~WALTER ROBINSON . . in dialog
“I unleashed a lot of evil on the world” ~ WALTER ROBINSON
at his artist talk, yesterday evening at DEITCH PROJECTS.
Tues Sept 27, 2016.
and, he wasn’t joking . . . !!
ALISON GINGERAS, WALTER ROBINSON & JEFFREY DEITCH . . .
at Walter’s ‘unscripted’ !! artist talk, that took place in his traveling retrospective/exhibit, which is now up at Deitch Projects, thru Oct 22, 2016.
Alison was the moderator.
behind Walter, is his early ‘spin’ painting, the aptly named . . ‘Vacation from the Self’, 1986.
Enamel on canvas. 36 x 36 in.
Walter was pretty funny, for a very Oklahoma-born, Canada Dry Ginger Ale kind of guy. a lot of what was the funniest stuff went right over the audience’s ‘collective’ head, because they thought . . well, he must be joking, but haha no siree – he was not !!!!!
I was, more than – pleasantly surprised to see my ‘used-to-have-been-mine-in-the-early-80s’ . . ‘REVENGE’ – a star of the show !!
WALTER ROBINSON, ‘Revenge’, 1982. Acrylic on board, 40 x 30 in.
oh my god, how many countless careers did he cut short – just because he was in a bad mood !! from fighting with Charlie F !! or because he was snubbed, or just because he was bored & most likely . . . jealous, or worse . . intellectually uninspired ?
not to mention “not paid enough’ – even though he was the only one at artnet – to get a salary.
ah, the critics’ life in NYC.
he did let on . . that writing those ‘WEEKEND REPORTS’ (at artnet) were “hard work” . . .
and, thank god for … INSTAGRAM !!!!!!!!!!
no words needed . . here.
but, he still doesn’t post anything really remarkable & about to blow the world apart – Walter always puts white bread on his sandwiches !!
though he did post a photo of deep sleepers / ghost army RIP: SIMON CERIGO, and DAN ASHER’S work . . from our ‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’ 3 person pop-up show, of JUNE 2015, on his Instagram feed – but he didn’t post a photo of my work, huh ?!!!!
he did graciously let drop – that he was . . ‘sexist’ !!
and, dammit – he is.
I mean, I am the one who worked for him, for FREE !! for 3 friggin years at artnet – producing his best cutting edge report, so you’d think, just as a courtesy ?????
and trust me, though I will always kiss his feet – for giving me the chance to prove my presentient insights were golden bread crumbs strewn on the steep path of art collecting – when god knows, NOBODY else would, it was not a pain-free . . ‘workplace’.
he brought me to tears, 3 times !!
I mean it, and if you know me – I’m pretty hard-core from being kicked around, ignored & basically under-estimated since forever – so that’s a pretty big bottle of poison pills, to swallow. and usually it was over something stupid like . . I “had brought in too many musician photos” !!
“Devendra Banhart . . who ?” / “Joe Bradley in Cheeseburger – who ?”
haha, talk about famous last words.
when I insisted the photos go up, or I go out. he bellowed: out !! & said I was giving him a headache – but sure enough, the photos would appear alive and well, kicking under my name, within the next day or so.
and crowning touch: he is the guy, who in true blue New York City Anna Wintour diva style . . . finally fired me for being: “too successful” !!
I kid you not, his exact words.
and with 2 small kids to feed, and 2 days before Christmas.
I wasn’t getting paid, but I had hustled ads from the new galleries I was bringing to the table: CANADA, and BILL BRADY’S ATM, just to name a few.
(W MAG – are you listening ?)
of course, he did go on to drop that his own career, at Metro Pictures in the 80s, had been cut-off at the knee – before it even began, by a one-sentence ‘diss’ from . . “KIM LEVIN in the VILLAGE VOICE. I only sold one painting, in a show of spin paintings, and that was that.”
bro, so sad. welcome to the art world.
so what does he do ?
he sticks to . . writing and art journal editing – I guess, just one big . . mean nurse – forever !!
with a big huge . . needle.
though he does come off ‘roly poly’ to the mostly . . half-lifes – he promotes.
let’s just say it – more nicely: try making money off following Walter, excepting the Nancy years !!
and yeah, he said it a few times, writing all those endless weekend-wrecking, word-driven art screeds – was a headache.
he seems much happier now.
and what’s to complain about ?
what a great show !!!!!!!!! freenemy !!!!!!!!
THERE’S . . . NO DENYING:
WALTER ROBINSON . . . is a GREAT, GREAT UNSUNG AMERICAN PAINTER.
OK, I don’t like the ‘Wayne Thiebaud’ pieces so much, the flannel shirts, the shoes, the hamburgers, but wow – everything else !! r-a-d-i-a-n-t !!
so, maybe . . just like it was actually a GIFT – that Walter fired me, and . . ultimately FREED ME !!!
to write what I want, and post what I want – and . . GET ALL THE CREDIT !!
because NO, I was not just the dog photog who was told where to go, I was the event photog who brought in the goods !!
it might have burnt Walter to be ‘let go’ at artnet, but then he actually had no other choice, but to slog the paintings once again, and . . here we are !!!
someone in the rather repressed, ok – well-behaved ??? audience, (where was the ghost of party-boy big mouth Simon – when you most need him ?!!) . . .
piped up and asked Walter . . where were all his porn paintings ???
oh yes !!!!!!
Walter answered something to the effect that . . “I guess ‘they’ wanted to keep the show . . presentable” ?
say what ???
WALTER !!! – you’ve got a stash of early PORN PAINTINGS hidden away – BRING THEM ON !!!!!!!!
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH