Archive for the ‘art and politics’ Category

The Bare Minimumn.

March 23, 2019

I have been a maid. I wasn’t very good at it. I was too slow.

I was thinking of all my minimum wage jobs after reading a review of the memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land. I haven’t read the book. I wanted to, but the review irritated me and now I’m not so sure I do.

Minimum wage jobs I’ve had:


Cashier at a clothing store

House painter – interiors.

Nude model (pardon me; now called life studies model).

Picture framer.

Book store clerk.

Library clerk.

The worst, hardest of those was nude model. I don’t like being naked in front of a room full of young strangers. I was really good at it, having spent 5 years at an art college. I knew how to to hold 15 second, 60 second, five minute poses. The killer were poses that lasted not just a day but weeks. It’s impossible to find any position that doesn’t hurt after a little while. So you hold it and are in pain. Sometimes you lose feeling in a limb. Still, you hold that pose.

The floors were always filthy and the rooms often cold. Sometimes a teacher would find me a space heater so I would have a circle of heat focused on one spot of my leg which would leave a round area that looked like I had an odd sunburn.

I was paid $7.00 an hour to start and each year we got a .25 cent raise. No work to be had on holidays, or school breaks. So we would scramble to find private jobs for teachers who held their own drawing circles, or art clubs.

But that isn’t the point.

I made minimum wage at the indie bookstore. I loved that job. But could I survive on it? No. The store was open 364 days a year, from 8 to midnight. The owner made damn sure that no one ever exceeded what would constitute part time. The only full time employees were the accountants. We had to find our own substitutes when we took vacations.

I loved the job even though the owner never read, and probably didn’t own a book.

I loved it even though he and the chosen few would watch us through a big glass window from their high perch.

Being an artist with a husband who had a full time job with benefits meant I had some choice. The theory is that I would work for low pay but still have time to be an artist and a decent parent. Neither of which was actually true, but never mind.

Eventually I found myself as a clerk in a library. A job that had a lovely ring to it. To this day, any time I tell people I work in a library most everyone responds “ohhhh, my dream job”. I began that job in 2005. It was my dream too. I worked for around $7.00 and hour. Same as at the book store, the frame shop, the nude modeling. The going rate for part time work in RI had not budged. I worked part time until October of 2016 when I applied for, and got a full time position or, as my husband and I joke, a “cushy union job”.

But before it was cushy I joined a growing group of part timers in my city of Cranston and growled at the city council to increase minimum wage. At last they did. To $8.00 an hour. Now it is $10.50.

When I was a maid I was paid by the job. I earned more than minimum wage in spite of my slowness. I had a certain amount of autonomy.

That isn’t the point.

The point is that minimum wage is minimum wage. Doesn’t matter how pretty the surroundings. You are hired help. You can be fired without cause. And, should anything happen to keep you from getting to your job such as a sick child, sick husband, broken car, traffic and in my case, a broken shoulder, you will not get one dime until you return, if you are allowed to return.

I was allowed to return. I had eleven years under my belt. But no income while I was out.

The point is, that whether you are a maid or work in a library or stand around naked for people to draw you, the value you hold to them is the same. You are worth the absolute minimum wage.

The point is, that is a shitty way to treat people.

The point is, I don’t think I need to read a book about it. I could write my own.


Now I remember why the interview with Stephanie Land irritated me so much.

She has made some money from this book (which is good. I revere all who write and make to the point of publication and earnings from their words). But she said that should she ever hire someone to clean her home she would leave thoughtful gifts.

How about instead, as my parents did, contributing to their social security? Paid time off? A decent wage? Those are thoughtful. A tchotchke is something more to clean.

Snowy Night in New York City. 

January 19, 2017

During a visit to see my mother in Brooklyn, I went out to see art work, which many of you know is a difficult decision.

Snow began to fall in the afternoon.

I went to see the Drawings of James Siena first. There was construction in the tunnels. I had to take a train, and a bus and walk a lot. I was icy cold when I arrived.

I did love the exhibit. I was sad there wasn’t a catalogue.

James Siena

I went to see Michelle Grabner’s cast Afghan blankets. That was a great show too.

Cast Afghan by Michelle Grabner.

I could not warm up.

I wanted a glass of wine, and a small hot food thing. All around were coffee shops,  but I did not want coffee.

My last stop was meant to be the Met Breuer to see the Kerry James Marshall work.

I walked a lot. I took a subway. I took a bus cross town.

I was freezing, and very hungry.

There were bars. The prices for little hot food treats were crazy high. I couldn’t justify it but then I could.

I walked past the Café Carlyle. I wished I could afford it.

I went to the bar downstairs in the Whitney. It looked cozy.

I went to the man seating people and asked for a seat at the bar. He said it would take a little while. It was busy, bustling.

I walked away and began to cry. Of course, when I cry these days it is about more than being cold, hungry.

Suddenly, the Man Who Seats people was at my side. He put an arm around my back. He asked me if I was okay. He took me to the bar and got me a seat. He seemed to have assigned every person at the restaurant to make sure I got water, wine, a small food thing. I looked at the prices. I could afford an endive salad, and a glass of wine. I am embarrassed to say what I paid for this. A lot. The wait staff glanced at me now and then to see that I was not crying anymore. That I was okay. It was genuine. Then they brought me a dessert. It was icy cold but I ate a little because they were so nice to give it to me.
When I finished and had to meet a friend upstairs I thanked the Seating Man, whose name is Robert Banat. He works at Flora, in the Whitney. He is a very very kind man.

Robert Banat

Kerry James Marshall’s paintings were a tour de force.

Kerry James Marshall

I was tired and sad when I got back to Brooklyn, but I was also so grateful.

Life is complicated these days.

Coda: Robert Banat gave me a business card. He photographs famous artists in their studios. I sent him an e mail, thanking him again. I sent him a few images of my work, because he seemed to care about who I was. I did not hear back. I wish I would have.

A New Day

October 14, 2016

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

― L.M. Montgomery.

My life at the moment is about learning to accept daily the mistakes I make, other people make and their after effects.

For even in a brand new unblemished day, you have to live with the consequences of all your previous wrongs. Sometimes it feels overwhelming.

In my artwork I have tried to explore, allow, and appreciate mistakes. My drawings and paintings look so careful, and in a way, perfect. But they are not. I am not Bridget Riley, or Tess Jaray, or Julian Stanczak. I don’t even know how they do what they do.

In my brick drawings I don’t use a ruler. Every single brick is a slightly different size. Most do not line up as they should. No structure could survive if it were built with the bricks I draw. I try as hard with these drawings to ALLOW these errors as I try in my non art life to be perfect. It’s a challenge. A part of me feels a pull to use a ruler, to keep each brick the same as the next. It is the same feeling I had with my slinky series. I had to fight the urge to check the circles with a compass. I have to fight my desire to control, to be ‘perfect’.

I know my art work is stronger with these imperfections. What would be the point of making perfect bricks or perfect circles when artists have already done that, and done it brilliantly?

But navigating life outside my studio, where I have to exist with rules and parameters, with hearts, minds, souls, individuals, I think it would be better if I could control more of myself. I used to think I was more interesting when I let loose, said what I thought, tossed off opinions even if I hadn’t thought them through. I no longer believe this.
These days, I try every day I try not to offend people, to do well at my day job, to be kind to my mother who is barely my mother, to be a good friend, citizen, wife, mother, pet owner, housekeeper. Each day I am not all that successful at any of these things. I hate myself for it. I can’t seem to find a balance between being myself, and being what I think I am supposed to be.

I can forgive the imperfect me. But only in my art.

My Notebooks

November 16, 2014

I have too many note books. I see them, often at Spoonbill & Sugartown, my favorite bookstore, and I have to have them. They are usually not very expensive. Anywhere from $10 to $30.00. But if I never bought one more I would have enough paper to do drawings till I die, even if I did a drawing every day, which I don’t. And even when I draw every day, each drawing takes weeks. So, I don’t need more. But I love them. Here are a few of my favorites. Most have not been used at all. One is nearly filled.

The flowered notebook is for ideas. I jot down ideas I have for drawings, paintings, everything. I write about housework, dreams, revelations, thoughts that might work as embroideries. I’ll be sad when this book is filled. I bought it at a R.I.S.D. student sale, and foolishly lost the information about who made it. The pages are graphed. I am a sucker for graph paper.

All the other books on this page are empty, for now.

Two note-sketch books This blog is not looking at all the way I hoped it would. I can’t figure out how to make the images do what I want them to do. But I am going to post it because what difference does it really make? This is what happens when I try to be Maira Kalman.


ledger This book has all sorts of accounting type information, names, red type, numbers. It is glorious.

inside music book 2

inside the Musique book.

inside little turquoise book

Inside the turquoise book. This little book is a work of art as it is. Every single page has a different line design. Like a mass produced Sol Lewitt. I will draw in it someday, but I need to think about what would best suit it. I try not to make the books more precious than the art I want to make in them, but this one is a real challenge. I love it the way it is.

inside music book

Also inside Musique notebook. Another beautiful object, as is.

two more note-sketch books

I might give the Made In Japan notebook away. The pages inside are graphed and are silky to the touch.

