~MIKE PARE at POP GALLERY, CA

enuff with the ghosts . . . damn it.
someone asked me if I had a voodoo doll, and damn it – yes I do !!
and yes, better believe … it’s stuck full of pins, too.

FILE UNDER: NO MORE PIRATE GHOSTS, no more tough bird Haitian witchdoctor lady ghosts. just Simon can come by and eat the little treats, in the Chinese plate .. by the window in the back.

can’t think of a better image to wash ‘dem damn troubles’ out of my so-called nappy, or is that .. happy head . . . than this one, by one of my fav young artists ever, MIKE PARE … since when I first saw his work at ATM GALLERY back in the early 2000’s … the naughts (?!!).

he has since picked up and moved to New Mexico – but I see you just can’t keep a good artist down forever, despite what Jerry Saltz said about his first major one man show – here. no wonder he moved, it wasn’t just the far-out sunsets, he was a-wanting.

Mike Pare is now based in Milwaukee. our loss, their gain. period.

see: MIKE PARE . . .’BLISSED OUT’, ATM, NYC – SEPT 2005
note: the artlovers section that contained the extensive opening night pix – is no longer open to the general public. well, you can blame the dudes who scan the pix – and then make off, like the content – is their own.
I think we used to call them – bandits.
bandits. art critics. no diff.

‘BLISSED OUT’ was one of the best shows I have EVER seen in my ENTIRE LIFE. it was severely dissed by JERRY SALTZ, and another fine artist – had his art career chopped at the knees, no joke.
who’s laughing . . . ?

I may be dancing on my husband’s grave – but I sure ain’t laughing … at the F state of art criticism in this mediocre, once great – ghost town.
amen.

MIKE PARE . . . . MERCURY DRAWINGS
JAN 11 – FEB 22, 2013
POP GALLERY – 3505 HELMS AVE – CALIFORNIA

see: MIKE PARE – his website (!!)

IMAGE: MIKE PARE – from the current HOMEPAGE of his website, MIKE PARE




~SIMON CERIGO, one more look at the work . . .

oh boy, I can just hear it, now.
now . . . they gonna be acallin’ me: CRACK THE WIDOW – !!
hahaha.
oh my god.

KATE CERIGO helps move her dad’s large paintings.
yes, I knit her hat and her sweater . . . but, of course !!

FILE UNDER: “yes, I am still here, and I am watching over you, Kate … love, Simon”.

it’s funny how life lines up. it’s supposedly such a random universe we live in, or . . . what ?
Simon’s longtime storage arrangement for his largest canvases – expired the same week, he did.
the upside was, as we moved them – we got to see works of his that hadn’t seen the light of day for a decade or so, at least.


SIMON CERIGO, ‘untitled with model airplane’, ca 1996-98.
acrylic paint on canvas, t-shirt, model airplane.
estimate size to be: approx. 8 x 8-1/2 ft.

as you can see Simon’s work evolved into a great eloquent … clarity. his canvases became more and more dependent on draftsmanship, as opposed to over-all expressionistic activity.

Simon loved to build models, esp of military tanks and airplanes – and then, often he would attach them to his canvases.


SIMON CERIGO, ‘MOEBIUS’, ca. 1996-98. acrylic paint, t-shirt & small action figures.
approx: 8 x 8-1/2 ft.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘MOEBIUS’.
Simon never lost his love for comic books, and Moebius in particular – was a big influence on his artistic vision.


SIMON CERIGO, ‘SAMURAI’, ca 1996-98, acrylic paint, t-shirt on canvas.
approx: 8 x 8-1/2 ft.

Simon was really into Japanese art, not only it’s aesthetic, but it’s historical & folklore ethos. he esp loved the ‘sadness’ and drama of SAMURAI movies. he has left behind, almost a complete DVD collection of every one ever made. believe it. from AKIRA KUROSAWA’S ‘RAN’, Kate was named after the heroine, Kayde – to ‘Sword of the Beast’ by HIDEO GOSHA.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘SAMURAI’.
SIMON was also obviously way into T-SHIRTS, and the evolving cult of the mass produced & easily printed t-shirt that was just springing up – in the 80s. band t-shirts, esp. he was always way ahead of the curve, way ahead of the game.


