Named after the first chapter of "Moby Dick" ... this large head of a carp contains multiple meanings ... ICHTHYS the early Christian, secret code acronym for JESUS ... and Jesus use of the fish for "the Sign of Jonah", as symbol of the Resurrection, the very basis of Christianity ... in Japan the carp is a symbol of Love, Strength, Perseverance, Wisdom, and Good Fortune and Luck, ... and during the Vietnam War, the Vietcong were commonly referred to Fish Heads ... so take your pick ... it's a beautiful piece.
This is the second version of this image. Named after the first chapter of "MOBY DICK" ... a book and movie (John Huston's 1956 version with Gregory Peck as Ahab) that I never stop reading and watching. I even possess a hardcover special edition of the screenplay, signed by the author, RAY BRADBURY. A source of endless inspiration.
As this was being framed, the main collector (Erik the Ass) in town (Hamburg) at that time happened to stop by the framing studio. He said to the framer, "Oh my God ... this is fantastic ... who is it from!?" ... Anton the framer pointed at me and said; "This is Jeff's ... Jeff did it."
The idiot collector, who at least was sensitive enough to realize that I considered him to be a total and complete asshole, glanced condescendingly for a second in my direction, then turning back to Anton said; " No really ... please tell me who did it."
That has pretty much always been my relationship to "art world people" ... reciprocal animosity.
I didn't wait to become rich and famous like Donald Judd did before telling the art world to "Fuck Off", ... I did it from the very start.
Perhaps not the most intelligent method of forming a SUCK-cess-ful Career ... but then again, ... I'm an artist and not an "intellectual" (Thank You Dear Lord !).
That person sitting with his head in his hands is the artist (me.)
This photo successfully has captured nearly the entire amount of visitors to the gallery who actually saw this presentation.
Well ... if it is really "Lonely At the Top", I wish those suck-cess-full bastards and bitches would come down here and tell me WTF this is (har.dee-har-har).
Actually I greatly enjoy the quietness and peacefulness of not having to deal with large, small, or medium-sized Art World Idiots.
I consider it healthy (as did certain American Indian Tribes) to deal with as few human beings as necessary, ... I prefer dogs and cats and birds (horses and cows are also okay). Woof. Meow. Chirp. Snort. Moo.
The large greenish painting on the right is done in acrylic, pastel, and dispersion paint on paper and framed in a plexiglass and aluminum frame.
It is actually the third version of "There Really Is No Was" (No.3) ... based on a painting of about the same size from Francois Boucher.
This show was extremely badly visited ... but I remember one afternoon, I was alone with my show in the gallery, and a group of a dozen or so school girls of about 13 or 14 years of age came walking in with their teacher. Not an ordinary gallery occurrence.
I was surprised how much they actually really LIKED my artworks, and this GREEN version of "There Really Is No Was" was their favorite.
Now it's one of my favorites too.
Thank you, girls.
This show was exhibited at the time of the first "Night of the Museums" in Hamburg. That night I organized and performed an original piece of music called "The Tranquility Bass Overture", with 3 electric guitars, 3 electric bass guitars, and a drummer. We also had anti-aircraft spotlights, fog machines, and all the musicians stood on pedestals like living sculptures, dispersed around the gallery as they played. I heard afterwards that many people said it was the best thing they saw that night in Hamburg.
As "payment" the gallerist invited us all to a steak dinner a few days later, which is ALWAYS a sure way to get musicians to do something.
This is the first of a few variations on this theme ... a later grey version is hanging in a private collection ... this one is still here with me.
Based on a painting by Joseph Anton Koch, the Austrian Neoclassical, Romantic painter of "Heroic Landscapes" that display the unity of Man and Nature. I consider Koch to be an early Jackson Pollock ... when asked of his "relationship to Nature" in his paintings, Pollock famously replied; " I AM NATURE."
For some reason many of my Koch influenced Landscape paintings always make me hungry for ICE CREAM. Maybe I'd better tell my Witch Doctor about this craving ... but then again ... maybe not.
This is one of ca. 7 variations on this landscape, including a "Four Seasons" variation, ... all on thick aquarell paper and all about 160 x 140 cm..
This particular version is paper mounted on canvas ... and always made me hungry for ice cream.
It is now in a private collection and still hanging on a yellow wall ... as was my wish.