July 28, 2006

World War Pink

by The Tears of Things

The banner above (update: here, now) may seem lighthearted, but to us it reflects an infantile reaction to dark, dark times. Pink is pale comfort. All of those screenshots (and many more besides) were taken after Hezbollah started launching their rockets. Catherine's original title for this whole series (see the sidebar), which began around a year ago, rings more true than ever:

It's Not A Rose-Colored World / And Wearing Pink Won't Make It So.

Unfortunately, there will be more to come.

Posted by Jerome at 05:45 PM | TrackBack

. . . And The Reek Goes On

bentleyclose.jpg
Okay, maybe next week. Or the next . . . Photo taken July 22, 2006.

[What follows is an update to this posting.]

by Jerome du Bois

Told ya, told ya, now we gotta scold ya.

From today's Arizona Republic:

DOWNTOWN - The Bentley Projects, one of the city's prime examples of downtown redevelopment, will remain closed at least through this weekend.

Big surprise!

The city shut down the historic building last Friday because of concerns about the building's safety, including serious electrical and structural problems and exits that are not clearly marked.

"We aren't going to be open this weekend, but we are working with the city . . . moving ahead as quickly as possible," a Bentley Projects spokesman said Thursday. "We've been able to get permits for some of the work the city requires."

Who is this spokesman, and why is he hiding behind, as the cliché goes, a cloak of anonymity? And if they have been able to get some permits within a week, why not eighteen months ago, when they should have? I'll tell you why: because they didn't think they had to bother. They thought they could shine the city on.

But the downtime is taking its toll on the business owners at the complex at 215 E. Grant St.

The Poisoned Pen bookstore and the Arcadia Farms City Bakery share the space with the Bentley Projects, one of the largest art galleries in the Southwest.

"We're losing sales every day," said David Strang, manager of the Poisoned Pen. "That's a tough one."

Brother, you asked for it; now you have to eat it.

Strang said he has events scheduled for the coming week and hopes the bookstore can open by then.

But it's unclear when the complex will reopen.

"We really don't know," said Anne Sobczak of the Development Services Department. She said city staff members have been meeting with the owners and their contractors every day this week.

Every day. Talk about special treatment. So the DSD, which probably has a lot of other work to do, must cater to these spoiled brats, who apparently couldn't find their asses if you gave them a mirror on a stick. "Listen carefully: this document is called a Certificate of Occupancy. Repeat after me . . ."

Mayor Phil Gordon said the Bentley Gallery is a "great asset and exactly what downtown Phoenix needs . . . We'll be working diligently to make sure they open as soon as possible without sacrificing public safety."

I guess Bentley Dillard --or sometimes Bentley Calverley, it depends on who you read-- got on the horn to the mayor, who obediently stamped out this boilerplate. Why should the city be working diligently? It's the gallery which should have done its due diligence before it opened. Again, they thought their cachet could carry them. The mayor may be impressed, but the inspectors see past the shine.

It wasn't until the owners applied for sign permits last year that city officials noticed that the building did not have a certificate of occupancy.

No matter what city officials "noticed," and when, the point is not to see what you can get away with; the point is protecting your patrons. Jeebus, even the Ice House, another "historic" building, manages to be in compliance with city codes. If they can do it, so can Bentley Projects --and should have been, for the past eighteen months. Instead, every time they hosted a party there, they put the occupants at risk. They could have used some of the $3500 they charge for each event to get up to code, but instead they used it for other things more important to them than public safety.

Posted by Jerome at 01:40 PM | TrackBack

July 22, 2006

The Reek Of Entitlement

bentleysign.jpg
Damage control. Within a day, the "Unsafe To Occupy" sign comes down, the "Renovation" sign goes up. Photo taken Saturday, July 22.

by Jerome du Bois

Today's Arizona Republic reports that Bentley Projects has been shut down because it has failed to comply with the most basic city occupancy and safety codes, even though the owners have been warned repeatedly about the violations for almost a year.

