~UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO – THE FOUNT
this is the show’s poster.
we made a short edition of them to plaster on the scaffolding, outside the storefront . . .
it is a complete reproduction of an early ‘newspaper’ piece by Simon, and from which we could get the only image of the three of us together. lucky it even exists, and that’s part of the magic behind it, I guess.
there are no other copies of the photo, at all. I mean there are plenty of digital ones now, but no negatives, no hard copy vintage prints. and, there are absolutely no other images of the three of us together.
it’s kind of fitting, that Simon ‘collected’ this photograph – he was very much into keeping ‘records’ of life – as it swirled around him. if Dan and I shared an (obsessed) interest in photography, for ‘holding onto time’ . . . . Dan documenting far-away places and indie bands, while my focus was on the art scene happening right before me, Simon was into collecting hands-on, actual ‘artifacts’, including working on newspaper pages that caught his eye, with their continuous moment-in-the-news immediacy, and gone-again . . temper.
coming to New York in the early 80s, was a really exciting time.
we all just thought, this is how it is, and – dive in !!
this is Simon’s ‘artist’ statement’ from 1987 – that I found in his old papers, while getting ready to put up this show.
“To be an artist in this age of materialism is the height of Romanticism. My paintings are first of all about ‘being’. I am not interested in technical categories, such as, abstraction or figuration. My main concern in painting is to ‘live in paint’. Painting for me is a way to talk myself and the world. My work incorporates toys, not only because of my own fascination with them, but because I feel that on a sublime level they reveal something about the particular civilization they belong to.”
this piece incorporates a small army of tiny war planes, Simon was into building model airplanes, tanks, and ships – with a narrow focus on WW II. WW II fascinated him. the ‘strip’ down the the right hand side is a piece of an actual model kit box, with ‘detailing’ – instructions.
so yeah, Simon got ‘tiny’ !!, nano, reproduction, replica – whatever.
me and Dan . . were not into ‘mini’ – at all.
I think the scientist-type nerd / character in the newspaper image, is Allan Ginsberg ?
the image of the retro 50s family on the right – probably references his own family.
his mom and dad.
his mom was very stylish. she studied medicine at the Sorbonne in Paris, and his dad was a financial newspaper reporter.
the ape on the left – ?
his inner demons !!
a lifelong battle & hence the magic of the title, ‘Under the Volcano’ – as well !!
when he died, he had left a little pink pencil eraser on the top of his diary of notes, it said – it had printed in black script on the top side:
“TIME WILL ERASE MY MISTAKES” – if only life was so, easy. Not.
but it all adds – up to great art. everybody can feel the emotion, even if they don’t know – the exact details.
war on the horizon, global warfare in the past, advanced technology warfare, and the war – within.
within the self, and within the family unit – as well.
even our goddamn genes – fight each other.
we love, we fight. we reproduce, and we start all over . . .
and here I am in . . . NEW YORK CITY.