Saturday, January 29, 2011
I've been finding a lot of meaning in the kinds of affirmative sayings that adorn refrigerator magnets and birthday cards and that's a bit weird, I always used to sneer at these unironic uplifting slogans .....but at a certain point I looked back on the life I've been living and realized it's all been pretty great, I can let down my defenses, I don't need to worry about being cool and fitting in and I don't need to worry about what would happen if people saw behind the facade, most people who do still like me.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama & people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, & focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE...Getting back up is LIVING!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I was totally drawn in from the beginning, Tilda Swinto is so great to look at, the clothes by Fendi and Jil Sander and the shots of Milan, the music, it was all great, but i couldnt figure out where this was going and the ending was a complete surprise. It seemed to be about the importance of being yourself, the lies we tell ourselves and others in order to keep our true desires hidden...but they always find a way of coming out no matter how hard we try and suppress them. I loved this film.
I'm always fascinated by people born with the "Look at Me!" gene. The kind of people who are only fully alive when they are on a stage. Robbie Williams, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli...et al. There's a kind of tightrope walking they do that keeps us on the edge of our sets, a coming close to failing that makes them seem so vulnerable and human, and a confidence that is inspiring.
Bruce Hainley writes about this subject much more eloquently than I ever could, check out his piece on "Liza with a Z" here on Artforum.com
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
My friends Mark and AA are in Paris this week doing some work & attending some runway shows and just being themselves in their unique way. I know it's kind of a dream come true for Mark to be seeing so many Paris runway shows. AA is there working on the General Idea retrospective that is set to open there next month. These guys have such a cool relationship, they bring out the best in each other, they are autonmous yet they have so much in common, they are 13 years apart age wise and equal in so many ways. I met them in the late '90's when Mark had just moved to NYC, I kind of feel like part of the family. They seem very comfortable being themselves around me and that's nice, they'll have a little argument or something but it never makes me uncomfortable, they are both so respectful of each other and they just do what couples do. I am lucky to be equal friends with both of them.
Mark comes from a somewhat religious family and had a hard time coming out and dealing with his family, but he stood up for who he was and made it work and they didn't reject him, he still has them and in a sense he has made his own family here in NYC and Toronto I feel like part of their family. We all make the family we want any way, based on feelings rather than obligations. You can read a brief interview with them here
I shot this up at Columbus Circle around 11 AM , the temp on the CNN sign is 16 F. This is turning out to be like a Minnesota winter here in NYC and I'm loving it. I seem to have found the perfect combination of Margiela sweater (thanks Bill!) and parka and flannel shirt and t shirt but I haven't been particularly cold any day so far this year. It's pretty great walking around to the galleries in midtown in this cool, crisp air and only running into about 1/10 th the amount of tourists as there were last month at this time, don't get me wrong, I love tourists, ask Cristobal who was visiting here from Argentina last month and I'm sure he will concur..... Except when they clog up the sidewalks by strolling in a big defensive line like a hockey team, thankfully, there was none of that today. I even got to stroll through central park and study the bare branches in preparation for a sculpture I'm working on, I want it to be the perfect combination of natural and man made, just like music.
I also passed by the gilt bronze statue of General Sherman across the street from the Plaza hotel and notice the gold leaf was dingy and pitted and peeled off in many spots. Then I remembered reading an article in the paper when I had just moved into my apartment how this statue had just been freshly gilded and going up there to photograph this gleaming gold statue in the snow. For me, abrasion and wearing away is like time passing made physical, it's cool how I am experiencing more and more records like this.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I gotta say, it's really nice being part of this community. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to come to NYC and be a part of the art world and, I got to! I'm living the life I always wanted to live. I'm surrounded by some of the most talented, creative and just plain nice people in the world and they see all the good in me and accept the little tiny bit of bad that's there too. The photo above was shot tonight at the opening for a project by Nayland Blake called "Unpunished". All the work can be seen at Sue Scott gallery and it's allavailable as a 'zine...more info here...
The Artists above are, Anthony Viti, Erik Hanson, David Yarritu and Chris Bogia
Monday, January 17, 2011
a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me--
who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was
-but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each
knocked living the hell out of me--
who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was
-but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each
I do sometimes get a little down, especially this time of year. When it's chilly and dark for most of the day. luckily I had a lot to do this weekend, My friends Chris and Matt threw an incredible double birthday party on Friday, dancing with friends and meeting new ones is a great way to spend a winter night. Last night was Habibi, the gay Arab dance party and that was a blast, my friend Abraham came out from the DJ booth to say hi and pass me some drink tickets so that made me feel special, the music and dancing is incredible at this party, great looking crowd too. But sometimes I feel alone and out of sync. This happens to everybody, the radio plays songs all day long about these same sorts of events, it's part of the human condition, I guess that proves I'm human....