Phoenix wrote the property owners three citations for doing work without a permit, for occupying the building without the appropriate certificate and for not correcting unsafe conditions.

Part owner Bentley Dillard whines, "We've always been willing to do that," sounding like a teenager who's been told ten times to clean up her room. Willing isn't doing, dear.

Our own disastrous experience with Glen Lineberry, Lisa Greve, and Bentley Projects convinced us of their dishonesty. (Catherine King's six-part series of that sad saga begins here.) But we had no idea that Bentley Projects would treat the safety of their visitors so cavalierly, and put the artworks onsite in jeopardy. I don't know if Lineberry and Greve are still part of the Projects --neither are mentioned in the article-- but I vividly remember how proud they were showing off all the construction and expansion during our own tours of the place. And all along, apparently, they were cutting corners while cutting out walls.

It's also hard to believe that the owners of Poisoned Pen and Arcadia Farms, both of whom have been around a lot longer than Bentley Projects, would have knowingly allowed this state of affairs to persist as long as it has. Perhaps, like us, they were kept in the dark with smooth reassurances that everything was fine.

Why do these people think they're above the law? Bentley Projects even got outside money to help with their renovations:

Phoenix . . . helped finance the art gallery with money from a federal program that aids businesses investing in low-income areas.

The whole thing reeks of entitlement attitude --as if desperately slummy downtown should just be damned grateful the Scottsdale snobs would even deign to be there. Why should they have to comply with these silly codes? That stuff's for places like Honey Bear's BBQ and Schlotzsky's, isn't it?

Then, naturally, Kimber Lanning has to get her big mouth running.

Kimber Lanning, a leader in the local arts community, said this situation is a symptom of a much bigger problem that small-business owners encounter when they move into such decades-old warehouses.

She said the city needed to overhaul its zoning and code regulations for such buildings.

"It's not possible to have a cultural and vibrant downtown until we make these older buildings more accessible," Lanning said. "We're not asking the downtown inspectors to pass things that are considered unsafe, but we can cite a million unreasonable demands."

A million, huh? I believe the number was three, all of them about public safety. Lanning's own Modified Arts, which opened in 1999, was still in violation of at least two of these codes in August of 2005. (I don't know if it's in compliance now.) And when the city tried to enforce them, that infamous First Friday, the downtown clowns got all up on themselves about it, calling the officials fascists. This was over two years after the tragic "Great White" fire at The Station in Rhode Island, where 99 people lost their lives, and over 200 were injured.

It really isn't hard to imagine some poor art patron at Bentley Projects, rushing to find an exit during an electrical fire, getting crushed by a toppling Jun Kaneko sculpture.

Nobody's above the laws of nature. And, Lanning, if you're "not asking the downtown inspectors to pass things that are considered unsafe," then shut up. They're doing their jobs.

Posted by Jerome at 02:25 PM | TrackBack

July 14, 2006

SEASON OF THE WITCH

seasonwitch.jpg
Fashion art photograph taken July 14, 2006. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.

Posted by Jerome at 05:47 PM | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Posey In Porcelain

posey.jpg
Flower Arrangement and Photograph by Catherine King. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.

Posted by Jerome at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

July 09, 2006

David Dauncey Backpedals

[What follows is an update to this posting.]

by Jerome du Bois

Phoenix artist David Dauncey should have quit while he was behind; instead he feels the need to share more of his mind. And with embarrassing results, because he comes across as a vacillating, contradictory fool.

We don't know why he sent his previous (duplicated) message in the first place. There we were, cruising along, singing our song, when these emails came out of the blue, fizzling as badly as North Korean missles. Now he tries again, and again with two emails, both identical to the other. What, does he have ADD? or does he think saying the same thing twice doubles its weight? Mystifying.

