~am I wrong ? nope, porcelain & clay . . rule.

I got so spooked by my over-the-top enthusiasm for the SATAN CERAMICS crew, that that night I had a huge bad dream: my next door neighbor was hurling fleshy just dead pigeons . . into my yard & thus into my head !!
thud, thud, they just kept on coming, the inner body, just behind the thick muscles of those strong pigeon thighs – was evil-looking, juicy and . . red. otherwise, the evil-omen birds were all black and white.
‘death metal’ black, and scary ghostly white.

but then when I awoke, I caught sight of the new LENA DUNHAM as a classical white statue, on the cover of the NEW YORK TIMES CULTURE MAGAZINE !! and, I knew – I was right.
Lena alookin’ like . . porcelain. damn.
plus note: the background is all . . ‘death metal’ BLACK !!
ok, so – it’s marble they were going after, but still it looked pretty antique MEISSEN porcelain to me. same aesthetic, shiny white surface, voluptuous lines, classical.

and what did I tell you – you, Satan is a she-demon !!
yeah, Lena Dunham – that bad / that good.

LENA DUNHAM, photo-illustration by VICTORIA DIEHEL, modeled after ‘Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ by ANTONIO CANORA, completed between 1804 & 1808.

read the back story: Under Cover: On Turning Lena Dunham into a neo-classical bust / NEW YORK TIMES – THE 6TH FLOOR


where they also have a super fun video of the behind-the-scenes . . transformation.

see: A Classics Curator’s Homer Renovation – Wall Street Journal


then, there was this !!
the very same weekend, a huge illustration of an antique ‘mixing bowl’, showing the killing of the Greek King Agamemnon, created around 460 BC. an Athenian vase painting. in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal.

if that wasn’t a dead ringer for MARY FREY’S pieces in the SATAN CERAMICS show – what was it ?
also note: the ‘death metal’ . . black background.

the image was used to highlight a new configuration of classical treasures at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, incorporating 250 (!!) pieces . . and, this very SATAN CERAMICS piece was chosen out of a most vast & incredible field to stand for hat would attract out attention – the most.

so there.

SATAN CERAMICS – rules. it was not just group thrill, it was street smarts as applied to classical ceramics – the ‘scale’ of objects going against the ‘functional’ grain, the individual artists’ vision superseding . . form follows function. it was about fresh raw energy meets dynamic staging, and four authentic artist voices – are set free.
hand-built clay = inspiration / juice & sets the bar, for the art season, fall 2014.

and I still really like the resonance of the youngest member of the group – PAT McCARTHY’s mini concrete cinder block – which holds down his mini pigeon coop – coming across as an homage to the group’s ceramic guru, JJ PEET, and his miniaturized tiny tea cup & one stem flower vases.

as per above, MARY FREY – is right on the cultural dot.

and even TOM SACHS rides in, a hand-built future vision hero, dare I say his NASA branded bowl – equates with cultural icon Lena Dunham ?
it’s a bit of a stretch, bite-the-dust metaphor – BUT, it is there . . . if you look for it !!


this show is just way off the CHARTS.


the show runs thru OCT 25, 2014
and features ceramic work by: MARY FREY, PAT McCARTHY, JJ PEET & TOM SACHS

omg – the opening was HUGE !! just like the good ole days !!

on the left: SALON 94 founder, JEANNE GREENBERG ROHATYN, with pal ERIN.
JEANNE looking g-o-o-d, but esp like they always do – when they have connected hard.
damn, did she just score . . and, opening game of the season.
relevancy, skills, future vision, in-your-face-punk. 3D ceramics ?!!!
death metal black glaze ? check.

everybody needs a little downtown street creed, now and then – even Salon 94.

even big daddy himself, JULIAN SCHNABEL was there, and looking spiffy, or what !!

mega-collector ALBERTO MUGRABI, keeping it on the down-low, don’t be fooled.
caught him seriously engaged with the PATRICK McCARTHY tablet wall.

we’ll let comic book artist DREW MILLER . . represent all the new kids, the electric new wave of young talent that has recently stormed onto the scene, just waiting for their next big move – to make their own big burning mark !! about to tip the island, watch out.
ever heard of ‘POOR THING – NUMBER ONE’ ?
well, now you HAVE !!


JJ PEET, apparently the master of cutting-edge clay and zen-like glazes – the SATAN CERAMICS guru himself.
what could be better, than a natural born trouble maker, basking in the limelight of achievement ?

he was sipping from a (his) tiny hand-made tea cup.
this is so . . what we mean by great art has – juice . .
though this guy looked to have a very dry, and tres sly !! sense of humor.
contrarian or what. form follows function – !! not.
I guess that’s the satanic part – stepping out.
anybody who says that contemporary art doesn’t involve skills – get outta my way.

JJ PEET, stoneware.
note . . the BIG RED BRICK.

X marks the spot.
JJ PEET, ‘BRICKVACE_3′, 2014, Porcelain, 3 x 3 x 3 in.

Clay makes bricks, bricks make houses.
when a vase has a (design) face – clay makes a brickvace !!

JJ PEET, ‘BRICKVACE_19′, 2014. Porcelain, 3 x 3 x 3 in.
really . . through the LOOKING GLASS !! ALICE et al.
note: the shadows, very magical installation. something the gallery website, which is very staid and formula uptown – did not catch.
except for that logo – the SATAN CERAMICS logo was GREAT. the T shirts were selling like hot cakes, $20 a pop.
we got it. we got 3.

