Friday, 21 September 2007

me me #1: Superstar!!

A universal trait that runs through all the painter friends I have known is an interest in the 1990's period of Saturday Night Live and concensus on its funnniest sketch ever. Jon Lovitz did a scene whre he played Picasso at a sidewalk cafe, drunk on his own fame. Every outrageous act followed up by the declaration "I'm Picasso!". The Barrista comes to his table, explains how she has painted for 10 years and never sold a thing and Picasso scribbles on a napkin, throws it in her direction and declares "Now you can retire! I'm Picasso!!".

This is essentially what all my professional aspirations are aiming for.

Without much commercial effort on my part, I am simultaneously "discovered" by galleries, museums, writers, international intelligentsia, politicians, celebrities (who I am able to disdain in "In touch" and "People" magazine, imbuing myself with even more artistic credibility).

People who have never met me, nor people I would wish to be personally close with to desire pieces of autobiographical work fervently. I want this desire to grow so strong that all facets of my life gain a measure of fame, merely by being in my own presence. Crap things I did as a student are treasured because they show my inherent humility, how I'm really "one of us". Articles are written. Documentaries are produced. Streets are named.

Institutions who would not accept me as a student or an anonymous person to wish me to come and instruct them. Places who did not care for my work enough to place it in large group shows will clamor to display it proudly, proclaiming it the best of who we are as a people. They will take it to far off places, as I inspire an untraditional patriotism in Venice, Munich, Sao Paolo.

My ideas find fertile ground across higher education worldwide. Even crackpot saying are taken seriously for a time, until eventually people see the absurdity in what I say and declare undying respect for my layers of dry wit.

Once I was told a story about Jackson Pollock, Phillip Guston and his wife (whose name I don't know). It was in the early 50's and Pollock had been proclaimed by Life magazine as the greatest artst in the world and his splatter paintings had created a stir. He was rich, but his friends, the artist he had matured with, who had probably pulled him out of the gutter numerous times were terribly poor. Well, as the story went, Phillip Guston and his wife were sitting around the table, shivering in the cold and wondering how they could buy food for the holidays when the phone rang. In order to scrape some money together, they were trying to sell the christmas card that Jacson Pollock had sent out--a kind of tiny splattery thing. The wife got up to answer the phone while Phillip and Nic (the narrator) sat at the table tryng to think up a plan. The phone conversation was short and businesslike and when the wife retrned, she was in a bit of a daze. It was the gallery, she said. They wanted to buy the Xmas card after all, for $50,000.

This, too I aspire to.

Tokens of love and friendship translate into a vast underground currency, gifts of immense wealth. I do a portrait of a man without a home, give him the print, then years later, he is offered $50,000 for it from a collector. The lifelong friends who have received special tokens year after year are rich beyond measure, their children without a care for money throughout their life.

3 comments:

the meredoerr said...

You are definitely a superstar already! But I hope this all come true for you.

momster said...

Ditto. And thanks for the awesome prints you've given us! So, now we don't have to save for college afterall!

You could sit at the sidewalk cafe and say "I'm White!" But that might be a bit perplexing.

Bricker said...

Hey Watie,

Thanks for this peek into your soul.

I have something I want to ask you, but I'll do it elsewhere. It's nothing dirty, sorry.

Michelle W.