SIMON CERIGO, ‘Robin’, ca 1996-98. acrylic paint, t-shirt.
approx: 8 x 8-1/2 ft.
this one was very abstracted. . . .


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘Robin’.
it was the sheer poetic-ness of his faces – that always fascinated me.


SIMON CERIGO, ‘KEITH HARING – SAILOR BOY’, acrylic on canvas with T-SHIRT. ca 1996-98.
4 x 4-1/2 ft.

HANDS – UP !!
in the face of … real art.
I surrender.

SIMON went to almost every opening there was, every night, week, after week his whole life . . but esp back in the 80’s and 90’s when the scene was way more concentrated and young artists … like KEITH HARING and JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT . . were busting out. we were both at the legendary East Village FUN GALLERY – for Keith’s very first NYC shows.
Simon’s work also reflected the ongoing dialog, he maintained with friends, and within his own thoughts – with what was: super hot and happening . . . all around him. all the time, 24/7.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘KEITH HARING – SAILOR BOY’.
but there was also an underlying formal awareness to his work – that surpassed all the dialog.
he loved to get acrylic paint down to ‘watercolor’ effect . . .
my son just told me, Simon always told him . . . he loved my watercolors so much, that he was always trying to get … there.


he was acutely aware of all the compositional elements .. and brought them to state of play at once, casual … and yet, very very elegant.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘KEITH HARING’ – SAILOR BOY’.
yes, that is ANDY WARHOL’S signature printed down the right-hand the side of the t-shirt. I guess it signifies that he, ANDY painted the shirt’s image of Haring.
it reminds me of an early opening in the 80s, when Simon approached Andy … and had him sign his t-shirt, that he, Simon was wearing. and no, alas, I don’t know where it is – anymore.
slipped through the cracks, just like Simon.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~SIMON CERIGO – MEMORIAL, CHINATOWN. FEB 2, 2013


SIMON’S MEMORIAL took place this past Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at True Light Church in Chinatown – pretty much to the day, 2 weeks after he ‘past’ away.

you have to thank the young man on the left, THEO CERIGO, 24, Simon’s son – for pulling it off.
THEO totally produced the whole event – and it was . . . awesome.
with Theo is his long-time friend, DAVID STIMMER.


the memorial took place at True Light Lutheran Church in Chinatown.
our family actually has a long and loving association with this church . . . it is the home base for Theo’s Boy Scout Troop 150, one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in America, where he was a very active boy scout, since he was 11. and where he is still, as young man, a very involved and caring youth program volunteer, and Scout Master today.

one of my and Simon’s fondest memories . . . was the ceremony, held proudly right here in the chapel, when Theo made . . . Eagle Scout.
an artist kid and an Eagle Scout – you can’t beat that. . . great mix.

yes, those are Simon’s artworks – on display.


Simon’s friend, AKI, flew in from Japan.
Aki met Simon in the early 90s – when he was just a high school student – looking for audiophile equipment – and they have remained close ever since.


my friend, the original Jersey shore girl, DIANE LOMBARDI-FLEMING . . .
many friends showed up: Kate’s, Theo’s, mine, Simon’s … in fact it was a full house, and we were very honored and pleased, comforted … to see so much respect and love shown to a guy who at the end of the day – was a great artist, if still unrecognized, and, just you wait – not for long (!!), a great character, and probably the most knowledgeable player on the art scene . . . and, a wonderfully affectionate and profound dad – who connected just as much with his children, as he did with his art world pals, and party posse …

artwork: Theo’s own personal fav of Simon’s work: a portrait of WILLEM DAFOE..


Theo curated and arranged for 4 of Simon’s newspaper pieces to be on display. how this art eluded and went over everybody’s head – is beyond me, but hey that’s the art world.

a long time Scout Troop 150 volunteer, TONY CHEE was the ceremony’s host. he started with a brief Bio – focusing on Simon’s early years, his coming to New York, from Montreal – in 1980, his relationship with me (Nancy), and the start of our small family.

