Tag Archives: collaborative

There Might Be Something Wrong With My Penis

"There Might Be Something Wrong With My Penis." 7/26/14. Acrylic paint. 8x10".
“There Might Be Something Wrong With My Penis.” 7/26/14. Acrylic paint. 8×10″.

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.

And I say to myself… what a wonderful world.”

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:

This part of the painting was done by Rachel Rabinowitz.
The pre-Sammy version of “There Might Be Something Wrong With My Penis.” Painted in June 2014 by Rachel Rabinowitz, who probably didn’t realize I’d later use the canvas to work through STD test anxiety (but was a very good sport about it).


"Limp." 4/28/13. Acrylic paint. 12x12".
“Limp.” 4/28/13. Acrylic paint. 12×12″.

In my mind, the word “limp” is usually an adjective associated with something weak or ineffectual (like a wiener, you guys!) but it’s also a verb (Professor North’s dropping knowledge today!) and – in that sense – it’s got a very different kind of connotation. You limp when you’re hurt – when you’re struggling – but what’s important is that you’re still going in spite of whatever’s slowing you down.

When I did Crafty Fest at Artpool, I met some good people, including an artist named William Somma. He does mostly abstract paintings with lots of neon and fluorescent colors, which I liked a lot. (Before I met Will, I didn’t even know they made paint like that; that day, he let me use some for my first time). He also asked if I’d be interested in collaborating on a painting. He started it off and once his paint was dry, handed over the canvas for me do with it what I might. I had never done anything collaborative before and I didn’t quite know how to go at it. That coupled with the fact that I didn’t want to disappoint Will made it a little bit of a difficult process. I didn’t know where I was going and I wasn’t used to working with the anticipation of someone else’s reaction or response in mind. But I kept at it all the same until I finally had something I thought we could both be proud of.

While it wasn’t exactly the greatest mountain I had ever scaled, “limp” came to mind and it felt right. In a sense, being out in the world – creating and selling art like this – was a culmination of more than two years I had spent limping. Or – it would have been if I weren’t still limping. Which isn’t a complaint; it’s just what I do. And it’s working out.


There is (or at least used to be) a band called Fiya that had a handful of really excellent songs. When I heard a couple of those kids had started a new band (Nervous Dogs) with one of the guys from Grabass Charlestons (a band I really liked), I picked up their 7-inch immediately.

Avenida Sevilla is three songs and, if I’m being totally honest, the first two didn’t really do a lot for me – but the third was one of the most beautiful songs I had ever heard and (nearly eight years later) remains a favorite.

At $2.70, it’s way  than worth picking up. I couldn’t find the song online though so I threw a few images together and dropped it on YouTube myself.

“Walk With Difficulty” by Nervous Dogs
Dad was looking at my brother and at me and said, “I don’t know what I’d do – or if I’d even try to fight a thing like this disease – if I didn’t have the two of you.” He used to go out running in the mornings before work but he walks with difficulty now. But he walks anyhow…