At a well attended college party around time of Halloween. I was checking out the low-lit scene; i hardly knew anyone.
I was walking past a guy in the middle and two scandalously dressed girls on either side. One girl put a glow stick in between her cleavage. The other girl replied by leaning right into that girl’s big boobs and proudly taking out the glow stick with her mouth.
As i approached I asked, “What game are you playing?”
They said “what!?” So i repeated louder.
The guy looked blankly at me, and both girls exchanged a look at each other with a hint of perplexity and turned to me.
Then the girl that dug the glow-stick from her friend’s boobs replied with a touch of vitality, “It’s not a game.”
I was in grade school and was celebrating my birthday with my Russian-accent-family and the few new friends i invited over to our house. It was time to bring out the birthday cake. AS it was beign brought out everyone started singing the birthday song. The cake was set on the table by me with all the candles burning. As they were singing i decided to do something funny and original. It occured to me that the action of blowing out the candles seemed a lot like sneezing, so i decided to fake a sneez and blow out the candles as if i was sneezing. I got really excited cause everyone was going to find it hilarious and dramatic that i “sneezed” on the cake and blew out the candles that way. Everyone would laugh and i would feel really cool. As the birthday song finished i prepared. then i wound up and catapulted my upper body forward and downwards toward the cake as if it was a big sneeze, and made an “AAHHHHHHhh-CHOOOOOOO” as i blew air out of my mouth onto the cake, i realized its kind of hard to look like your sneezing and blow air out your mouth at the same time, and somehow the unexpected happened. I actually sneezed out snot as my face was headed at the cake. my hands were by my face and caught the snot before it hit the cake. The sequence turned out to be dramatically shitty, and not illusional. My new friends who i really wanted to be my friends were disgusted, and repulsed that i sneezed on the cake. They thought i was so uncool and would probably tell everyone at schol and i’d end up being the loser that i was. I was upset. I tried to fake sneeze, but i actually sneezed and everyone probably thought it was real, and i looked foolish. it was tragic and funny, but nobody except me knew it was accidental.
I forgot what i was wishing for, (probably more friends) but thats the story of the most unfortunate birthday cake candle blow-out, and the moment i became a joke.
I haven’t been posting to my blog because I’m gradually—more gradually than I would like, settling into school and my new place in Clinton Hill that I share with a cool roommate Paul who is into film and about 100 cockroaches, and dealing with such and other personal tings. But I’ll give you an update of my experiences. I spent the first night sleeping at my new place by trying to not fall completely asleep in order to be aware of any cockroaches crawling onto me or into my boxers. I should explain here why I have a phobia of cockroaches and really any insects.
A taxi cab driver warned me to not get involved with drugs and especially with Russian drug dealers and gangs once he learned that I am Russian. He told me quite astonishing confessions about his life, things you see in brutal action movies. In the end he sympathized with me—seeing himself at my age and situation and gave me his card telling me to call him if I needed anything. I saw a bum bouncing his bare ass in the middle of the street close to our studios being “Yeahed!” and rooted for by his fellow bum-friends. The grotesque disgust, mixed with “Did I just really see that or am I imagining?” stunned me into turning and walking the longer way. Another night I hear I crash and minutes later went onto the roof to witness the arrival of fire trucks and police cars to the rescue of a devastating car crash by what I’m guessing from the physics of it a very drunk driver (lady). I had a bird’s-eye view of the scene, and although heartbreaking, awesome to watch from this angle as they pulled her out of the car and onto that orange stretched bed. She wasn’t dead. And I saw an exotic dancer on the way to my studio taking a cigarette break outside—in her working attire of course (bikini). A girl approached me as I was walking home at night and asked me to walk her to the bar and frightened yet optimistically asked me to walk her to the bar because a big black man was following her around in a car. So I did. Her name was Marcella. I also saw a man walk into the subway train with a macaw on his shoulder and sit and start reading like it aint a thing. I asked and then backed out once accepted from showing at one of the most significant Milwaukee galleries because of a prior-made commitment. Then I was confused about this for the next few days.
As a result of this, and seeing plenty of shitty to mediocre art at descent spaces with large audiences, my confidence in current work (started before grad school but not shown yet), and “making it,” has grown a lot. All I can say, while trying hard to suppress my excitement for the new work, and not build others up to unrealistic expectations, is I can’t wait till Hunter open studios and my show at the Portrait Society in Milwaukee this winter. And I see good opportunities within my reach. On the flip side, my anxiety as an art maker and artist as career or identity fluctuates at times to hard to bear levels. It seems that the more confident you are about the quality of your work the more anxiety you have that your work is exactly the opposite of how good you think it is.
I thought about really well-known and significant artists and just to think that even they still are unsure of some work they make and nervous if it will be received as well as they receive it themselves. One moment you think this work will be in a museum soon, and the next you think that it’s nothing. It seems an artist’s life is one of perpetual fluctuations in gratification, reassurance, worry and anxiety. That’s why I’ve listened to so much Joy Division and “the End” by the Doors this year.
I’ve met a couple of cool people, but mostly have been staying low trying to organize things etc.
I’ve come back to seriously studying and working in color after about 3 years of working in exclusively black on white. I bought Joseph Alber’s Interaction of Color giant book for 126$ and am really enjoying it’s benefits. Color is phenomenal.
When I was young, less than 7 years old, i was out with my dad outside walking around. I felt an unpleasant sensation on the tip or inside my pea-hole (for lack of a more mature work such as dick). I must have complained or whined about it, and so we halted. I or my dad reached inside my underwear and found my little penis. I am guessing i was horrified at the sight, (and this vivid image attests to the significance of the event,) but there was an ant stuck halfway in my penis-hole and halfway in the foreskin. This isn’t something that happens often, in fact none of my close friends have ever experienced this, but somehow that one in a million event happened to me. My dad somehow pulled it all out without snapping it (the ant) in half and leaving it there until I had to pee. From that day on I was very cautious of small creatures, and to this day I fear that an insect will crawl up my pants and into my crotch. This is why to this day if I am going hiking I wear jockeys, and prefer to stay as far as possible from insects. And dogs too, but for a different reason. Because I fear they will suddenly jump and bite off my penis. And also that’s why I don’t like swimming in waters where I can’t see underwater.