CHARLIE FINCH.

then followed a rousing, passionate, somewhat on-the-edge – but very straightforward true-to-life portrait of Simon – as he really was . . . on the art scene: a very colorful, loved to party, yet very knowledgeable fixture who went to more openings than anybody else I know, and spread the word, the virtual low-down, with a very discerning eye – week, after week, after week – for over 30 years.

so go figure – at the depth of that oral history – we just lost !!

this lively remembrance was provided with great sadness, and yet much fondness, and even greater celebration – by Simon’s best pal, from pretty much day one . . . the incomparable . . . CHARLIE FINCH.

yes, that was a ‘speech’ to remember, as anyone who was there, will tell you.

then Theo presented a wonderful slideshow of intimate photos culled from our family’s many photos albums. a sweet, too swift, now gone . . . portrait of snaps, that caught the arc of Simons life, just so … just right. I think at that point, Theo stopped to screen a music video – of the band, WYE OAK singing: ‘I DON’T FEEL YOUNG’. . . in a Yaris.

both as a tribute to Simon’s love of indie music . . and to set a sound track to the proceedings.


SIMON’S NEWSPAPER PIECES . . .

then Theo gave a heart-felt remembrance of his father – that touched everybody in the room – very very deeply. people who hadn’t known Theo before, surely realized, that yes, the best and most profound parts of Simon – live on in his son. yes, Theo is a more-down-to-earth kinda guy, he has a business degree, but he shares Simon’s passion for art and music – like nobody’s business. Simon’s most proud day was when he exclaimed to me – “the boy has a great eye, the boy is a natural born collector.”

Theo told everyone not to be too sad, that Simon even loved sadness, had taught him that .. there was a ‘beauty’ even in sadness, and to bring the point home. . . he played another music video clip: ‘THIS TOO SHALL PASS’ by …. the band: OK GO. well if you know it – it’s a super enchanting wonder of a thing, if you don’t know it, trust me – download the original from iTunes !!

what’s so funny, apart from the marching band, and the camouflage back ups !! is that the refrain sounds like: “where did the money go”. (!!) well, if you knew Simon – you knew, this was – all good.

you can catch the real lyrics, here. and hear the song – but that video is bogus. get the real deal, like I said on iTunes. seeing is believing.


SIMON CERIGO, NEWSPAPER PIECE – PORTRAIT of his DAUGHTER, KATE. dated MAY 15, 1988.
watercolor on newsprint, THE NEW YORK TIMES. including an article with the by-line: KATE SIMON (!!).
Kate would have been 2, it was just before Theo was to be born, and yes . . that is indeed just how she grew up to be, as anyone can tell you.

the lovely flowers were from Kate’s longtime friends, KANA TOGASHI and TETSUJI NAKATOMI who run a lovely lovely flower, vintage and local artisan goods store in FORT GREENE, BROOKLYN, called – SAFFRON at 31 Hanson Place . . .


detail, SIMON CERIGO. newspaper piece dated MAY 15, 1988.
NYC art world – how the F… did you manage to miss out on this ?
the expression: don’t cast your pearls before swine … does come to mind. and, let’s leave it at that.

one of the insights Theo shared, was that he thought … people didn’t credit Simon as much as they should have … because Simon tossed off his knowledge so casually. I think that’s true, though I hadn’t really thought of it like that, before. hey, your loss – not ours.
we always treasured Simon just for who he was, dead broke, or in the money – through thick and thin.


and then our longtime family friends, SCOTTIE and JOHN HARRISON, who had driven down from Vermont, concluded the service by singing a wonderful, mysterious and very moving song … a 2 part version of ‘HALLOWELL’ by the contemporary American composer & lyricist STEPHEN SPITZER.

based on traditional ‘Shape Note’ singing, also known as ‘Sacred Harp Singing’ …. also known as ‘fasola’ .. the form which dates back to colonial New England – is currently seeing a big resurgence.

we will leave you with some of the lyrics, which we all found most terrible strange/true, and yet – very very comforting . . .

“I thought when someone died the spirit flew overhead furthest field,
Now I see death will leave behind .. a scrap of light,
a broken smile, the remnants by . . . mountain flowers,
the desert sands . . . surround me now,
comfort me now.
in death or dreaming I find my kin.”

check out: WYE OAK – ‘I DON’T FEEL YOUNG’. . .

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~SIMON CERIGO, R.I.P.

SIMON CERIGO – ca. 1978, he would be about 26 years old.

PHOTO: SHELDON MOSKOVICI




~SIMON, KATE & THEO

SIMON CERIGO . . . with KATE and THEO. SUMMER 1994, 5 RIVINGTON ST. EAST STOREFRONT. LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC.
ONE OF SIMON’S LARGE PAINTINGS – IN THE BACKGROUND.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH.