The end.



I Had A Toothache.

November 11, 2014

All women think there is one pair of jeans in the world that is the perfect pair. The pair that will make you look slim, cool, stylish and will transform every ratty top into a smashing fabulous accessory. This is why there could be a series called Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, about magic jeans.

I am an atheist. I do not believe in God. But I foolishly believe in the magic jeans. I thought I found them just over a week ago at T.J.Maxx. Not only magic, but discounted. I bought them. They look like this:

Joe jeansI wore them. I thought they looked great.

Then I got a toothache and at the same time was expecting company  from out of town, so tried to push toothache pain into recess of my brain. I was stoic. Company arrived on Friday. Toothache was there,  but bearable. Saturday I went out with company and husband to fine dining establishment I have wanted to go to for a very long time. Tooth hurt and pain was getting to be a nuisance. (Where do the jeans come in? you might wonder. Be patient.)

At beginning of meal, I ordered wine. I was afraid of fancy cocktails because I wanted booze I knew would act quickly to lower pain and elevate cheerfulness. Husband and company ordered cocktail called Infinite Fall. It was pretty. I tasted it, and knew it was the drink of my dreams. I ordered one.

The meal was the best I ever had and Infinite Fall was the best drink I ever had. I ate soft starchy yummy food. I was cheerful. I thought I was fine for the night. But, toothache came back with mighty roar. I scrounged around for old pills and tra la! Found codeine + acetaminophen. Took two. And a sleeping pill. Slept.

Sunday I had a very important event. Company, husband and I were going to see the 8 minute art movie of me, along with 11 other 8 minute movies of other artists at the impressive R.I.S.D. Museum. Before breakfast decided I’d better take two more codeine + acetaminophen to head off imminent pain. Wanted to look fab. Was going to wear magic jeans and random top and look cool & artsy. SBut something was wrong. Fast forward through being unable to keep head off floor, unable to eat breakfast or even crawl properly. Made valiant effort to climb upstairs, dampen unruly hair in shower. Put on magic jeans. Husband & company left me in semi coma on bed, wearing jeans and sweatshirt, to go to Museum. There was sleep. There was unpleasant sick. There was sleep.

Felt kind of normal Sunday, except for pain. Got proper medication from best ever dentist.

Company went home Monday. I went to work. Still had pain. Week proceeded in blur of pain and work and sleep. Finally, by Wednesday, there was light at end of pain tunnel.

By Friday I was ready to look chic again. Had art event. Looked for magic jeans. Could not find them anywhere. Looked the next day. Could not find them. Had I given them to Savers when I was in coma? Thrown them in trash? I looked again and again in closet. Found all other inferior non magic jeans. Was bereft and sad. Would have to wear non magic jeans.

The next day, I carefully, slowly, methodically looked at all hanging jeans, and lo & behold, saw the magic jeans. I put them on. I realized they are a little too big in areas, a little too stretchy. Not magic.

But my toothache is gone.



Are You Mad At Me?

October 13, 2014

IMG_0002I almost always have a list in my head of people I think are mad at me. It is a sign of my self centered-ness, of my insecurity, and of my knowledge that at least once a day I say or write something that makes someone mad at me.

But this list is of real friends. People I love and respect and who I know love, or at least like, and respect me. If I have gotten in touch with one of these people via phone or e mail or facebook and I don’t hear back in a timely fashion (that day, that hour, that minute), I  worry. When my son was young I would look at him and say “I think Lulu (fake name to protect the innocent) is mad at me”. I did this from the time he could have any sort of back and forth conversation with me, which was four. He would look up at me and say “mom, why would Lulu be mad at you?” in a reasonable, calm, reassuring voice. I would give him a list of why I thought Lulu might be mad and after a while he would convince me that I was being an idiot and I should just call Lulu again, or send a new e mail or even forget it. Eventually I would hear from Lulu and I would tell my wise son, because of course he was right and she was NOT mad at me. She was just busy with real life.