Porcelain, aluminum, electronics, rubber. 6 x 12 x 8 in.
don’t tell me contemporary art isn’t . . relevant.
tribal knowledge meets modern technology . . head-on.
capital C – for communication. and, creativity.
artists and scientists, rule.
including skilled, and witty – ceramists . . who are both.


MARY FREY, ‘Catcher’, 2014.
stoneware/underglaze/carbon fiber. 5 x 5 x 5 in.
that orange, with all that black and white, in the room – is to die for.
just gorgeous. fab fab fab.

looking at MARY FREY’S . . ‘FRUIT BOWL’, 2014.
Porcelain/death metal black underglaze. 10 x 10 x 10.5 in.

Porcelain, death metal black underglaze. 8.5 x 6.5 x .5 in.

TOM SACHS, now there’s a story.

English porcelain, temple white glaze, NASA red engobe, reduction fired. 3.75 x 4.75 x 5 in.

he is SO ambitious, and he is such an easy target – sometimes we all gang-up and go a little rough on him, but if he was ever born to make art, he was born to make this piece !!
doesn’t matter what he did in the past, doesn’t matter what he does . . in the future. as far as I’m concerned – I am giving him one big pass to last a lifetime – to the genuine art strivers Hall of Fame – with this one. he has finally lived up to his future vision, pseudo fabrication dreams. what was it I read about his wedding, “ALBERT EINSTEIN meets Bart Simpson.” hmmm. yep.
absolutely BRILLIANT. beautifully rendered, perfect scale.
he should make a whole dinner set of these and send them to the President of the United States. they should make at least one of these mandatory equipment on space ships. art + science – the future of the world – in your hands.

and don’t forget the . . past. the skills, the human bio-ness of the race. the great achievements, the uneven lurches forward.
function, color red, code logo, all in the palm of your hand.

porcelain, 2.5 x 4.375 x 4 in.

speechless, who knew the guy could hand-build ?

beautiful balance, and I don’t mean just the hand-built vessel, exquisite balancing act. the imbedded branding, the fab glaze etc, etc.

I mean the whole installation itself, the wooden raw edges of the display shelves, the lighting – which threw graceful, lingering, defining and dancing delicate shadows on the 3D objects, 3D !! – after-all.
they should have posted the exhibit pix with the installation accents, not stripped them down to be so bland and bare – on white sheet backgrounds.

I mean, all the better for me !!
ace photog that I am.
I mean where would I be – in a perfect – world ?
where would any of us be – in a perfect world. hoo-ray for hand built pottery.
and zen-like glazes, tiny scales, and nonsensical form.
all inter-relating like a roomful of swaying Tibetan prayer bells.

which brings us to . . .

aka the Pigeoneer of BUSHWICK !!

the last time I saw him was in this tiny show in a tiny, but concept-wise immense !! – storefront gallery in Brooklyn called MUDDGUTS, and deservedly, so.

MUDDGUTTS to . . SALON 94, even FREEMANS ALLEY – now that’s what I call an . . ‘ascent’.
Pat, he must have been watching his birds in flight, take off. or what. we outta here.
we out.

PAT McCARTHY, porcelain hi-rise pigeons perches.

Pat told me he had made all new work for this show – in the 2 weeks since I had swung by that classic underground moment of a show, PAT’S PIGEON CLUB. ROOF SUPPLYS, FANZINES, BIRD TALK !!

we had had a huge Pigeon club talk on his, then, all-white glazed, with very zen touches – porcelain hi-rise perches, about pigeons and their amazing eye sight, all the better to soar.

and, here were Pat’s pigeon perches v.2 – accessorized with little ‘stripes’ of nicely ‘keyed’ glaze color – all the better to get back home to your own special perch. apparently it’s not just us humans that are – deathly . . territorial.

Pat told me .. “I found my color.”
we outta here – or what ?

PAT McCARTHY – mini coop !!

if you peered inside – you could just make out a miniature set of his signature porcelain hi-rise pigeon

see ‘em ?

I don’t know if this was an ode to a long lost hero of the Lower East Side mean streets, or if this signaled this mini coop – was actually home to a special dude pigeon – named . . Joey, of course.

the mini coop – from the back, note that concrete block – extreme left bottom corner.

yeah, sweet. satanic !!
tongue-in-cheek sweet.
a mini concrete brick.

holding everything down. holding everything . . together.
don’t they say, god is in the details.

and so the wild rush of a Satanic circle – that is SATAN CERAMICS . . that began with a big red brick . . ends with a tiny gray one. what a nice touch, what a nice metaphoric rhyme.
all things come round.
what a nice – throw-down to the mentor, JJ PEET.

just goes to show . . like in science, like in art – like in life.
there’s always truth in real pottery, I mean !! – poetry !!
what comes around, goes around. ancient arts, new minds.



DEDICATED TO THE DARK EVENTS of 9/11/01 & the generation that grew up in their shadow.

on my way to the evening’s huge blast of a opening, SATAN CERAMICS at SALON 94 FREEMANS, pix posting tomorrow – I happened upon the shows of 2 new artists to the scene, DARJA BAJAGIC and TOM COSTA. both of whom, although young & supposedly hopeful – expressed very dark thoughts.
I also ran into JORDAN CASTEEL, another young painter recently located to NYC – in person.

Mr. Costa’s vision was more looking out, and the look was devastating. Ms. Bajagic’s dark rumblings – seeped up from deep inside.

the ironic part was JORDAN CASTEEL, a young artist whose studio I had visited a couple of years back at the YALE GRADUATE FINE ARTS PROGRAM OPEN STUDIOS. she told me she had her first solo show in New York, currently up at SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS, located deeper into the fringes of the Lower East Side. titled ‘Visible Man’, it comes down this weekend, so you can still catch it.
what struck me, looking up the work on the gallery website – was that her work was . . optimistic, and hopeful, if complicated and . . deep.