Sunday, January 16, 2011
To be honest, I'm not 100% sure. I started this in January 2008 when I met my friend Eduardo and he had a blog so I thought I'd try it too. I mostly just wrote and posted pictures so Eduardo and other friends of mine could see what I was up to. But now Facebook seems to have more and more taken over that role and I write less and less about my daily activities and more and more about more private issues, challenges and solutions to some of the more perplexing things that I encounter.
I guess more and more I'm writing just for me, just as a way to organize my thoughts and describe some of the challenges and rewards of being an artist and a gay man way past twinkdom navigating my way around NYC and the world.
I imagine that I sometimes come across as a bit of a pollyanna, no matter how much I drink my glass is still half full. I know that none of the challenges I face are perticularly earth shattering and none of my solutions are really that profound either, but there is something cathartic about writing them down and sending these thoughts up to the cloud.
Maybe it seems like I'm on a soapbox when it comes to certain issues, human rights, equality for gays and lesbians and that sort of thing ..I never used to much care about what went on outside my skin, but something has changed in me over the last couple of years. When I refer to other people here, especially those I know personally, I in no way mean to point fingers or blame or punish anyone, and if it comes across that way, I'd like to hear from you. I have had friends or aquantences bristle at some perceived slight towards them and I have gladly taken these posts down, no questions asked. I value all of my personal relationships and I am not out to vilify anyone.
I'm still not sure weather to keep this blog going or to just let it die a peaceful death and focus on my art blog Erik-Hanson.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
My friend AA turned me on to this blog called born this way, here's a sample entry, you can see more here. Fascinating!
Robert, age 2
Lakeville, MA (1970)
This photo was taken in my parents' first apartment in rural Massachusetts. That's my older brother next to me dressed as a pumpkin. Obviously it's Halloween, and I'm 2, so I can't take too much credit for the first stab at drag.
It took a lot of cajoling to get my Mother, who is not amused by my love for this photo, to explain why she would dress her two year old son as a girl for Halloween. Finally she admitted, 'When you were a baby, everyone thought you were a girl, so your Father and I thought it would be funny to dress you as one for Halloween. End of story.'
Maybe I didn't pick the outfit, maybe I didn't tie the kerchief - but that extended pinkie is all mine!
I first started to notice I wasn't the same as other boys in 3d grade - playing with dolls at recess with the girls, not playing sports, generally being a loner.
It was really 7th grade, when puberty started to hit, that I knew I was attracted to boys.
Honestly, until the age of 18 I thought it was something I was going to grow out of. Then I turned 18 and realized I wasn't going to grow out of it.
Robert's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Willie Aames and Christopher Atkins in "Blue Lagoon"
Friday, January 14, 2011
There is an article in yesterday's NY Times about the gay arab dance party called Habibi. My friend Abraham organizes this and DJs, the music is awesome, guaranteed not what you would hear in any other club in NYC and lot's of friendly hunky guys. The next one is tomorrow, see you there
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
MEMPHIS.- Edison Pena shoots video of a display at Graceland, Elvis Presleys home, on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. Pena is one of 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine in Chile. Pena, an Elvis fan who led other miners in Elvis songs to help pass the time while waiting to be rescued, was invited to tour Graceland by Elvis Presley Enterprises. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey.
Monday, January 10, 2011
sign the petition here
This woman was the director of Cite des Arts in Paris while I was there for a residency, I only met her once but I'll never forget, she had a big file on her desk, she had really done her research on me, we talked about my work and what I was getting from the experience and how she and her husband founded this incredible place after the war. I read the she was just awarded the title of grand Officier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite, you can read the entire proclamation here
It kind of dawned on me yesterday why I make all of these suspended floating objects, I'm a libra....this week's horoscope below
This is not quite the week you were expecting but nor is it going to be a week with an outcome that you would especially want to alter. What's happening is, in its own way, deeply magical and highly appropriate. It is as if you have placed an order for help of some kind and then forgotten all about it. You have managed to cope in some other way, so successfully that you can hardly remember why you thought a particular situation was problematic. Now your original request is being fulfilled.
I re-ran across this shot of Lady gaga at the LES Bikram yoga studio that I frequent. More Lady gag sightings in the LES here. I still remember staying in my friend's house in FI in 2008 and running across an invite for a lady Gaga performance at the Ice Palace. Did anybody see that?
