Unforgettable things

23 Jun

I haven’t had a lot of actually unforgettable GOOD moments in my life, which kind of sucks, but what can you do? I block a lot of things out… which I like to say makes room for more of the good stuff to filter through.

So when it came time to think of my favorite Amanda FUCKING Palmer gig, well…I had a lot to choose from. Was it the New Years’ show with the Boston Pops? The ninja gig on the Lexington Battle Green? The first of two Dresden Dolls shows she did (participated in, I suppose is the better term) at the Wilbur?


My favorite show of hers was at this tiny little rock club called the Paradise, in Boston, about a block away from where I live now. I have a lot of good stories about that, including one about my dad seeing Iggy Pop there on the night John Lennon was shot and meeting Iggy in the men’s room and having an Awkward Handshake Moment at the urinals. I also insulted one of the members of Anberlin when they were playing there and he was hanging outside his tourbus. I was getting groceries and had art supplies with me. I thought he was some creepy dude. Turns out he was a rockstar. ANYWAY, moving right along…

I also had the good fortune to see Amanda Fucking Palmer in concert there in November of 2008.

I was going through a lot of personal shit at the time–and wearing the Worst Concert-Going Shoes Ever (a really hot pair of lace up rain boots totally inappropriate for long periods of standing)–so I almost died while I was there, BUT… I was with my best friend, seeing my favorite singer. I was also introduced to the lovely Vermillion Lies whose songs never fail to make my day. Anyway, the second AFP came on, I knew this was gonna be amazing. Her album Who Killed Amanda Palmer had just come out and she was resplendent in the most amazing dress EVER. I loved it. Totally fucking loved it. Loved the cut away in the front, her boldness, her boots, her bra, her keyboard, the whole ensemble looking fantastic in some sort of steampunk post-apocalyptic sexy-as-hell victorian-esque theme… I was in love with the inspiration she gave me: to show the world who I am, fuck what society thinks I should be doing with my time. More recently, you can find that under the Twitter hashtag #FuckPlanB. 😉

I am an artist. I am a sculptor and a mixed media artist and a musician. FUCK PLAN B. This, one of my favorite memories, is a great inspiration. I have only to think on it to remember why the fuck I do what I do: when you’re passionate, when you’re true, you are amazing. So get the fuck out there and do what you love to do. You only get this life, better fucking use it the way you want to.


Patriots’ Day

18 Apr

For those of you in other parts of the United States and for those of you who live in other countries, the holiday “Patriots’ Day” probably means nothing to you. If anything, all you know about it is that it’s the day every April that the Boston Marathon is run by the world’s best runners and the world’s runners with the best hearts (so many charity runners!). If you live in the US, you might think it has something to do with the football team.

You’d all be missing the point.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to have grown up in Massachusetts, and to have spent most of my life in the places where the United States was first founded as a country. Of the great events that took place in 1775, the most influential came from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In an act of rebellion, we boarded a British trade ship and dumped the tea they were bringing into Boston Harbor. It was a big “fuck you” to the British; a serious statement about what we thought of their policies regarding the Colonies at the time. It got us a blockaded harbor, martial rule, and a massive *headwall* from the other colonies.

And on April 19th, 77 colonists–farmers, craftsmen, clerks, not soldiers–stood on Lexington Green and, as the sun rose, committed an act of treason against Britain. Ordered to drop their weapons and go home, they stood outnumbered before regiments of trained British soldiers. From the windows of the houses on the Green, their wives, daughters, and young sons watched as they were routed. In a few short minutes, 6 men lay dead on the Green, one of them on the steps of a safe house opposite the ground, where his friend collapsed beside him, helpless to do anything. The British then moved back into their ranks and, chanting “huzzah!”, walked across the field, just barely stepping over the bodies of the dead as a local pastor tended to them.

Later on the same day, militias from the surrounding towns would muster at Concord and, introducing the concept of guerilla warfare to the British military trained in the traditional European rules of war, rout the British and send them retreating back to their stronghold at Boston. All along the road (now called the “Battle Road”…or Route 2A), skirmishes and battles would be fought, each time driving the retreating British Regulars back.

On the morning of April 19th, 1775, the course of the world history changed dramatically. 77 untrained men committed an act of war, an act of the highest treason, against their country in the name of freedom.

As the United States looms large in the world’s affairs, it is important to have days like this when we see reenacted before our eyes, at dawn, the events that lead to the creation of our country. I could wax poetic or I could be politically minded and relate this to international affairs, but that is not my place.

I simply want you to take a moment, whoever you are and wherever you are, and think:

Could you, no better than you are now, believe in something so strongly as these 77 men did? Could you, as you are, stand and fight against the world’s greatest army, demanding your freedom and your rights, when it was almost certain that you would lose? That you would die?

Could you?

Or perhaps…would you?


27 Jan

Beacon St., ~5:15 pm

On drawing

26 Jan

I suppose I should say a few somethings on the subject of drawing, since it is probably the first thing any artist really learns to do and to call “art.” Sculpting might, in some form, come first, but it is not necessarily art–at least, not in the accessible way that mark-making is.

When I was quite young, my family moved, and I spend the following few months drawing picture after picture of houses. My poor mother was sure that they had scarred me for life and that my house-drawing obsession was a sign of just how badly I could not deal with our move.

She was wrong.

But she didn’t learn that until later. Apparently, kids go through art phases, and one of them is drawing houses. This is, I think, because it is the first thing you draw that really looks like what it is. Childhood art is abstraction, abstraction, abstraction: your father becomes a messy blob of scribbles, your brother is a dot, your smile is grotesque, and Fido the dog is rather…well…he just looks like your box of Crayolas vomited color on the construction paper. But when you learn to draw a house!!! The whole world is suddenly opened! You can communicate through mark-making! (For most people, from what I understand, drawing quite precedes writing, much like how hieroglyphic systems of writing preceded alphabet systems in the development of civilization.)

The house is automatically recognizable to anyone in the Western world as just that: house, home, domus. Family. Fido. Sun. White picket fence. The associations are endless, and though the child-mind has no words for them, it has–for the very first time–a way to express these thoughts.

Kind of fucking cool, when you think about it.

Now I am in my 20s, and have taken art to be my career, for better or worse. I love what I do, and it all comes down to what I spend my time drawing.

Right now, I am working on a direct-observation value study. Here are the first 3 hours of it:

And, for your edification, what I am working from:

24 Jan

Deconstruction cardboard

Nude Figure, seated graphite

Just a thought.

23 Jan