TOM COSTA, in front of his painting. he has 3 canvases in this group show.
SEPT 3 – OCT 12, 2014.

TOM COSTA, apocalyptic vision or what.

TOM COSTA, ‘Window 5′, 2014. oil on canvas.
30 x 52 in. ($3,500)
. . a startling glimpse through the crowd.

detail, TOM COSTA, ‘WINDOW 5′.

TOM COSTA, ‘DRACK’ – image via his website: TOM COSTA
TOM COSTA has an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, 2004, and he seems to have showed some very cool, sleek future vision paintings – at Audio Visual Arts/AVA in NYC, in 2009.
definitely check out that website.

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Come to the Dark Side We Have Cookies !!!’, 2014.
mixed media on canvas, 53 x 76.25 in.

DARJA BAJAGIC showed ‘assemblage’ works over at ROOM EAST. very graphic, very dark – her work, was about – growing up ?

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Cold Comfort’
SEPT 7 – OCT 5, 2014

detail, DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Come to the Dark Side We Have Cookies !!!’, 2014.
all about the young ROOKIE gen chicks – 2 sides of the coin, look out !!

looking very . . eerily like the Twin Towers – or what ?!!!!

yep, welcome to my world – the devil, SATAN . . is a YOUNG DEMON MEAN GIRL.

DARJA BAJAGIC . . . ‘Welcome to the Dark Side, Surprised we lied about the Cookies ?’

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Evil’, 2014
UV print on aluminum, 50 x 35 x 0.25 in.

detail, ‘Evil’.
the photo seemed to be a blow-up of a stitched, embroidered ‘badge’, and worked very well on the aluminum surface.

detail, ‘Evil’.
the cut-out quality was really nice. too.

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘I’m invisible Just Assholes can See Me’, 2014.
mixed media on canvas, 76 x 55 in.

detail, ‘I’m Invisible’, note small patch on the upper left side.

detail, ‘I’m Invisible’ – yep, that ‘patch’ . . says it all.

DARJA BAJAGIC – image from her website, check it out: DARJA BAJAGIC

JORDAN CASTEEL, Lower East Side, NYC. SEPT 7, 2014.
currently New York City based, Jordan was born in 1989, in DENVER, Colorado.
she received her MFA from YALE this past year (2014).

JORDAN CASTEEL has her debut NYC show up at SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS – the show, titled ‘Visible Man’, runs thru SEPT 14, 2014 – so you can still catch it.

JORDAN CASTEEL, ‘Jerome’, 2014.
oil on canvas, 54 x 72 in. – image via SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS

from the gallery website:
Jordan Casteel’s “subject .. is black men, all of whom are unclothed, both literally and metaphorically . . . she seems to ask, is a black man a black man no matter the color ?”

JORDAN CASTEEL, ‘Galen 2′, 2014.
oil on canvas, 72 x 84 in. – image via SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS

check out more of Jordan’s work on her website: JORDAN CASTEEL


Welcome to the DARK SIDE, NYC . . SEPT 11, 2014.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, SEPT 7, 2014 – unless otherwise noted.


opened SEPT 7, 2014
the show runs SEPT 7 – OCT 19, 2014

mom and daughter in the gallery storefront window . . a study in contrast.

the show turned out to be more buttoned-down than full-out Satan, i.e. rowdy and rude to the extreme – and was more a mother / daughter – contrast in graphic / observational drawing styles, and subject matter. though it did tweak heavy . . ribald (Aline) – and explicit (Sophie).
so . . ‘wicked good’ – actually works.

though, NYC Fall 2014 – was certainly up for a full-on onslaught of bad behavior, perhaps these 2 comic book-based artists – working and living in France – didn’t feel as raw as we New Yorkers do, and maybe they just didn’t want to be pigeon-holed . . as ‘too naughty’ for tv ?
a line – both of them have crossed in the past.
the show didn’t punch ya in the face – it more a stroll . . through the mirror, reflective as opposed to aggressive. a generational song of sorts. I think you only get one chance – at grabbing the art world’s attention, and desperate as it sounds I was ready to be socked in the face – with sheer and utter tastelessness (Aline) & too much info esp from a young girl controversy (Sophie).
but c’est la vie. raw sex and very bad behavior was not on the menu.

Aline was stepping back a bit and laughing at herself, and her world of like-minded pals, striving to stay young, and afloat – !!
all funk, and . . good times – will never pass us by.

Sophie and her friends, on the other hand – are all young and gorgeous, perfectly put together and full of inherent style – in a word: awesome – so, of course they are all full of angst & wondering what it’s all about, and of course – nobody is . . laughing.
Aline has seen it all, and also has Sophie to show for it – so . . all good.
what’s to . . sweat ? (except for the aging…)
and, where’s the next party ?
ok, so I’m a hippie . . but I gave birth to YOU, you awesome chic little creature.
tell me about it !!

ALINE KOMINSKY-CRUMB – a live wire, if there ever was one.

SOPHIE CRUMB. well you wouldn’t want to bullshit her. these artist kids, it’s liking looking god in the face, and then some.

ALINE KOMINSKY-CRUMB, ‘Temporarily Blonde’, 2012.
colored pencil, ink, glitter and glue on paper.
17 x 14 in. ($4,500)

ALINE KOMINSKY-CRUMB, ‘Queens for a Day’, 2012.
colored pencil, ink, glitter and glue on paper.
14 x 17 in. ($4,500)
this was as raunchy as it got – and it was actually kind-spirited, it only became sad when it started to remind me of . . Goldie Hawn.