SIMON CERIGO / JULY 3, 1952 – JAN 20, 2013
MEMORIAL CELEBRATION – SAT FEB 2, 2013 / 1-4PM
TRUE LIGHT LUTHERAN CHURCH – 195 WORTH ST – CHINATOWN, NYC




~IF CHILDREN WERE WISHES . . . WYE OAK

check out: WYE OAK – IF CHILDREN WERE WISHES . . .

the soundtrack of our days . . .

“I just . . . watch you get weaker and weaker till you finally die.”

see: lyrics




~SIMON CERIGO: VICTIM of his own KREATION

WAITING for the OTHER SHOE, to drop . . .

a lot of people are writing really nice tributes to Simon.
our very fav is – ‘SIMON SAYS’ by DAVE DORSEY posted FEB 24, 2012. about a year ago.
to his blog: represent – the painting life.

yep, for sure, check out: ‘SIMON SAYS’ by DAVE DORSEY – a very true portrait, that for sure.

of course, though best remembered for his artistic brilliance – I’m waiting for the day when someone has the chutzpah to write: I PARTIED DOWN HARD – WITH SIMON. I mean I might want to burn it, and more so, strangle the author and the players, but . . . still. fact is fact.
I hear ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST has a particularly … colorful chapter. put it this way: Simon loved attention. and let’s leave it – at that.

you do know . . . me and Simon were the battlin’ tragedy caught on tape in . . . WE LIVE IN PUBLIC. there was a lot of jealousy & competition, too. going through his stuff, I just came across a birthday card from that year (2000) to Simon, from Theo. it’s inscribed: good luck with the rest of your life, and with Nancy.

of course, the other show waiting to drop as well, would finally be some well-deserved and long time in the coming – recognition of Simon’s own body of art. back in the day, when he had a small gallery, SIMON CERIGO GALLERY on AVE A, in the East Village, from 1985 & for a few years onward – creative people were not ‘allowed’ to wear so many different ‘hats’, as they are today. and that in a nutshell, is one of the BIGGEST and, BEST evolutions . . I can relate from the 60s, 70s, even 80s – til now.

of course not forgetting the BIGGIE: the freedom we have today to self-publish – on the web. the aggregate democratic street-up vibrancy of contemporary art criticism.

Simon was a stubborn truly indie gallerist, a gifted curator, a talent scout supreme, a ‘frontier’ mentality collector, and a hands-on artist. He followed nobodies trends – but his own.

His first major serious formal collecting began in his teens – he started off buying photography. all the greats, you name someone – he had it. from the complete ROBERT FRANK ‘Flower’ Portfolio of 1975 – to the EDWARD CURTIS classics of the west . . he also had started collecting comics, very seriously . . at a very very early age, and when I met him – he had several treasure chests in his childhood bedroom, full of pristine comics.
and then, there was the record collection, talk about golden vinyl.
in fact, it was like everything he touched – turned to gold. in art school – we used to call him . . . the Midas man. he liked to play cards, and buy art. go figure, nothing ever changes.

and, you didn’t have to be in a gallery, the work just had to catch his eye. he was the first person to ever buy my work.


SIMON CERIGO, ‘HE WAS TEA VICTIM OF HIS OWN KREATION’, ca 1986. NYC.
acrylic paint, oil stick, t-shirt . . and objects on canvas, 4-3/4 ft. by 5 ft.


SIMON CERIGO, detail
though he looked like a ‘messy’ expressionistic painter, at first glance, don’t let that fool you. he had real draftsman-type skills. he used to get into my watercolors every now and then, and I’d be, damn . . . beginner’s luck !!


SIMON CERIGO, detail, oil stick
He was also influenced by DAN ASHER. and he loved modernism. in literature, too.


SIMON CERIGO, detail . . .
vinyl … “love like Anthrax”, GANG OF FOUR – EMC (?!!!)
love like anthrax – that bout sums it up, love can really do you, in.


SIMON CERIGO, detail . . .
JOY DIVISION t-shirt


SIMON CERIGO, detail . . .
the comic book influence.


SIMON CERIGO, detail . . .
the ram’s head. yeah, I’m Aires. right-to-the-wall, and put your hands, up Aires. the ram.
Simon was a crab, Cancer. and thus a flamin’ huge conflict was aborn of . . . great passion.