I am one thousand times better than I used to be and now I only think friends are mad at me once or twice a week. My son is in college so I can’t bother him about the list of angry friends in my head and for whatever reason I don’t find it soothing to tell my husband. When I tell him, in a somber and almost teary fashion, who I think is mad at me, he barely glances up from the newspaper or book he is reading or sports game he is watching. Instead I tell our dog Alice. She is  somewhat reassuring because she is never mad at me.

This  sounds funny, as do most neurotic tendencies when they are the neurotic tendencies of other people. But when it is your own self telling you that your friends are mad at you, it is sort of painful. Now that I am addicted to facebook and I have friends I have never met but still consider quite real, I have MORE people I can think are mad at me.

Sometimes they really are.

There is no real solution to this. I just want to put it out there because although I know I can be harsh and tactless and blunt I HATE to hurt anyone’s feelings. I love my friends, real and virtual and if I do not hear from you after I have written to you or called just know that I am sitting in my kitchen or studio with coffee or if it is evening wine and I am telling Alice that someone, maybe you, are mad at me. And though she will look at me with love she can’t tell me that they are not mad because as crazy as I am I know she can’t talk. So, write back or call back or send me a message back or something, even if it is to tell me you are mad as hell at me.


Jennifer Wynne Reeves

June 23, 2014


Jennifer Wynne Reeves, an artist, died today. This being the 21st century, I knew her mostly as an online presence. She was friends, really friends, with some of my Facebook friends. I loved her art work. Her paintings seem entirely original to me, which is about the highest compliment I can think of to bestow upon anyone trying to be an artist. She also incorporated words with images, long before it was a Thing.
I could tell from what she wrote, her little commentaries and replies, that she was super smart. I could tell she had a sense of humor, an edge, and a heart.
Before I knew she was so ill, but after I knew she knew who I was, I sent her a private message asking for some advice on getting a Guggenheim. She was as close as I got to knowing someone who had received one. I asked her if I could ask her. And she said yes.
When I found out she was sick, but still unaware of how sick, I asked her if I could send her a home made card. And she said yes. She gave me a p.o. Box number. I made a sort of strange collage card for her with a little note and sent it off. And later, she thanked me.
I asked the price of a painting of hers I loved. It was $4,000.00. I wanted it very badly and if I did not have a son soon heading to college I would have figured out a way to get it. I still think about it.
Eventually I realized that she was very sick, and that probably she would not beat the kind of cancer she had.
She was mad. She wrote fiery furious funny posts about her time in the hospital, her time in rehab. About patients, bad and good nurses, bodily fluids, mess, degradation. Life and death stuff. She was not shy. She wanted to live to be at the opening for her upcoming solo show.
I did not meet her, but I know all of this from her words and the words of her friends.
Not that it matters, but she happened to be beautiful.
I am so sad about her death and at the same time angry that most people, even people who are sort of in the art world have no idea who she was, or what her work was like. I am angry at Art in America, MoMA, the NY Times, and the gutless writers, curators, collectors who give so much space, ink, and energy to the likes of Jeff Koons, but never took a chance on a real artist.
She had money worries. She should not have had those worries piled on top of her worries about time running out and on top of not having energy to paint all the paintings in her head.

Look her up. Read her words. Watch her interviews. She is worth the time, the energy. If you can afford it, buy one of her paintings. She is getting a show. Kudos to her gallery, Bravin Lee, for giving her the space she deserves.
I am sorry I never knew you well Jennifer Wynne Reeves. But I am thinking of you and you have become a big part of my memory bank.


The Art of Thinking About Art

July 28, 2013

I went to Brooklyn to visit my mom, and, for a change, to see a couple of art exhibits. Whenever I drive, ever since the year I had to drive to Brooklyn every other weekend to see my father at the V.A. hospital, I listen to an audio book. It has saved me.

For this trip I was listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Image

I’d read it when I was in my 20’s. I remember that it was important to me then, but I did not remember anything specific about it. I just felt like I wanted to visit it again. At first it seemed like a bad choice. It sounded a little dated, and preachy. But eventually I found myself taking in every word, and I am glad this is the book I’ll have accompanying me on car trips for a while longer.

The first exhibit I planned to see was the James Turell show at the Guggenheim. Usually when I see a show, I just arrive. But for this one there had been a lot of hype, a lot of press, and  big crowds. I bought a ticket in advance, for around $24.00.

I walked in (my advance ticket really helped. I hardly had to wait at all) and looked up at the skylight. I saw the colored spiral that had been posted all over facebook.Image

It did not look like this picture. It looked a little washed out, like a hazy day at the beach.
The best part of the exhibit was a room of aquatints based on his light beams. They were beautiful, mesmerizing, elegant. Before I left the Guggenheim I looked up again. Now the color was sort of an almost white with a touch of peach.