ALINE KOMINSKY-CRUMB, ‘Larger than Life’, 2012.
colored pencil, ink, glitter, mixed media.
17 x 14 in. ($4,500)
I found this piece by Aline – astounding. its ‘youthful’ vibe really set it apart from the other pieces, without being self-conscious. it looked like something a really talented kid would put on . . ROOKIE.
it went clear past the funk, and onto . . sweet sixteen. without any guile, and no irony.
all natural – skills.
it was a showstopper . . for me.

note: the typical ‘AKC’ – signature, lower right hand corner of above.

colored pencil, ink, glitter, mixed media and glue on paper.
17 x 14 in . ($4,500)
this one seemed both very young, as in the primitive strokes of the pencil, as if it were sketched out by a kid, a teen, a pre-teen, and at the same time – wise beyond . . words.

AKC – this was Aline’s go-to signature.

SOPHIE CRUMB, ‘IX’, 2014, watercolor and ink on paper.
14-3/8 x 12 in. ($4,200)

Sophie’s work had a much more strictly observational, realist tone – a graphic quality you can find in some of her father’s work, as well. her ‘compressed’ line and composition was diametrically opposed to the funky and generous, inherently comic line of her mom’s hand. Sophie’s portraits had the edge of ‘editorial’ work – that is graphic illustration or photographic work done for magazines, esp those covering fashion. minimal, mysterious, chic. not quite brooding, but . . if not, than . . what ?

SOPHIE CRUMB, ‘Le Gout des Robes’, 2011. watercolor and ink on paper.
12-7/8 x 17. ($7,500)

this one was a rare piece by Sophie that both caught the comic flair & drama of her mom, esp the woman on the left could be a dead ringer for Aline, but, as well – if you squinted past the outrageous touches – absolutely mimicked the deadpan graphic observational quality of her dad’s hyper realist drawings.

it was interesting to note how Sophie’s signature – recalled her dad’s, in both style & font rendering.

SOPHIE CRUMB, ‘Brigitte Lahaie’, 2013.
watercolor and ink on paper.
8-1/2 x 6-1/2 in. ($3,200)

this was as explicit as the show got – but it really didn’t turn the corner into . . down and dirty, raw and raunchy. I mean maybe if you lived in a fundamentalist white cult, 19 kids and counting, whatever. or a Muslim community.
but NYC, not much.

it also was her best ‘rendering’ style, if you ask me. dead on, but in a very casual way. you can just see the comic book influence hovering in the air, even though it’s so realistic. hyper realistic. and yet very
animated as in comic book.
very hard to define, and yet so curious. so powerful. so visually rewarding.
just like her piece, ‘Teeth’, 2014 – that was the ‘poster’ image for the show.
see post below.

you could see her dad’s purely ‘graphic’ or ‘realist’ influence dominated her style, as well as her signature – over her mom’s. father daughter, what’s more to say.
though it’s curious. as this is a mother daughter show. mothers daughters . .
what’s more to say.

SOPHIE CRUMB, ‘Models’, 2013. watercolor and ink on paper.
14 x 10-3/4 in. ($4,200)

this seemed to be an effort to distance herself from both her father and her mother, but it tweaked a little too ‘stylized’ to be the heart of the matter. the end game conclusion. but it did speak to her generation’s fashion world sensibility, and . . yes, ROOKIE.
as opposed to the funky, hippie, ribald, and shake-em up status-quo blasting of her 60s psychedelic era parents !!
well she’s young, and why can’t she experiment, and branch out – artistically.

SOPHIE CRUMB, ‘Pig Tails’, 2014. watercolor on paper.
10-7/8 x 7-7/8 in. ($3,200)

Sophie at her best, a combo. the realism of her father imbued with the wider ‘generosity’ of line – of her mom. a combo – tamped down and sharply observed, – and coming up:
I’m SOPHIE, don’t mess with me.




OPENS SUN SEPT 7, 2014 / 5 – 8 PM
show runs: SEPT 7 – OCT 19, 2014

SOPHIE CRUMB, ‘TEETH’, 2014. watercolor & ink on paper. 11-5/8 x 8-7/8 in.

SOPHIE CRUMB is the talented 20-something daughter of legendary underground off-color cartoonist and hyper-realist scribbler . . ROBERT CRUMB.
ALINE KOMINSKY-CRUMB is his wife, and a legendary comic book artist in her own right. and, oh my god, where have you been, if you don’t know her work, twisted sister ?

this is gonna be one knock-out show, of that I’m sure. skills. skills, skills. wit and, in-your-face humor.

both SOPHIE & ALINE are just as outrageous cartoonists as ROBERT, (too much info !! haha slurp slurp) and both are equally excellent draftpersons – each with their very unique, but linked family graphic style.
it’s hard to escape, or define that amazingly characteristic and FLUID ‘comic book’ roll of the line.
for want of a better word.

so, can we say comic books . . are artisanal, and actually sprung from ancient roots as well ?

can we say: communication. with a capital C.

can we say . . relevant ? revealing, provocative, and even . . threatening.

can we say: WICKED ?!!!

WICKED, GOOD. SHARP, smart & funnie.

with ROBERT CRUMB as the very rude, and RIGHT ON (!!) horn dog ghost in the room, can we say SATAN is just as alive and well in NYC – as he is everywhere else ?



so, of course the big opening to-night will be:

SEPT 7 – OCT 25, 2014

where you can see for yourself just how far the term ARTISAN . . and, the skills culture – have come !!