The reader may wonder why I bother with him at all. Three reasons: he reveals glaring tells in his admissions and omissions; he reflects the thinking of the local zeitgeist; and these tells justify his new nickname. I'll reproduce the thing verbatim after the jump, then fisk it.

He writes:

a couple of things. i read your blog about every three years or so, then i move on to other things that are more stimulating than bird photography and ghostly motes (in my opinion). i am neither barbarous or cruel, nor am i a twit. i really don't give a fuck if your wife shows her face or not, however glamorous it may or may not be, and if i did have a photograph of her i would have to be bereft of things to occupy my time if i chose to deface it. as for my comment regarding your 'old man', it was intended in a 'tip-of-the-hat' manner, but yet again i really couldn't give a hoot either way. this is the part of the e-mail where i am supposed to pitch some wild physical threat at you and your wife involving dark allies and socks filled with golf balls, isn't it? i have seen some of the more vulgar replies before in your track-back sections, and this, frankly, is just not my style. it would be petty.
p.s. david 'dingaling' dauncey is so jauntily '5-year-old-girl talk' as to be rendered amusingly pathetic when dribbling out of the corners of your face. maybe you should be nick-named jerome 'poppy-doop' dubois? catherine 'kaka' king? fucking pathetic sounding aren't they.

To fisking:

a couple of things.

But he ignores the first thing, his objection to our characterization of Kimber Lanning as "Stenchworth." Why does he avoid even mentioning her in this second message? I did go on about her, after all, since we believe she's a key player in keeping the Phoenix art scene debased and unhealthy. But not a peep from Dauncey about it this time. One wonders why.

i read your blog about every three years or so

We've been blogging for a little longer than three years, so the one or two times --according to him-- that he's checked in, he must have a done a lot of reading.

then i move on to other things that are more stimulating than bird photography and ghostly motes (in my opinion).

Whatever floats your dinghy, dingaling. Besides Catherine's beautiful parrot photographs and the amazing paranormal captures --she will be posting a major piece about this subject soon-- we've published gorgeous flower arrangements, my Portraits of her, and digital net art; and we've covered illegal immigration, Islamic depredations, antisemitism, anti-American artists, Cuban art hypocrisy, our ongoing Cuban novel, and what we call The Rebarb. We can see why these substantive and serious subjects wouldn't interest your superficial mind, and we're not aiming to stimulate the likes of you.

i am neither barbarous or cruel, nor am i a twit.

Your own words indicate otherwise. We'll let other readers decide for themselves.

i really don't give a fuck if your wife shows her face or not, however glamorous it may or may not be, and if i did have a photograph of her i would have to be bereft of things to occupy my time if i chose to deface it.

This contradicts your first message, though, doesn't it? If you don't care, why make that presumptuous and peremptory demand? Who the hell do you think you are, anyway? You're a lightweight, man. We've seen the other things which occupy your time --old typewriters, white shoes ("they got no soul," Catherine comments)-- and they are a waste of good paint.

as for my comment regarding your 'old man', it was intended in a 'tip-of-the-hat' manner, but yet again i really couldn't give a hoot either way.

So, again, why write it in the first message? And this comment is typical of the Rebarb attitude: call somebody an "arse," then follow up with a little bandaid of make-nice, as if the insult was never delivered. Don't you even know what your brain is doing?

this is the part of the e-mail where i am supposed to pitch some wild physical threat at you and your wife involving dark allies and socks filled with golf balls, isn't it? i have seen some of the more vulgar replies before in your track-back sections, and this, frankly, is just not my style. it would be petty.

I think you meant "dark alleys," not "dark allies." Too lazy to spellcheck yourself, I suppose, which shows how much you care about your own words. And you're the one with the dark allies, anyway.

I admit I get vulgar when someone threatens my wife with bodily harm, and if it ever did get physical with anyone, no matter the outcome, the attacker would find out what their bones look like sticking out of their skin. I'm long done with tolerance.