I am so grateful that a friend told me about the Ken Price show at the Met. I was not very familiar with his work, but knew I liked it enough to go to the Met to have a deeper experience. I paid $1.00 to get in. The work was smart, beautiful, labor intensive yet simple, and it was so personal.

I thought hard about why I liked the Price show so much, and had been so unmoved by Turrell. I know it had a lot to do with what I KNEW about Turrell, or thought I knew. I am an artist who likes to see only a small degree of separation between the artist and the art. I deeply admire Sol Lewitt, which might seem a contradiction, because he is responsible for artworks he never touched. And there will be new pieces of his, even though he is not alive. But to me, the hand of Lewitt is in all of his work.

Anyway, this isn’t about Lewitt. This is about me, trying to understand my reaction to an art event that is far more complex, more bold, more complex than anything I could ever conceive.

But I never believed Turrell had much to do with it. I felt like he had an idea, he found people to make the idea into something solid. That is not nothing. But it is a cold way to be creative. This reenforces the subjective nature of looking at art. I know Turrell is Good. But the exhibit did not move me, and so I was disappointed and critical. With Ken Price, his hand, his humanity were everywhere. It made all the difference. That, and the fact of the work being so beautifully executed. There was humor, craft, skill, beauty, and there was Ken Price. I was in awe. I was not awed by Turrell in the same way. I was in awe of his ego, of his capacity to have people turn their buildings and spaces upside down with little support from him. But I am unmoved by his creation, or, at least,  what I saw at the Guggenheim.

UnhingedFrontWallThe above image is from the last show I saw on Friday. It is called Unhinged, and it was at Pierogi, in Brooklyn. I have work in this show, which you can sort of see. There are two drawings that are circles with red ink. This exhibit made me so happy. Not only because I have work in it, but because it is a heroic sampling of art from the vast collection within their flat files. There were rooms with drawings in every style you could imagine. The hand of each artist was clear and present and so was the eye of the staff, who must have gone a little crazy hanging all these pieces.

I have more to understand about why I like what I like and do not like what I don’t like. For now I’m glad I made it to two shows that were so inspiring. I would be happy to hear from people why they disagree with me. But, I know my mind is made up. It is not very Zen. Neither am I.

Catching Up On Many Things

May 21, 2013

Oklahoma…of course this is #1 on my mind.

So so sad. And yet, questions do spring to mind. When to tactfully remind the senators, Tom Coburn and his colleague James Inhofe , that while we all share their grief, they did not share ours after Storm Sandy? They were both quite steadfast about voting against FEMA relief. And…considering that this is the third (at least) catastrophic tornado incident in the same place since 1999, is it wise to rebuild an entire city there again?

The summer of Jess

Very soon, at the end of May or beginning of June, I am going to Philadelphia to watch the installation of my Ulysses Glove Project take place at the esteemed Rosenbach Museum & Library. It will be my second trip there. The third will be to attend my talk, a party, a gala, and Bloomsday. A weekend of Museum events where I will be part of the hooplah. It is a dream come true. I only wish my dad could be here to see it. He would have been my guest of honor. I don’t think my mom has much, if any interest in it at all. I bought a fancy dress at the store Zuzu’s Petals, on Thayer Street. My friend Bernadette, who is from Paris, helped me choose it. She saved me from making the terrible mistake of buying a pink dress with black kitties on it. This one is all sophistication. Nicole Miller, mostly black. I wish I could get my hair done and also get my eye brows threaded.


I am working on a series of small drawings, all abstract, while I think about my next BIG project. I want to write a novel. I want to make another epic art work. But right now I am making mostly 6″ x 6″ drawings and enjoying making them. Here is one. Blue Circle-Red Circle

Also, I will have a glove piece shown at the R.I.S.D. Museum. Not talking much about it. It has been shrouded in secrecy, but it will happen. Opening, July 18, 2013. Here is a sneak preview.

The-Election-Gloves-(flag)Very exciting.


You’ll have to read my mom blog.

Blanche, the Cat

Blanche is our cat. She is about 12 years old. She is not a good cat. She is very pretty (I think) but she willfully poops and pees in areas near but not in her litter box. I have done everything that every book ever written has recommended. I have given her extra boxes, moved box around to be more convenient for her (not like she has anything else to do mind you), cleaned it and generally been very sweet to her. Sometimes she does her business just where it should be and then wham! She won’t. All the books say that cats do not do things out of revenge. They are wrong. I don’t know why she feels the need for revenge, but these are revenge poops. Here is what Blanche looks like.