I guess all things . . come round. damn that SATAN.

yep, SATAN still at play in the world. it’s a violent time, or what ?!!

though just from the currently posted gallery website images, I’m thinking the artist here, whose wares most rhyme with SATAN, are PAT’S tablets – which look like they are set on . . FIRE.

~PAT’S PIGEON CLUB . . ‘WE OUT HERE’ / slightly updated SUN SEPT 7

AUG 11 – AUG 22, 2014

in the 2014 summer of DEATH – it was nice to see something about . . LIFE.
the cherishing of nature, the keeping alive of traditions & skills. and I don’t mean just the pigeon keeping, it’s also a spin on ancient clay pottery, specifically porcelain.
and coop building, etc. and, of course the literal art of: communication.
check out the show’s title again: club, as in social, fan zines & BIRD TALK.

that’s also why people like Brooklyn so much, gifted SKILLED hands-on production . . mixes with & up-dates age-old tradition, and it’s a very hopeful, very beautiful, very positive vibe.
skills – and social dialog being . . the key words.

just sayin’ in case you didn’t realize that yes, cutting edge art is alive and multi-splendored.not at all academic, nor shallow – nor art market-oriented, well maybe art market HOPEFUL re: sales !! and why not – talent needs to eat, and most markedly of all – most of it does strongly resonate to what and where the global world is at.


he basically says, re the status quo mainstream art world . . “The school system that births the Academic Art of today is the end product of the age old desire of artists to be more than artisans. DA VINCI, POUSSIN, WATTEAU, et al, shared a desire to elevate the mind above the hand, and to move up the social ladder as intellect equated with nobility, manual labor with the masses. The apotheosis of this tendency has come in the last decades as academia has removed skill of any kind as a quality necessary in the creation of art. As art has moved from being an organic function of society and into the hallowed halls of academia, it has shifted from being something that artists did to bring meaning to their communities, into self-reflective gestures aimed at a highly-specialized intellectual elite. In the process art has lost its relevance to the society from which it springs”.

I mean where was this guy when the whole street art scene erupted in the past decade. and even SHEPARD FAIREY went to RISD. (just being the most obvious – I can be.)

DUDE – DO YOUR HOMEWORK, and at the very least – get out of the trenches !!
where have you been ?

or as PATRICK McCARTHY says: “WE OUT HERE” – come and get us !!

and, all the CINDERS crew, incl the CHIPPENDALE free-form ‘warning’ & the MARK CROSS homeless ‘blanket’.

and . . esp the NYC native-born SEAN VEGEZZI & CREW aka 15 WARREN & 170 SUFFOLK.

and even . . WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – the underground grandaddy of them all, with its cutting edge experimental & 24/7 wired social commentary & profoundly correct & prophetic future vision.

in fact, I don’t even know why I’m quoting this guy, at all – except that it does point up 3 things:

1. ultimately, it’s NOT about academic or artisan anymore – if it ever was !!
it’s about the JUICE !! the beauty, the concept and the production . . SKILLS.
it’s NOT about MONDRIAN vs VAN GOGH.

2. but yes, what is drawing people to this statement, so much so that it was repeated in the WALL STREET JOURNAL – is that the mainstream art market is finally being perceived as over-blown and full of weak juice, if not outright artificial ingredients – trying to pass off as the real thing. and it’s beginning to become very obvious. but the wannabes are not just on the pseudo artist side of the coin – that art world ‘elite’ he refers to – are really the biggest losers in this equation – yep, those damn, buy like sheep – wannabe collectors.

3. all great art – is RELEVANT to “the society from which it springs” !! dude – art 101.
and, all great art goes to live on . . as relevant. sensuous, provocative, shamanistic, technical, beautiful, disturbing, etc. etc.
but most SPECIFICALLY, in the 21st C – the underground / alternative scene – is most definitely all about . . RELEVANCE.

inside MUDDGUTS, PATRICK McCARTHY had constructed a low-fi pigeon store and clubhouse.
and . . art exhibit.

Brooklyn-based PAT McCARTHY is 27 years old and grew up in rural Connecticut.

hotties . . !!
as well as his form-follows-function porcelain nesting bowls and hi-rise coop perches, see post below, PAT also exhibited several ceramic ‘tablets’ which acquire their zen-like dull coppery off-beat hue from the 92nd St Y’s gas fired kilns. they related obviously to his drive to acquire and share . . ‘info’.
which also resonates with breeding pigeons – those ‘retro’ carriers of . . messages.
it all spells: communication.

as opposed to destruction and entropy.
just in case you needed the back story.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘NEST BOWLIN TABLETS’, monochrome photocopy fired into porcelain. ($1,500)

we out here . . !!
we remaining,
and we . . . outta here / as in taking flight – both bird-wise and artistically.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘COOPS OF THE WORLD’, inkjet print, paper, marker. hand-made edition of 3. ($700)

the clean-cut exhibit also included a very interesting & informative wall of global coops.
nothing is as satisfying as the easy-going, yet speaks volumes – visual information of a photo. these were appropriated off the web. which also consciously or not, brings forward what is MOST wonderful about the computer age, the accessibility of huge amounts of information at a finger tap, and the equally easy low-fi technical ability to re-format that info – and distribute it further on to a specialized audience, i.e. the singular singularity of the collective wisdom of the web – and it’s traditionally called: communication.

Pigeon coops in SENEGAL.
so apparently pigeon keeping – is a global, and very much – living tradition.

EGYPT – you can reach back to biblical roots ?

