurdist art. We had a nice laugh on that one. Well the above piece we think qualifies. It was done around 1973 and has long been one of our favorites. Yes we feel that these times, like those call for either absurdist art or political art. In the coming weeks we will be entering more of our art for your viewing pleasure.

The New Haven Pride Center Presents:

FEMME IN PUBLIC: a performance by Alok Vaid-Menon

What feminine part of yourself did you have to destroy in order to survive in this world? At what point does femininity become synonymous with apology? Who hurt the people who hurt you? Alok is trying to figure it out.

Join for an evening of poetry, comedy, and performance art.

Monday, November 13, 2017
Performances at 7:00p and 9:00p
Doors open 30 minutes before performances.
General Admission $25 / Center Members $20 / Students $15

Lyric Hall Theater
827 Whalley Ave, New Haven

About the Artist
Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them/their) is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer. Their eclectic sense of style, political comedy, and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. Alok was recently the youngest recipient of the prestigious Live Works Performance Act Award granted to ten performance artists across the world. They have been featured on HBO, MTV, The Guardian, National Geographic, The New York Times, and The New Yorker and have presented their work at 300 venues in more than 30 countries.

See facebook page for more details HERE.

If you can and if you haven’t or if you have ever or never yet seen a performance by Alok get your tickets and go. High Queer Art, some of the best.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Posted: October 26, 2017 in art, we dig it.

Holy Sheet!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!