Despair: Mine and Roy Lichtenstein’s

bins

December 20, 1991

I went to the Empire Diner on 10th and 22nd with Lucy for a holiday turkey dinner. Golly, she sure is pretty. We picked up her friend, Lynn, along the way who’s even prettier than Lucy. I was the meat in a hot, wealthy girl sandwich. Lynn is a self-described spoiled rich girl. Her parents have been divorced for a long time. Her father is an executive who confuses love with money. She knowingly manipulates him. She said all she has to do is turn on the tears and he’ll throw $500 at her.

Despite this, I found her charming and engaging with more self-awareness than most New Yorkers I meet. She’d never get involved with someone who wasn’t wealthy but I still thought she had a certain lack of pretense. She has a boyfriend in London but chases boys here in New York. Why not? She’s only 23, looks like, and is worth, a million bucks. Why settle down?

She asked me—a total stranger—what she could do to improve herself. I said read a book and she gave me a puzzled look. I didn’t understand until later but she was referring to cosmetic surgery. I think she was fishing for compliments or looking for me to validate the fact that her body and face are perfect and can’t be improved upon. They are and they can’t be.

She knew I was smitten and was toying with me. After dinner, while walking down 23rd street, she took my arm, told me her birthday was next week and playfully asked what I was going to buy for her. I asked what she wanted and she said, “Something expensive. Something from Chanel.” She’s like a living, breathing cliché. She’s a perfect physical specimen.

I got a surprise Christmas card in the mail this morning. The last time I heard from Sheila was back in October at the George Michael concert. We saw his “Cover to Cover” show at the Garden. He sang Fame better than Bowie. I liked Papa Was a Rolling Stone, too.

After the concert she turned to me, looked me dead in the eye and said, “What do you want?” Asked it twice and made it sound like an accusation. I sat there in stupid silence and felt foolish. There’s no answer because I don’t think she has anything to offer. I didn’t call her after that. I hate confrontation and will do pretty much anything to avoid it. Her Christmas card said to keep in touch. It was kind of upsetting, to tell you the truth.

Klinger and I saw Denis Leary’s “No Cure for Cancer” at the Actor’s Playhouse. I had comps. He and I are a couple of sad sacks. We have no idea what to do with our lives. He has a little more direction than I do, but not much more. I asked how his investor’s party went and he said it amounted to a cast party with some bums that wandered in off the street, but no investors. He didn’t ask me for money, thank God. I told him I had to work and couldn’t attend out of fear he’d ask me to a contribution. I let it slip that I went out that night and had to scramble to come up with a plausible lie to cover my tracks. It was a cold, rainy evening. Blue Christmas.

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Roy Lichtenstein
Despair
Est: $1,500,000-2,500,000
Sold for: $1,927,500

despair_lichtenstein

I didn’t see the arm and hand until quite some time after I stared at this. It wasn’t so obvious in person.

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chrysler2

 

Inner Torment

The Inner Torment of Vice President Mike Pence

Look what I stumbled across:

Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Isaiah 58:7-10

How about that, Pence? You good Christian soldier? You devotee of scriptures? You sinner but only say the word and your soul shall be healed?

Is that guy able to sleep at night? Or does he stare at the ceiling wondering how he got himself into such a mess?

My Inner Torment

One of my favorite Sunday afternoon traditions is reading the obituaries and wedding announcements in the New York Times. They offer a litany of extraordinary lives lived and the joining of couples with unsurpassed professional credentials. These achievements always make me feel subhuman which is, apparently, my comfort zone.

Although…the Vows folks usually have long pedigrees. Most of them were born on third base and only breed amongst themselves. So there’s that to consider. But I try not to let that spoil my self-pity festivál.

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New this month on your newsstand:

mags

This is a serious lack of originality. These are major publications. Don’t they collaborate? Couldn’t one claim the thumb/phallic motif one month and the others follow suit the following months? Fail.

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I took these with my iPhone 7 using the depth effect.

ww

It gently blurs the background, which makes the foregrounds pop.

harley

I took these at Kinokuniya Books on 6th Avenue @ 41st Street, across from Battery Park. It’s a brick-n-mortar bookstore (one of few left in NYC) that specializes in Japanese anime and cultural touchstones. These statuettes are in a glass case. They’re true works of art and not inexpensive. Many of them are based on characters from anime books and movies. The girls are highly sexualized bordering on pornographic. Lots of schoolgirl stuff. Japanese porn is odd. But not as odd as German porn.

~~~~~~~~~~

Mr. Sensitivity strikes again. I read these journal entries and can’t believe what a clown I was.

May 8, 1992

I called Kathie in Phoenix to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. She was upset because Brad got into an auto accident. I guess he’s not seriously hurt—there are no broken bones or damaged organs—but his face got pretty cut up. Kathie said there are “hundreds” of stitches and they’re thinking of plastic surgery. Gross.

Brad has incredibly low self-esteem, despite being a successful attorney. That guy works for one of the most powerful law firms in Phoenix but he’s crushed by a massive inferiority complex. How can you have it both ways? Now that his face is all bashed to shit, he’s REALLY going to have some problems. He’s never said or done anything bad to me. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Cars are pure evil. Half the reason I stay in this cruddy city is because I don’t have to own one. This was the week I was supposed to fly out there for a visit. I had to cancel because Ethan is going to Israel and Rome for a week, so I have to stay in the office. Imagine if I’d gone out there. Kathie never would’ve slept with me with Brad laying in the hospital all fucked-up. What a waste of money that would’ve been. Another close call.