MISSISSIPPI DELTA, so do pigeons sing . . the blues ?

go Jersey, I guess that’s why they are calling Jersey the next Brooklyn.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘MEDICINE CHEST’, mad bird medicine, vaccinations, and treatments for all ails, Coleman stove. ($2,000).

looks like keeping your flock pretty, happy & healthy is a detailed job – just like gardening.
just like . . give me a break – everything !!

there’s beauty and info, and it’s SCARY !! – in all them der bottles, fonts and labels.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘EGO FEEDER’, porcelain, bamboo, wire. ($1,500)

but my favorite pieces were still the porcelain, form-follows-function / with definite artist touch – ones.
though putting candy into a pigeon feeding station was a little bit of a turn-off. appetite-wise.
I didn’t think it needed that accessorizing touch.
though the colors and surface texture of the jelly beans were a nice visual contrast to the shiny white glaze. ok, they were a ‘doorway’ in. but if I owned one – I would keep it empty and pristine.

I mean the self-portrait on the roof – said it all, art-wise. plus the bamboo / shiny white clay combo – was super.
though I also feel compelled to say I thought the prices Patrick was asking were a little pricey for an underground type outfit, though then again the experience was . . priceless.
it’s always a hard call.
but definitely talent needs to be supported, and its a hard road to survive on the underground streets.
and those streets are real mean, too. as in slick, ripped off, etc etc.

the roof of the feeding station. very nice.
I liked this black & white photo reproduction & shiny white glaze – a lot. very charming.
nice 3-dimensional twist.

being borderline, but super hi-functioning so shut up !! sensory autistic – I do love love brightly colored cheap plastic trinkets, or what !!
apparently so does Patrick.
and esp small plastic trinkets, that can dangle freely from a brightly colored string. esp plastic trinkets that make sounds. esp plastic trinkets – whose simple form … follows function. esp dialog about . . mass produced plastic trinkets vs artisanal highly-skilled porcelain in the same breath – how fun. how informative / the contrast of surfaces, and the origins of production. the color contrasts.
one-of-a-kind hand-made ceramics vs cheap mass production – fascinating dialog. from such a simple . . gesture.


PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘GRIT’, grit minerals – $5 a scoop.

apparently pigeons need grit . . added to their feed.

yep, PAT’S PIGEON CLUB – was a small social experiment, a low-fi & hi-fi array of delight, dialog, and information. and thus: ART.

it was so summer 2014 NYC underground – in a nutshell: skills !! relevancy. life-affirming. communication-based. original voices.
so totally against-the grain of the prevailing art world market place, and . . therefore, full of GRIT.
as in . . self-determination.
existing on the ground with everybody else, what could be more basic than breeding pigeons and hand building clay . . but, flying right over all those stuffy status quo heads / alternative art and the alternative art scene do exist, esp in NYC – of course !!
the city of grit.

so, esp . . to the ones that don’t do their homework.

“WE OUT HERE”. come and get us.

though I do like the other take, too: we outta here – we off the charts, losers !!



AUG 11 – AUG 22, 2014


if an underground, hardcore indie art gallery could be like . . a country store, MUDDGUTS did certainly give that impression, this hot summer day.
since this was my first foray over here – I had no idea . . just what lay beyond the door.


the first thing that struck me was how casually – the small front alcove had been transformed into a lively kind of office . . for the artist.

I had to ask because never having been there before I wasn’t sure, maybe it was the gallery front office ?
but no, PATRICK told me it was part of his exhibit and he had made everything, and set up all the photos on the wall, etc. etc. and yes, he had made the boom box, and turns out, maybe more to the point – the small white clay bell – to the right, next to the handle.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘PIGEON SHOP STEREO’, mixed media “we out here”. ($!,000)
it lit up, it had a great vintage cowboy vignette, like it came off a retro lunchbox or thermos – and it said: “we out here”. (!!)
I bet it plays, too.
it was too pricey for my pocket. but boy, did I covet it.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘BAMBOO CAGE’, mixed media. ($5,000)

the Muddguts gallery had been turned into a gallery/store/club. the space is on the small side, all the better to know ya, give me artist-indie vs big box galleries any day.

you know a typical New York City bodega kind of storefront, and it seemed clear the minute you entered, some kind of magic, and some kind of pigeon grocery store – were married, and happily . . at foot.
in a sentence: a serious pigeon fan club offering solid pigeon breeding info, and some pretty zen-like handmade art – along with sacks of bird feed & industry zines.

this beautiful oriental wind chime of a coop – being one of the hand-made items on offer.
super loved the faux jade, but still . . luminous, green roof !!
so thin and papery.
looks to be configured – from an oriental parasol.
now that’s light-handed sensual fabrication, if I ever did see one.

it was also quite functional – not just a fantasy facsimile, witness the resident guest of honor . . .
what a beautiful pigeon, more like a dancer – not your average dirty scruffy street thug.

and so the story begins . .
turns out Patrick fancies and raises a breed called . . Polish Roller, nice name. pretty bird.
this is a Polish Roller male.
Patrick started out with 4, and now he has almost a hundred, or maybe it’s . . a hundred and counting !!