And "vulgar" from a guy who calls me an "arse" and a "patsy," and throws the tired word "fuck" around? Pot, meet kettle.

p.s. david 'dingaling' dauncey is so jauntily '5-year-old-girl talk' as to be rendered amusingly pathetic when dribbling out of the corners of your face. maybe you should be nick-named jerome 'poppy-doop' dubois? catherine 'kaka' king? fucking pathetic sounding aren't they.

as to be rendered? dribbling out of the corners of your face? Jeebus, you're a terrible writer.

Yes, your scatological nicknames are as pathetic as the stripped gears of your worn-out mind. But "dingaling" was carefully chosen. ("Pissant" was in the running, but didn't alliterate.) It's meant to convey the capricious shallowness, the completely unserious nature, of your psychology. Even a bird flitting from branch to branch, its head jerking this way, then that way, is more consistent than you. And probably smarter, too.

Posted by Jerome at 11:15 PM | TrackBack

July 07, 2006

"Todd, Marc and Me"

toddmarcme.jpg
Todd, Marc and Me. Photographed July 4, 2006. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.

Fitted, fully-lined waistcoat by Todd Oldham, made from pieced madras squares overprinted with black arabesque pattern, spread collar with deep V-neck, pewter and rhinestone shank buttons and welt pockets; Marc Jacobs jeans, Kenneth Cole boots, vintage silver-and-turquoise jewelry. Aviators from Target. Bag handmade by the model from self-worn Levi 501 jeans leg fringed from one piece, with silver-toned pony beads.

Here is a layout of the entire ensemble, displayed on an American heirloom quilt.

Posted by Jerome at 10:00 PM | TrackBack

July 06, 2006

David Dingaling Dauncey

by Jerome du Bois

We get some strange emails. Not long after I trounced the free-for-all OnePlace Church for disrespecting Jesus of Nazareth, a Christian-marriage group told us to "stop preaching hate," claimed we were pro-homosexual (as if we give a damn about gays one way or the other), and "requested" that we take our blog offline. Oh yeah, right away. It's as if they read only every sixth sentence or something. Then somebody else tried to enlist us as their stalking horse for some agenda they have with Beatrice Moore, who they called "Betty Ann" for reasons of their own. (We call her Stale Cake, by the way.)

Now along comes local artist David Dauncey, just this morning, with a semi-coherent missive. Two of them, actually, almost identical, ten minutes apart. In the first one he hid behind the moniker "dpd_jam" and wrote "queynts" in the subject line. Maybe it's dirty British slang, but if so, it's lost on me. The internet tells me this word (spelled "queint") dates back to Chaucer and may mean either "quaint" or the past tense of "quench." As a subject line, though, it's a non sequiter. The text body is even more weird.

Verbatim:

referring to kimber lanning as stenchworth is just plain weak.and old.and gray.and bald.and show your wife's face you arse,we all know what she looks like.

In the second one, he decided to use his real name, changed the subject line to "tits on a bull," (!?) and wrote:

referring to kimber lanning as stenchworth is weak.and old.and gray.and bald.and show your wife's face you patsy.we all know what she looks like.respect to your old man and his service.

Let's get that last out of the way first: If you had any respect at all, you transplanted British twit, you would refer to him as my father. (Oh, and kudos to your erstwhile compatriots, who can't even legally defend themselves against their own criminal citizens, and bend over every time British Muslims push on with their evil agendas. Wankers is the word, I've heard. In the ongoing war of civilization against rebarbarization, they're as useless as . . . tits on a bull.)

Now, about the rest of it:

Kimber Lanning has never written to us to complain or object to the nickname Stenchworth. Dawdling Dauncey, in the meantime, is about two years late with his objection, since we haven't used the nickname in all that time. (Our posts about her are still the #2 and #3 Google for her given name, though.) Catherine came up with the nickname because she felt that Lanning's name for her record store stank, and to use it was akin to inviting some junior high-schooler to hoot "Made you say it! Made you say it!" And Lanning's store on Camelback Road is stenchworthy. The storefront is completely covered in steel mesh, like a crack house, the glass behind it still carries the faded letters "grand opening," and gangsta grafitti is sprayed all over the mesh. Maybe this champion of local business should change the name to Eyesore.

