I was mesmerized by a documentary I saw on IFC called How to Draw a Bunny.
It was the story of Ray Johnson, an artist I always found mysterious, because there used to be a memorial to him, rumored to have been painted by Kenny Scharf, on Ludlow Street. It was a cartoon bunny’s head and the text RAY JOHNSON 1927-1995. For years, I had no idea who Ray Johnson was.
The memorial was painted on the only standing wall of a collapsed building; it was wrecked in favor of condos a few years ago.
I don’t have the space to go into his story, which I found fascinating, but there is one component of his art/life that appealed to me immensely; he did these small pieces called moticos, small collages that he mailed to other artists. (He was a pioneer of mail art, and called his circle the New York Correspondance [sic] School.
Quote from Ray Johnson:
“I’ve got a big pile of things at home which will make moticos. They’re really collages – paste-ups of pictures and pieces of paper but that sounds too much like what they really are, so I call them moticos. It’s a good word because it’s both singular and plural and you can pronounce it how you like.”
I’ve read in various places that “moticos” is an anagram of “osmotic.” Who knows if that’s true? I want to make some musical moticos.
I just heard a Soul Coughing song for the first time ever on WFMU, Free Form Station of the Nation. I was surprised. I listen to them constantly–even on the road, over the internet–but I always thought we were too mainstream for them. (in the world of New York exquisite weirdness, believe it or not, Soul Coughing was a pretty mainstream sound)
It was “Disseminated,” the Official Soul C’s Song Mike Doughty Likes Least, so I had to switch to my trifecta of top MP3s: “Since U Been Gone,” “La La,” and “American Idiot.” From WFMU’s delicious buffet of the strange to the sweet glory of mall guitar rock. Yeah.
The pix that Aaron Farrington took of me the other week arrived at last.
He’s a great photog, they’re lovely photographs. I’m happy to say that I’m comfortable in the presence of the lens–I don’t have that harsh, intimidated, frozen look on my face–but, as ever, it’s a shock to see myself. Who is this man, and where’s the guy I see in the mirror? I’m balder than I thought, more haggard–I keep thinking I’m Kiefer Sutherland and there in the frame is a Teutonic Maynard G. Krebs.
Thank God I’ve lost some weight–20 pounds since January 2004–and I don’t suffer from Howard Dean neck anymore. Or Neckface, as the great NYC graffiti artist puts it.
So I’m a man in my thirties. How did that happen?
I want to embrace my age and my looks, especially in publicity pictures and such–it’s a stupid disease in our culture, this anxiety that drives one to cling to youth–and people in their twenties have enough angst without having to fear the onset of life.
I read about this in ReadyMade magazine:
There was a piece about these compact, pod-style, 108-square-foot domes. So awesome! I want to buy one and put it up on my roof–and finally have room for an actual table in (or near) my apartment. Or a writing room. Or perhaps a dedicated nap space. Or perhaps just a pod-like structure to sit in for no particular reason.
Am I serious? I am so serious.