not knowing much about Pigeons, except for DUKE RILEY’S last (Nov 2014) show of a tough ocean-flying Cuban cigar-smuggling camera bearing pigeon crew . . I had to ask, did he know the Duke ?
turns out the Duke had just recently sold that huge showboat of an almost candy-colored wooden fable gypsy-like caravan coop he had made & exhibited in that show, “See You at the Finish Line” – it was called.
it just went to some big, or smart, probably both (!!) collector in Europe, for a dollar figure in the 6 digits. surprise, surprise, not.
that was 3 months ago, and since their home was now gone, sold as an art piece !! talk about artist-born gentrification !!
and turns out, Duke has been boarding the now homeless 30 or so member-strong sea-worthy feathered crew at . . BABYLON COOPS, with PATRICK !!
guess it’s a small world, in pigeon circles !!
I wonder what the rates are for pigeon coop rental ?
what’s worse I wonder if Duke even cares for them anymore, now that their 5 mins of fame – is up.
surprise surprise, somehow, I doubt it.
just a gut feeling. but somehow somewhere, I’m thinking gentle Patrick has 30 more tough ole birds to feed, and keep clean. and they are not even his – style !!

because Pat also brought to my attention that the sturdy birds that Duke had set to ocean crossing flight, smuggling cigars back to Miami from Cuba . . . in mini mini hand-sewn backpacks & hooked up with 24/7 mini cams . . were a really sturdy breed & looked like boxers. while Patrick’s in-house team was more graceful, more like dandies. I liked that contrast.

it was kind of like the contrast between Duke and Pat. one a showboat muscle, the other a graceful acrobat. all good esp in the yin-yang polarities, as far as I’m concerned. anyways, it’s not about one or the other – it’s all good, meaning beauty . . lies in the shades of gray.
between the ranges of expression = art.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘BABYLON NEON’, wire, steel, flamingo lights. ($1,400)
PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘Photoboard’, each – digital c-prints on cork board, the one on the left is framed. ($1,000 ea.)

luckily there were 2 photo collages on the opposite wall, providing a clear visual map to further my pigeon know-how: re: etiquette, the care of, and breeding.

and you know what, with the way this summer has been going, it was nice to fall into a world of pigeon devotion, if only for day. like a swim in a lake, without a care in the world, except for the cost of pigeon feed.
PAT’S PIGEON CLUB – had very gentle vibes.
the other side of the coin.

so turns out Brooklyn had quite the pigeon breeding culture, which still, though barely, lives on.
it’s fate lies in the hands of the next generation, because apparently 9 or 10 years old is the age when you typically get the bug, and you know . . first 4, then a hundred.

a pigeon landscaped roof-top garden, probably Patrick’s . .

Babylon Pigeon Coop seems to be quite rustic, and yet somehow . . romantic.
visionary. poetic.
too on the down-low – to be termed artisanal, and I’m thinking . . that’s a good thing !!
but wait . . til you see the pottery.

inside the Babylon coops – the ‘high-rise’ ceramic perches – fashioned by Patrick himself.
now that’s what I call . . artisanal.

a vertical row of them was for sale in the gallery.
PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘V PERCH HIGH RISE’, porcelain, hardware, wood plank. ($1,500)

so zen.
esp for porcelain. esp if you know the history of MEISSEN porcelain ?!!
apparently this almost all-white zen glaze . . is very colorful to the pigeons, because they have ‘pentachromatic’ sight and so they know which one is theirs.
essentially if humans can see 1 million hues, pigeons can see 10 billion.
range of vision and perception of minute color codes – is apparently essential to safe flight.

the ‘v’ shape helps keep the fellow pigeon under your perch, free of your pigeon poop. it acts like a roof and perch all rolled up into one – which lets the poop roll down to the floor, the better for the coop keeper to scoop it up.

PATRICK also fashions clay breeding or nesting bowls for his brood – the birds bring in their own organic adornments.

PATRICK McCARTY, ‘NEST BOWLS’, issue 3. porcelain. ($1,200 for the set)

when Babylon Coops runs out of proper nest bowls, Patrick gives them an ole sneaker . . seems to do the trick.

PATRICK McCARTHY, ‘BRONZED NEST SHOE’, converse sneaker, feathers, hay, epoxy resin, paint. ($2,000)







featuring vintage funeral home bowling shirts from the collection of – JOHAN KUGELBERG
opened FRI AUG 29, 2014 and ran thru the LABOR DAY WEEKEND.

LELE SAVERI and MARK CROSS – artist co-owners of MUDDGUTS.

he did those custom blanket/carpets with hardcore photos of wasted homeless people on them, you saw one at the MAY 2014 – IT’S AN INVASION show at the National Arts Club, and there was also one on the floor at the more recent CINDERS 10th ANNIVERSARY pop-up show – I hear he’s only made 5, each one is different, and he takes the photos with a point and shoot. I also hear tell that if you get west coast side, San Francisco – BARRY McGEE uses one as his family beach blanket. yes indeedy, summer of death, or what !!
file under: art slay.
beach blanket art slay, whatever.
I mean beach, desert, what’s the diff. it’s all sand.
except . . ok, fill in the blanks yourself.
hint: one side is all . . skillz and MIRTH !!
and the other is friggin desperate.
oh, back to . . bowling !!
bring on the hardcore prankster – clowns !!

