Aug 20 2010 2:52 pm

it's dumb in its bigness

It’s like that time John Lurie added me as a friend on Myspace because I had him listed as my hero.  It felt that cool.  But then again, who uses Myspace anymore?  So now I guess John Lurie will have to add me as a friend on Facebook.  Either way, the article about him in the latest New Yorker is pretty weird, but it also contains a refreshingly straightforward perspective on what makes good art good.

And Frank could have used that perspective last week when, after his small show at the Open Concept Gallery in Grand Rapids was poorly received by critics, he locked himself in his one bedroom apartment for a week living primarily on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine.  Of course he was thrilled to even get the show in the first place, what with all the wet sex and profanity, but he’d shown at some other galleries around west Michigan and showing only goes so far.  And of course he was thrilled that the critics came at all, but he’d had critics come before and any press is good press only goes so far.


When Lisa showed up on the eighth day and forced her way into his apartment she found a man reduced.  He was sweating and pale and tired on the couch sitting with a pea green afghan over his knees in front of a pile of pizza boxes and cigarette butts.  He stared at the floor.  Lisa said, “Let’s go.  It’s been a week and you are being a piece of shit.  This is not attractive Frank.  It’s not attractive on many levels.”  Frank nodded and tilted down slowly to his side, barely moving his legs to curl into the fetal position.

Lisa, standing with hands on hips, sighed heavily and with a shuffling of purse and clanging of keys dumped all her gerunds and stomped across the room and opened the curtains and the light streamed in through the dust and Frank squinted and then closed his eyes.  Lisa said, “What fucking right do you have to be so depressed?  You made bad art.  So fucking what.  Deal with it.  You’re a single man without a care in the world making a living as an artist.  So you won’t win ArtPrize.  You also don’t have cancer, your wife won’t get hit by a car, and you won’t die of dysentery in a remote, flood ravaged village in the Punjab.  So buck up and let’s go out.  If you get a shower and smile I may even suck your dick.”

Lisa was raised in Dallas or Houston, I’m not sure, whichever one has the natural gas wells downtown.  She was raised on a cul de sac with a very nice yard and very nice edging and very nice mulching and only average hedge trimming.  They took a two week vacation in Colorado every year where they would fly fish and ride bikes and stay in a condo on the side of a ski mountain and Lisa remembered thinking it was the weirdest thing when she was a kid to go to a ski mountain in the summer.  

Her neighborhood in Texas was wide open and hot and there was every convenience nearby.  Starbucks and Kohls and Applebees and Best Buy and Barnes and Noble and Home Depot.  She would just hop in her daddy’s car and down the divided highway they’d go except one time when her daddy was really drunk.  Then they barely made it out of their subdivision because he hit one of the neighbors with his car and that neighbor was very bloody and died in the street.  


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