~~~~~~~~~~

Robert Gober
Untitled
Beeswax, cotton, leather, aluminum pull tabs and human hair
Est: $1,000,000-1,500,000
Sold for: $847,500

gober

You can’t see it in the pic but human hair is embedded. It’s a little girl’s leg. Dreary.

White guilt

Here’s the Oscar nominations announcement from the New York Times.

fullsizerender-4

I bristled when I read this. It’s clumsy and inelegant. Nevermind all those other nominations. How about those BLACK ACTORS? We’ve officially solved Hollywood’s diversity problem. So easy! Or is “Black Actors” the title of a movie that received six nominations?

It makes them look like bargaining chips in a score that needed to be settled instead of accomplished actors, which is what they are. These issues should be treated in two separate stories; one a congratulatory list of nominations, the other a deeper conversation about diversity in Hollywood. They’re mashed together in a distasteful and unintentionally comic way. Congratulations, black actors. Oh…and you other guys, too.

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Currently at the Sperone Westwater gallery on the Bowery are these three astonishing pieces by Emil Lukas. Entering the softly-lit gallery space you are greeted by these gentle gradients.

lukas1

It’s not until you’re up close that you realize they’re not acrylics or oils or watercolor. They’re made of THREAD.

lukas2

Thousands of strategically-laced threads stretched over a wooden frame. I wish I could buy this one.

lukas-a

lukas5

I can’t imagine what a painstaking, laborious, time consuming process this must be.

lukasc

lukas7

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bins

June 8, 1992

I went for a bike ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped at the World Trade Center to look at the towers. Architectural snobs say bad things about the towers but I love them. They have a grandness and nice, clean lines.

Went to Battery Park, sat on the lawn under a tree, took my shoes and socks off and rubbed the bottoms of my feet in the grass. I started A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I watched the tourists board the ferries for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Someone off in the distance was playing an accordion. I could smell the salt water. Sometimes I read and sometimes I just looked at the sun through the trees. I am grateful for these empty days.

I went out with Lucy on Saturday night and had a nice time. I had comps to see Dreamtime at The Ed Sullivan Theater. I had a sneaking suspicion we weren’t going to like it and, boy howdy, was I right. It was dreadful. After the show we went to the Applejack Diner on Broadway and 55th and split a big plate of fries. I walked her home from there. We stopped at Tower Records.

Lucy is so beautiful but she won’t have anything to do with me. We got to the corner of 70th and Broadway and I asked if I could walk her to her door. She said no. She was afraid I’d try to kiss her goodnight. It was pretty humiliating. The fact that we put up with each others’ company must mean that we are two terribly lonely individuals.

While waiting for Lucy outside the Ed Sullivan a homeless guy walked up to me and demanded money. I didn’t give him any so he became belligerent. He was yelling at me, “Where would you eat if you were homeless?! Where?!” People walking by pretended not to hear. He got right up to my face and repeated it over and over, expecting an answer, becoming angrier, more agitated and animated when I ignored him. He was waiving his arms around and got so close I could smell his breath. Lucy and I must’ve been hit up for change a dozen times while we walked up Broadway. It’s an epidemic.

This was AIDS

bins

Would you look at this? Exactly 25 years ago to the day. Almost. Where were you?

January 7, 1992

Had lunch with Kat at The Brasserie. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to the Four Seasons. I had a club sandwich. She had a spinach salad. $43. I picked up the tab. I have to once in a while. It’s emasculating to never pay.

I don’t think she’s happy with her girlfriend, although she claims she loves her very much. She doesn’t think she likes having sex with women and all she ever wears is sweats. They’d better get that shit sorted out before they do any more house hunting. She told me about a house in Lido Beach they’re interested in. She said it’s an up/down and the bottom half can be rented out. In describing the bottom unit, she kept saying you have your own entrance and you walk out the door onto the beach and you have your own private terrace. You, you, you. I don’t think I was imagining it. I’d have to give it some thought. Commuting from Long Island has never been a dream of mine although wearing sweats 24/7 is.

I visited Elvin last night. It’s the first time I’ve seen him since his mother passed. He doesn’t seem to be taking it well. He’s lost a lot of weight and didn’t have much to start with. I mentioned how sorry I was for his loss but he clearly didn’t want to discuss it so I dropped it.

He had a friend over I’d never met. Tim. I think I’m the only straight person Elvin knows personally. That goes for ALL of my gay friends. It seems gay people ONLY hang out with other gay people. I think I’m a token. One of Oscar’s friends called me a breeder. Nice.