JOHAN KUGELBERG – the curator of the show.
when they talk about . . you can live your whole life in New York – and STILL, you can turn a corner – and a whole new world opens up, this guy . . is what they mean.
check out: BOO-HOORAY

KEEGEAN COOKE did some of the props – talk about bowling pins killing it.
he did those skull and cross bone great graphics. distressed, but just right. not too showy, not too ghostly.
the guy likes to keep a low profile, but I think, watch out.

so yeah, they did turn the small storefront gallery into an ad hoc bowling alley, except of course minus the auto pin – pick up !!

the death pins !!
graphics . . KEEGAN COOKE

X marks the spot. you got one chance to score a strike and you won something, I forget what.
I was so blown away, I mean if you know me, I had already tripped over them, the bowling pins .. and knocked some down, so I guess that was my one shot.
so embarrassing.
my friends back at artnet didn’t call me artlovers – for naught.
and, there’s a reason why the name – stuck.
but . . back to bowling.

some pretty choice vintage funeral home / league bowling shirts lined the walls.

have I been watching one too many American Pickers ?!!
or as Frank would exclaim, waving his tiny flashlight – Mike check out those HO-HO !! HO FLINGERS !!

damn that’s one sick slick wall.
caught my attention. looks like the limited edition of 3 (?) SURVIVAL box sets, packed just the same – in USPS PRIORITY BOXES that JOSH HARRIS . . JOSH HARRIS my ex-buddy and his former partner-in-crime – the late great silk screen artist MARK ENGER aka EXPL SKY / EXPLODING SKY made up on the farm, after WE LIVE IN PUBLIC crashed.
it had a disposable haz mat suit inside, one size fits all – as well as a few other needy 21st C things, and yeah I scored one. of course. so, yes boxed set USPS . . rang a bell.
and a good one. don’t get me wrong. I mean maybe Mark’s death put Josh on the wrong path ?
I dunno – but he sure ain’t bowling . . strikes. lately.
but, back to bowling !!

damn. you got . .
~one vintage funeral home bowling shirt
~one zine
~a grim reaper Bowling trophy
~a skull and cross bones bowling pin
~a Too Bad You’re Gonna Die T-shirt
~all packaged in a hand-stenciled priority box .. for $150 / ?!!!
LIMITED EDITION of 10 – count me in.
I had Theo with me – so duh, artist kid with credit card is good for $150, or what !!

I mean check out that swift stencil job !!
black as night, and slightly diffused around the edges. good proportions, too.
and what about that . . trophy ?

grim reaper, or what ?!!!!!
Summer of DEATH, or what ?!!!!!
and look at how the light glances off that glass, plastic, plexiglas ? base. wow. may as well be crystal.
JOHAN KUGELBERG actually made the trophy. nice job.
no hesitation. count me in, Theo man – give the kid in the office your credit card.

and then oh god, I had a panic attack . . I actually had to pick a funeral home bowling league shirt for my boxed set, from the assortment lining the walls. wow, you could pick your own, it wasn’t just a random surprise. luckily about half of them were already gone, so I went for the shiniest – the RED ONE !!!!!!

I mean it was the only red one, fire engine red at that.
and I liked the name of my new home team, my new . . GHOST ARMY !!!!
am I building a huge ghost army – or what. all praise to BOB MARLEY for setting me on the path.
but back to bowling, I also liked the word play: OEH – LEA !!
OLA !! DEATH. OLAY, olah !!

and the player’s name was . . Siewerth ?
you got to be kidding me – rhymes with BLOW MIRTH, (see CINDERS show write-up) !!
kind of.
or, what about just: SEE WORTH.

but apparently it also held a great ‘secret’ !!
can you see it ?
guess all my American Pickers vintage signage forays were paying off . . . subconsciously.

apparently some wicked funny signage guy – did the ‘drop shadows’ on the letters, for they surely are at . . play.
the ‘O’s – are shadowed backwards to the rest of the letters !!
for real. just look at it, you’ll see it.

PETER. this is the kid who turned me onto that.
seems he’s a real bright kid who knows his fonts & shadows. and signage and graff and stuff.
he told me: you bought the BEST ONE !!
upon a little questioning he told me he was into BARRY McGEE & west coast graff. funny how McGEE still pops up on the east coast, even with Deitch down. see top of this post, for example. a great legend lives, is all I can say – the BLOW MIRTH crew as we like to call them.
he told me to check out: THR / THE HARSH REALITY & . . DFW.
in fact, DFW had just surfaced at CINDERS . . ISACC LIN.
also: KRON4NEWS, but not the tv channel.in the mix.instagram.

but WHAT really pops up on the radar for west coast graff right now is: ROBERTO CAVALLI SUED BY 3 GRAFFITI artists . . !!
big storm brewing, go for it, slam those theivin’ bastard sleazebags.

PRADA ripped off a watercolor textile design with Japanese flower buds, that I had shopped around in NYC in the early 90s, I saw it adorning a dress and coat suit – almost dot for dot, in her big MET show 2 summers ago. it was first ripped off and made into a bed sheet by the company I shopped it to.
then she, MIUCCIA took it and embroidered straight onto to her pant suit, without even resourcing it as . . ‘found’. she took full credit and in the same breath went on about how artists aren’t special and she doesn’t work with them. you know that big Schiaperelli and Prada show a few summers back.
so don’t get me started. always ahead of the curve or what.

all I can say is, TOO BAD YOU’RE GONNA DIE. losers.

PATRICK McCARTHY – had the last show at MUDDGUTS.
totally sweet and counter to the grain. but still most definite: GRIT.
it was called PAT’S PIGEON CLUB . . and I got great pix and they are coming up – next week.
sorry for the grainy portrait, my auto focus got distracted by the . . SATAN CERAMICS logo, and truth be told, so did I. Pat had some handmade ceramics in his show, including some very sublime porcelain pigeon perch ‘high rises’, and some very zen-like nesting bowls.

speaking of which . . TOM SACHS.
PAT McCARTHY works in the production crew at the TOM SACHS studio. I heard he actually holds a key position. sculpture / fabrication.
they are both, TOM and PAT going to have ceramic work in a quickly upcoming ceramics group show at SALON 94 in their downtown Freemans Alley location – opening SUNDAY SEPT 7, 2014 – wow, that’s next week.
and so, the Fall 2014 art season begins.

see you there.