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I deal in dreamers and telephone screamers
Lately I wonder what I do it for, if I had my way
I'd just walk through those doors, and wander
Down the Champs Elysees
Going cafe to cabaret, thinking how I'd feel when I find
That very good friend of mine
Saturday, January 8, 2011
My Niece Brianna came to the Joni opening last night along with her boyfriend Casey and I had a great time introducing them to all the art bears of New York. They were fun, funny, interested and everyone seemed to enjoy meeting and talking with them. Brianna has been out for many visits in the past and I've always enjoyed spending time with her.
They arrived in NYC a month ago and last night was the first time we got together. When they first arrived I was trying to help them find an apartment, asking my friends for help and trying to coordinate a time to get together, but then it kind of dawned on me that, they're adults trying to make a new life for themselves and maybe they don't need me hovering over them, maybe they want to do it themselves just like I did when I first came to NYC. So I endured the guilt-laden texts from Brianna's mom, my sister...."You can't even help YOUR OWN NIECE move???!!!". I had already promised my friend Desi that I would be an extra in his photo shoot that day, sorry.
I apologized last night in person for not helping them move and Brianna told me there were way too many people for not much stuff, apparantly all the relatives in the 5 state region had been recruited for this and I wasn't missed. It's nice not to force things and just let them happen naturally.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I seem to have achieved a state of equilibrium that's pretty rare, and I like it. It dosn't have to do with personal interactions or professional achievments, it's more about my outlook and where I'm looking and what I'm finding. More and more I'm looking within myself to find what I need. This is about being resourceful and looking to myself first, more and more I'm finding others show up in my life just when they are meant to.
I think also this equilibrium comes when you realize you've seen enough and gotten through enough to realize that no problem is insurmountable and to take what works for me at the time from any situation and leave the rest behind. If mysteries are meant to be revealed, they will be.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The quote above is by lau Tzu, you can read more about him and Taoism here...
It goes along nicely with my Libra Horoscope below....
You used to see it this way. Now you see it differently. Soon, your view may change again. That's fine. Or at least, it ought to be. You have chosen a strange sign to be born under if your preference in life is for consistency and rigidity at all times. Your ability to adapt is one of your greatest strengths. It always, though, becomes stronger when you do it with pride. The eclipse insists you don't need to apologise for anything today. That was then. This is now. Something may be a problem to someone else. It's not a problem to you.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Thanks to my friend Richard I've been obsessing about Angry Birds, I play it all the time in the subway and at first I couldn't wait to complete one level and get to the next. Now I'm content to stay where I'm at until I learn the new skill set necessary to move on to the next level.
I've met so many fascinating people while traveling around on the interweb. I love the random way it puts you into contact with people you might otherwise have never met. It's a lot like any other form of social interaction, exciting and confusing but it also can teach you a lot about yourself.
When I run across something someone says or does that interests me in a way I've never thought about before it can be pretty fascinating and like my friend Kevin says, people tell you who they are right off the bat, we just have to learn to listen. For instance I've had a few roommate experiences that were less than satisfactory. One woman seemed very scared of paying me upfront and frightened of this and that, I was not too interested in living with her but she had an interesting job so I thought this might work out well, of course it didn't and I was happy to see her go but it taught me to trust my instincts.
A few months ago I ran across someone on a dating site who was direct but with chopped up fuzzy pictures. The secretiveness intrigued me and since I'm quite the opposite of secretive this challenge really got my juices going. I thought maybe I could help him come out of his shell and grow into the person he might want to want to be. But the more time I spent with him, the more I realized I didn't know him and soon came to the realization that I probably never would. He was telling me this right from the start. I had an inkling and I was right. When I came to this realization I lost interest and things fizzled out.
I've recently ran across someone who intrigued me, but in a much different way. He had clear pictures up of his face and body. This guy was asking me all kinds of questions about why I liked this or that, what I found appealing about him and telling me what he liked and why and what he found appealing about me. I liked his expansive view and I realized I had learned more about him in a week than I had learned about this other guy in a few months. Through the experience of knowing this guy I was learning all kinds of new things about myself in a way that I never thought possible. I was confronting fears and prejudices that no longer served me, crossing boundaries and opening up in ways I never dreamed of. This isn't an ongoing thing, he was here for the holidays and now he's back home. I've learned from previous experience that a long distance relationship isn't what I want. Both of these interludes lasted exactly as long as they were meant to and I probably wouldn't have had one without the other, after the first guy I was really looking for someone more open, but I probably wouldn't have been as receptive to the 2nd guy if I hadn't had that experience with the first guy.
Neither one of these ended in "Happily Ever After" but both served an important purpose, they allowed me try new roles that I had been wanting to try and to learn new things about myself and for that I'm grateful.
There's an interesting article about relationships in yesterday's new york times, you can see it here