We sat in the living room and chatted like a bunch of mature adults. Elvin lit a fire. One day, I would like an old Brooklyn brownstone with an old Brooklyn fireplace that still works. There’s a photo of Victor on the mantle just before he passed away and he looked really, really bad. Elvin and Tim listed all the people in the neighborhood and friends of friends who are sick with AIDS. It was a long list. I was thinking to myself how lucky I am to be straight. Not that I’m immune, but I like my odds. For dinner he made chicken marinated in teriyaki sauce. It was very good. I left a little heavy-hearted because of all the talk about death.

Oscar threw a party for a friend who was just accepted into law school. I’ll tell you what…my gay friends sure know how to host a shindig. Loud, thumping music, dancing, scrumptious food and lots of laughing.

The next day I was watching the Cowboys/Lions playoff game and the two guys below me were having loud sex. It’s annoying. I cranked up the TV so I couldn’t hear them. Listening to gay sex while watching the NFL left me discombobulated. I don’t understand gay sex. There’s no part of a man that I find even remotely enticing. Poor women.

When I lived in Arizona my apartment shared a thin wall with newlyweds. That’s was pretty great. They went at it day and night. The girl was a screamer. I remember once, between moans, she said, “You shouldn’t. Remember what the doctors said.” That didn’t stop him. Can you imagine if he’d dropped dead right in the middle of it? I’m certain that it happens all the time.

Lucy and I saw a play at the Walter Kerr. Crazy He Calls Me. About a Brooklyn mama’s boy who falls in love with a Polish immigrant. It was just awful. Lucy didn’t like it either. It’s a two-hander and I felt bad for the actors. Polly Draper from thritysomething is in it. Lots of Hollywood folks come out here slumming on Broadway to burnish their resumes. She should run right back to LA.

~~~~~~~~~~

I would display this in my grand foyer if I had one.

minjun1

Yue Minjun
The Last 5,000 Years

minjun2

Estimate: $120,000 – $180,000
Price realized: $199,500

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Manhattan sunrise. I caught this just before they extinguished the lights on the Chrysler Building. It’s my favorite skyscraper.

sunrise

Can I take you to the movies? b/w plane crash

Manifesto, currently at the Park Avenue Armory, is thirteen 11-minute films playing simultaneously on thirteen different screens.

manifesto1

The first film you see upon entering the drill hall is a lit fuse. Metaphor amok!

manifesto2

manifesto3

Cate Blanchett is a different character in each film. News anchor. Puppeteer. Punk. Homeless man. CEO. Conservative housewife. etc. She’s heavily made-up and unrecognizable in many of these.

manifesto4 manifesto5

For dialog, she recites manifestos from different art movements in dramatic fashion. Dadaism. Futurism. Pop Art. Surrealism. Architecture. etc.

manifesto6

At one point, all thirteen screens simultaneously cut to a severe close-up of her face as she delivers a penultimate manifesto statement. She delivers these few lines in the same monotone in each film, filling the armory with a buzz of art-speak gibberish. Sounds pretentious and dull, doesn’t it? It’s not.

manifesto7

It’s interesting to see what they do with this giant drill hall space. There’s been some great projects but it’s going to be impossible to top Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino.

~~~~~~~~~~

bins

March 23, 1992

There was a terrible plane crash last night at LaGuardia. 27 people died. It was trying to take off during a snowstorm. It bounced on the runway a few times and then burst into flames. It wound up half on the runway and half in Flushing Bay. I don’t know where I’d rather come to rest; in the freezing drink where I’d drown in ice water or on the runway where I’d burn up. Probably the former.

I always think about crashing when I take off and land. What a terrible way to go. It was a U.S. Air flight bound for Cleveland. That’s a little too close to home for me. They sent psychologists to Hopkins Airport in Cleveland to deal with traumatized family members. I keep thinking about the parasitic media crawling all over the victim’s families asking, “How do you feel?” Can you imagine going to journalism school and that’s what you end up doing?

The flight number was 405. Everyone is playing that number in the lottery. They always do that in New York. Ghouls.

Candace made dinner for me on Friday. I didn’t think that girl knew how to boil water but it was a very nice meal. The brown rice was a little undercooked but the chicken was good. We both got loaded. I wonder what possessed her to do that? Make dinner for me?

After dinner we saw The Master Builder on Broadway. It was awful. Not even having Lynn Redgrave in the cast could save the production. Ibsen’s work always seems comically outdated to me. The acting was atrocious. We left there laughing hysterically and went down to Continental to see Big Fag. The guitarist never showed up and their lineup changed but I still liked them. I don’t know what Candace thought. After Big Fag, The Funky Knights played. They were polished and dull.

Got a cab and dropped her off at Avenue A and 3rd and went home to Brooklyn. I think she wanted to kiss me in the cab but I was so drunk I didn’t trust my judgment. Plus, I’m exhausted from being turned down so often. If she’s interested, let her initiate it.

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Look who’s trying to make nice.

dogs

Give me a break. This is the same villainous canine who bit me repeatedly. I know what’s going on. She hasn’t tasted my flesh in a while and is trying to get me to drop my guard. It’s not going to work. I’m not stupid.