SIMON CERIGO, detail.
that looks like something I would have bought for Kate, in Chinatown.


NANCY SMITH, acrylic paint on canvas . . . ca. 1986. NYC.
I’m guessing 7 ft. by 8 ft. ?

just in case you were wondering what I was doing then.
damn. but wood, for large stretchers was dirt cheap then. so was a huge roll of cotton duck / canvas. loft space was still pretty ok – cheap. nobody considered that storage space might become … a problematic issue – just 10 short years later. we were living on Franklin St. in Tribeca at that point.
you can see my growing interest in quilt patterns surfacing. just 10 short years late, I had given up the brush, and taken up . . . the needle.
and so it goes . . .
damn, I’m feeling like . . . James Joyce.

come to think of it, it was Simon who turned me onto Joyce. although I had read The Dubliners, several years back. I’m just remembering, that he couldn’t believe I made it all the way through, Ulysses and then, even, Finnegans Wake.
dudes, it . . . was a snap.

and so is life: snap. snap. snap. gone.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, NYC.




~CAT POWER . . . SUN

YOUR WORLD . . . IS JUST BEGINNING . . .

TIME . . . IT AIN’T GOT NOTHING on YOU.

CAT POWER’S new album, ‘SUN’ – was in the works to be Simon Cerigo’s next Music review . . .

SIMON could call the music . . . just as well as he could call the art.
just one look at the artlovers Indie Music page archives – will tell you that.
he was way ahead of the curve – in terms of calling the trends . . . and waves and feelings.

People liked to read his reviews because, although short and very to the point, and ON POINT – he could throw in a relevant reference to times past, the 70s & the 80s mostly. he knew the obscure of history of underground labels like the back of his hand.
his music reviews often garnered a bigger following – then the concurrent art pages, believe it.

in fact . . . I think honestly, for real, the one main reason I married Simon was for his record collection. if you know me at all . . . yes, you could believe it.
when we first started ‘seeing’ each other . . . back in the late 80s – one of the very first bands he turned me onto was JOY DIVISION – and yep, that sealed the deal.
for his part – he never got over that BOB MARLEY’S – NO WOMAN DON’T CRY . . . was the soundtrack to my twenty-something life.

yeah, I turned him onto Reggae, and he turned me onto Indie. 30 year+ relationship – in a nutshell.

CHECK OUT: CAT POWER – Nothin But Time (Featuring IGGY POP)

“I WANNA LIVE – I WANNA GIVE and NOT – BE FORGOTTEN.”

amen. SIMON.




~SIMON CERIGO: TRUE LIGHT LUTHERAN CHURCH

we will be having a . . . MEMORIAL for SIMON on SAT FEB 2, 2013 / 1-4 PM

at TRUE LIGHT LUTHERAN CHURCH – 195 WORTH ST – CHINATOWN, NYC

check out: the snowflakes !!

you need to give them a second or two – to engage.

it’s snowing in the city, for real . . . too.

SIMON CERIGO, ‘Man in the Red Chinese Hat’, aka ‘Moonlight Madness’. 1990.
acrylic paint, t-shirt, plastic action figures, and other various small objects, on canvas.
34 x 40 in. signed & dated on the back


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘Man in the Red Chinese Hat’.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘Man in the Red Chinese Hat’.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘Man in the Red Chinese Hat’.


detail, SIMON CERIGO, ‘Man in the Red Chinese Hat’.

dust to dust . . .

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~SIMON CERIGO, R.I.P.

we are very sad to tell you that SIMON CERIGO . . . art world maven, artlovers contributor, artist . . . and party crasher supreme – has joined the Dead Artist Club. He passed away yesterday, Sunday Jan 20, 2013 – suddenly, after a brief illness complicated by heart issues. He was 60.

we are gonna miss you. that’s . . . for sure.
but if there is a big party going on up there, we know – you are already – on it !!


SIMON CERIGO, man on the scene, that’s for sure . . . at the CARROLL DUNHAM opening, Dec 28, 2012.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH, NYC. DEC 28, 2012


SIMON CERIGO, NANCY SMITH, KATE and THEO. 5 Rivington St, Lower East Side, NYC.
PHOTO: SCOTTIE HARRISON, NYC. SPRING 1990.