So we think the name is still timely, and Dauncey's objection is just plain weak, and old, and gray. ("Bald" I just don't get. Are the drugs frying your few remaining brain cells, old sod?)

I've already explained that Catherine keeps custody of her features on the internet because we know what some local yokels would do with such photos. They have already tried to show us their twisted hearts and infantile resentment by disfiguring one of my Portraits of Catherine --which backfired on them, as it should. You think I'm going to let that happen with her face? If you all know what she looks like, you dingalings, what other reason could you have to see her face except to caricaturize it? Stenchworth has no problem exhibiting Colin Chillag's disgusting paintings of men with their faces blown to bloody bits by shotgun blasts. What hatred of humanity must inhabit their hearts to promote snuff art. I believe nothing would stop them from doing the same to my beloved Catherine; so I won't give them the chance.

I wonder what prompted these emails now, and not before. Going over our recent postings, at first I thought it may have been my "Portrait Of The Phoenix Artist As A Tired Cliché." But on further reflection I think, instead, it's the banner just overhead, "Silver Tressellation." (I'll repost it to our Digital Art sidebar when we change the banner.) There's something about Catherine's poise, her glamour, and her glorious and abundant hair --which has never known any artificial coloring-- which bothers nattering nitwits like David Dauncey, and brings them out of the woodwork.

So in the spirit of nicknames I'll dub him Dingaling, because he's a little man, a silly man, petty, barbarous, and cruel.

Posted by Jerome at 11:55 PM | TrackBack

July 04, 2006

Somebody Always Pays For Freedom

vmailheart.jpg
Purple Heart earned by Alan du Bois, with a background of some of his V-mail to his beloved wife Marjorie. (Designed and photographed by Catherine King.)

by Jerome du Bois

I sometimes wonder about my father's reasons for going off to fight in World War Two. He didn't have to, and it took him almost two years of trying before he could put on his Marine uniform, when he was thirty years old.

Maybe it was because he was on Oahu on Pearl Harbor Day --he saw the Zeros flying over the golf course-- and felt the threat more immediately than someone in, say, Omaha. He had just started a family and a career, and everyone in Hawai'i feared an imminent Japanese invasion of the Islands. Even when that fear went unrealized, and his family was safe on the mainland, he tried to join.

Maybe it was because he grew up in the aftermath of World War One, when the American proverb, "Freedom is never free," had been tested the third time. The du Bois family had fought in the Revolution and for the Union in the Civil War as well.

David Hackett Fischer, in his book Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas, summarizes the attitude after Pearl Harbor:

Before December 7, 1941, many Americans believed that their freedom was safe and secure in the New World, far from the tyrannies of Asia and Europe. After the Japanese attack, American attitudes were never the same again. A determined enemy, deeply hostile to a free society, had projected his power across the widest ocean in the world and struck a heavy blow without warning. The lesson was very clear. Friends of liberty and freedom must always be alert, and stronger than their enemies.

At any rate, he went to fight in the Pacific Theater. He put himself into the line of fire so often, and so deeply into the mouth of Hell, that he earned five Purple Hearts for his wounds, and two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star for his bravery. And for the rest of his life he suffered from migraines, spinal pain, and the aftereffects of malaria.

But he never let the horrors he had to witness get in the way of his determination to succeed, his rather coarse sense of humor, his enjoyment of life. He had good reasons to celebrate his freedom. He paid for it.

Posted by Jerome at 07:07 AM | TrackBack

July 03, 2006

FLOWERFULL

FLOWERFULL.jpg

Arrangement and Photography by Catherine King. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.

Posted by Jerome at 10:40 AM | TrackBack