I went to the VD clinic yesterday ‘cause I thought there was something wrong with me. I suspected that I might have been a bit hypochondriacal but – sure enough – there was something wrong. To quote the doctor’s precise and horrifying diagnosis, I was suffering from “a minor skin irritation.”
So that’s good news but it doesn’t end there. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I got to watch an educational video in which a cartoon penis rolled a condom over his body and then proceeded to lube himself up. I swear to god, I’m not fucking with you. This exists. Giant cartoon condom – rolls a condom over his body – and then covers himself with lube.
I made this painting over a year ago, in a state of sheer terror, while waiting for test results. Being back at a clinic yesterday, I remembered that I had never put it online.
Early in 2014, I sold some art to a girl named Rachel Rabinowitz in Delray Beach, FL. She emailed me later and told me that she was an artist too and that I should hit her up if I was ever in Asheville. Later that year, while in Asheville, Chris Spillane and I met her for coffee. She asked if I’d be interested in collaborating and I told her that she could paint something and then I could paint something over it. (That’s the only way I know how to collaborate; I had done it twice before with my buddy, William Somma, on “Limp” and “Yo – I Painted a Fuckin’ Unicorn“). Here’s what the canvas looked like when she gave it to me:
Check me out! I’m being an angry crybaby ’cause I heard second-hand that someone (that I don’t even know!) implied that I can’t really be trusted because I’m a drug addict.
You know how long it’s been since I injected drugs? You know how long it’s been since my compulsion to inject drugs inspired me to do something dishonest? Not to mention: I’m itinerant as fuck! Nobody knows me. I’m in a new city every day. I can be whoever I want each time I roll into a new city. The only reason anyone I encounter these days knows that I am/was a drug addict is ’cause I fuckin’ tell them. I wear everything on my sleeve ’cause I’m okay with who I am. I’m fuckin’ proud of who I am. Good and bad.
So fuck off with that shit.
What’s this have to do with my new piece, “What I Do When I’m Not on Tinder?” Very little! I’m just trying to kill two birds with one stone by venting and simultaneously writing a statement for a new piece. But if I wanted to contrive a connection, here it is: Even my Tinder profile introduces me to “potential matches” with an opening salvo of, “I don’t shoot heroin anymore but I still have a personality disorder. It’s nothing you’d notice most of the time.”
“What’s Tinder?” you ask. Well, you poor unfortunate soul, it’s a dating app for smartphones that matches people based on geographic proximity (“[this user] is two miles away”) and whether or not you swiped left (“nope”) or right (“like”) on their profile – which is comprised of no more than six photos and 500 characters of text. It’s superficial, shallow, and lots of fun! Once two people have swiped right on each others’ profiles, the lines of communication are open for messaging and (potentially) making plans to meet in real life. And now that Tinder’s introduced their newest feature (the hilariously-named “Tinder Moments,” a Snapchat-like feature which allows you to upload an additional photo, revealed only to your “matches” for 24 hours (who are then prompted to “like” or dismiss it by way of swipe)) it’s also become one more social-networking-avenue for a sad little boy like me to collect the validation-via-clicks for which I’m so desperate.
My mood right now is definitely corrupting my usually joyful description of Tinder. It’s shallow, superficial, and a lot of fun. It’s super speed dating. Say the wrong thing to some girl? Who cares! Just scroll down to your next match and start again! It’s totally meaningless (just like everything else in the known universe)!
I finished this drawing three weeks ago but have held off on sharing it on my website, Instagram, and Facebook until now because I only just got a proper high-res photograph of it. There was one venue through which I shared it immediately upon completion though – and it proved to be my most popular TINDER MOMENT to date!
I’m ridiculous. (And pretty okay with it).
Full disclosure: As revealed in the statement accompanying my commissioned “Bleed Blue Tatoo” piece, I’ve “started getting laid again,” am getting all the female attention I need, and have consequently been inactive on Tinder for a week or so. I’m also taking bets on how long ‘til I fall apart again and rediscover its utility. Hit me up for the current odds! Who knows? Maybe this very entry will be the spark that burns it all to the ground!
Weston took some pictures of me, drawing under the waterfall at Moore Cove.
The other waterfall we hit today was Sliding Rock, which doubles as a “natural waterslide.” The water was so cold it hurt and I’m grimy as fuck (after laying around at Moore Cove, all wet, to work on that drawing) but it was totally worth it.
I think Chris and I are riding into Asheville tonight for some punk show.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated the site ’cause we’ve been staying out in Hendersonville at some cabin Weston rented and it doesn’t have electricity or wifi and I don’t like to post updates from my phone. Especially the updates with my new art so I’ll hold off on that for now.
Not a lot of news lately and the only set-up Chris and I have really done since we got here was for Studio Stroll in the River Arts District. Here are some photos from the last week though. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably already seen a lot of ’em…
Just got to Asheville from Atlanta. The plan for tomorrow is pretty geographically unspecific: I gotta make the insert for the new Rational Anthem LP that I’ve been putting off forever. That – plus a bunch of practical/non-art related errands – should soak up most of the day.
Atlanta: Chris and I set up at Summerfest in Virginia Highland over the weekend and made some money selling prints. Leading up to that, I went around to a bunch of galleries but didn’t really pitch myself to any of them – having decided that the better approach might be to just send portfolios to each one, rather than stopping by unannounced and hoping for the best.
I’m not sure if that decision is more the result of insecurity or of wanting to be considerate / play by the rules. Even if it’s the latter, I’m not necessarily sure it’s a good move. Either way, the consequence is that it’s no longer incredibly necessary for me to be living on the road and traveling to all these different cities. Still, I don’t think it’s a bad thing either. If I were stationary in one city, I might be more productive in terms of actual painting but it’s just as likely that I’d get caught up in and distracted by a relationship (or friendships or [whatever]). For now, I think that living this way still makes sense. (Plus, I enjoy it – stressful as it might be at times). But I’m not totally certain that I won’t decide to simply post up for a good while, somewhere along the way , at least until summer’s over and I can move around the east coast without feeling like I need a shower every time I step outside. I’ve sold enough these last few months that I could hide out and do nothing but work on new paintings for the rest of the year. As much as I might like that though, I know I gotta keep putting myself out there and selling myself in some sense. I’ve got too much ambition to do otherwise. And I’m energized by all the feedback (monetary and otherwise) that I get when I do. I can’t exist in isolation.
My thinking right now is Asheville for about two weeks, finishing my current painting (which you can see pictures of on my Instagram and Facebook pages), waiting for the mailman to bring my digital portfolio CDs so I can mail out a hundred of them to galleries around the country, (at the very least) scoping out the galleries here in Asheville, and setting up a table somewhere downtown a few days each week to meet people and share/sell my prints and statements.
Here are a couple things I made for Rational Anthem last month. The first is a poster, the second is a koozie design.
has borderline personality disorder and a heroin problem. In 2012, he got clean, discovered art, and traveled the country, painting and writing. Three years later, he went back to heroin and quit painting. He's currently hard at work trying to get clean or kill himself (depending on the day).