My Son

He is almost finished with his junior year of high school. He is a teenager. I worry about him, but really, he is pretty great.

My Husband

I love him too. He is a newspaper man. We all know that’s a business that has big issues. He will be with me for all the hooplah at the Rosenbach and he came up with Summer Of Jess.

The Not Sublime…Daniel Brush

October 25, 2012

A few weeks ago I was completely irritated and out of sorts because of the NY Times article about the artist Wade Guyton, and just when I had calmed down I read the next cover story, about artist Daniel Brush. Unlike Guyton Mr. Brush has skills. He has a vision, he spends time on each piece he makes and he has been making art for more than forty years. So, what's my beef?
Mr. Brush does not have a dealer. Okay, I can live with that.
Mr. Brush does not go to openings or parties for other artists. Okay, he seems like a curmudgeon, but what do I care?
Mr. Brush barely leaves his huge loft, according to the Times, for months or even years. About now I am beginning to get that needle in my brain that says…so, who is buying the groceries? Who is taking out the trash, feeding the guy (there is a photo of him. He is not starving. He looks like Walter from Fringe)?
And this is the paragraph that pushed me from puzzled to potential serial killer…
…after a one man show at the Phillips Collection (at 23 years old for God's sake!!!), he found himself selling lots of work, but his popularity didn't sit well with him. (After that sentence, and before the next round of what Mr Brush did the article mentions his "wife and one man support system, Olivia who doesn't seem to have a last name).
He says "I was so unnerved that I bought back every single thing from every person and destroyed all the work". Sweet. First of all, I don't believe it. He bought back every single thing? There wasn't one angry customer who didn't say "screw you, you nut job. Go get a therapist…I am keeping my painting!". And recently, when one of the world's most prestigious museums (which he won't name) wanted to acquire his work, he refused to sell it to them.
BUT, he has graciously allowed a sweeping exhibit of his work at the Museum of Arts and Design.
How kind of him.
I'm sure it's just great. I bet I would like this work. He has roots in jewelry, just like me, and does a lot with careful obsessive ink line drawings, just like me (only better, I assume).
The curators who put on this show "praised the technical mastery of Mr. Brush, who buys, melts and granulates his own gold".
Let me explain something. Buying your own gold (which is what gold is…your own, after the purchase. That is true of anything you buy. Cereal, toilet paper, pants…you get the picture.) is what every jeweler who works in gold does. Same for melting it. Buying and melting are fairly easy to do. Especially when you clearly have the money to buy your own pricey work and then destroy it. Granulation is tricky, but Mr. Brush is not the only person who can do it. I HAVE DONE GRANULATION!!!!! Okay? I mean, I am not great at it. But it is a skill, not some sort of wizardry. The master jeweler John Paul Miller of the Cleveland Institute of Art taught himself granulation, when no one was doing it. It had become a lost art. Mr. Brush probably learned it from Mr. Miller because, coincidentally Mr. Brush grew up in…wait for it…Cleveland! Anyway, it is hard, but not impossible.
Mr. Brush has devoted followers who keep him afloat. It makes him seem like he is struggling to survive and would perish if not for these generous souls, like Oliver Sacks and Marsha, the ex-wife of Robin Williams. (I wonder if Marsha was the babysitter Robin ran off with, or if this was the wife he had when he ran off with the babysitter).
Who are these people? This guy has a wife that completely takes care of him so he can make his specialty items for his short list of approved collectors . The Times says he is warm and has a sense of humour. Nice. Glad to know it. I'd like him better if he did the dishes and ran the vacuum every now and then.
Through the article to the very end there are tidbits about Mr. Brush and his very unique habits, his skills, his special followers (only about a dozen people are allowed to buy his work.).
Somehow he managed to find time to use his penis because they have a son who he probably never saw because he was too busy hiding in his loft making art objects. And somehow even though he made and destroyed things for a decade someone said "hey! Let's make a book of this guy's work!" and so Abrams published a book of his work.
His advice to young artists who want to make good work (as opposed to the young and old artists who want to make lousy work), "Stay inside".
and oh…if you want to follow that path, make sure you can find a good woman to completely support you financially and emotionally plus round up a few rabid collectors, a publishing company and a museum. Simple.
And that is why this article made me angry.