Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alfred Hair

I've seen an awful lot of unsigned Alfred Hair paintings at this point, maybe a hundred, maybe more. I no longer find it to be unusual. It was less than important to have a signature on these things forty years ago, it was only important to get 'em painted and sold.

I happen to have two unsigned Hair 24x36's, available right now, that the Tysons (remember them ?) have consigned to me to sell for them.

Occasionally, a little while after I sell one from inventory, the Twilight Zone effect comes into play, dimensions shift, life and the after-life intermingle, and these very same paintings appear on eBay with signatures. I have no idea how many times they have changed hands since I sold them, but................

I can document at least three such instances.

I felt it was my duty, as a protector of the naive, to fight the good fight and do what I could to get them removed from their listings, so far, successfully.
( I pause now to pat myself on the back.)
I'm not the police, but is fraudulent to forge signatures.

There is a fairly nice unsigned four footer on eBay right now. Scroll way down on the listing to see a special offer.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Another real quick one

Struck me funny. Maybe you, too ?

from SarahKSilverman
I feel pretty lucky. Thousands of people die every day and it's never me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A quickie : A headline today

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to St Pete.

St. Petersburg firefighters accidentally run over victim they were sent to help
By Jamal Thalji, Times Staff Writer In Print: Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beanie's place

This is certainly the lazy man's way of doing it, but I want to share this in case you missed it.
Copied and pasted directly from the Treasure Coast Palm.


ST. LUCIE COUNTY — During his lifetime, A.E. “Bean” Backus refused to allow the small art gallery on the Fort Pierce riverfront to bear his name.
The gallery wasn’t about him, he argued, it was a showcase for all local artists.
Now about to open its doors for a 50th season, these days the gallery’s reputation is inextricably linked with the Backus name. It’s the place that keeps his artistic and personal legacy alive.
“He was the most generous man I’ve ever known, a genuinely good human being,” said gallery Director Kathleen Fredrick, who spent much of her youth hanging around Backus’ studio.
But how do you do communicate that and his incredible talent almost 20 years after the man’s death?
“Our mission is to tell Bean’s story and to explain his artistic legacy,” Fredrick said, “and we need to tell it in a more compelling way than we have in the past.”
One way will be to create an expanded area of the gallery devoted to showing more of the gallery’s personal collection of Backus landscapes together with interpretative panels that describe his history and development as an artist.
To Fredrick, Backus has grown from being regarded as an interesting Florida landscape painter — a regional talent — to an important 20th century American painter in the same league as, say, Winslow Homer.
In 1958, a local businessman, Al Shapiro, persuaded Backus to support the building of a gallery in Fort Pierce. Shapiro wanted to name it after Backus; Bean would have none of it.
He wanted to showcase the burgeoning talent he saw on the Treasure Coast. Backus taught and encouraged a small army of budding area artists, including the Highwaymen.
He matched Shapiro’s $1,000 seed money, produced a rendering of a small minimalist-style building, urging the community to raise the rest of the $12,000 cost.
They responded with a flood of $50 and $100 checks. The smallest recorded contribution, Fredrick noted, was a $7 check from a lady who worked at the courthouse.
The original gallery, which opened in 1959, wasn’t much more than a roof held up with columns. There was a rock garden in the center and rainwater flowed toward the center of the open pavilion.
They hung artwork on cut nails on the outside of the building, hoping the deep roof overhang would protect paintings from summer rains.
That didn’t work, and by 1968 the gallery board decided to add walls and air conditioning and make the place a proper indoor gallery. They’ve gone from strength to strength ever since.
Whatever Backus’ reputation as an artistic pioneer, it’s the man Fredrick recalls with overwhelming affection.
“People who first met him saw the gregarious side: joking and friendly. But he was very modest, shy and retiring. He was the man with 10,000 friends. He didn’t have an abrasive bone in his body.”
Backus lived by a “pass it on” philosophy taught him by his Uncle Reg (who paid for him to attend art school in New York). In order for $1 to do any good, Uncle Reg argued, you have to give away $10. Nine dollars may go to waste, but the tenth will do the trick.
Yet Bean was pretty hopeless with money and, Fredrick is sure, if he’d ever been in charge of the business side of the gallery, they’d have had to shut the doors within a week.
“You can’t put artists in charge,” she says, “they use another whole area of their brains.”
Even though Backus rarely showed the world any ill-will, he did have his pet peeves, Fredrick recalled with laughter.
“He hated all intolerance, cigarettes, the banjo, and John Denver.”
I really wish I’d met him.

I, TOO, HATE JOHN DENVER, but damn it, I love my cigarettes. And I've liked the banjo ever since I saw "Deliverance".

Friday, September 11, 2009


There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

Lennon and MCartney, from In My Life (Rubber Soul)

At about this time of day in 2001 I took position on the couch and pretty much stayed there for a couple of days, as I had done 40 years earlier when the first Kennedy assassination stained our country.

As gut-wrenching as that murder was, watching the towers, with which I had become intimately familiar, come down with and on top of all those souls, on live TV, brought more tears to my eyes than the loss of a beloved president and hero had brought to a 14 year old boy.

When I was in travelling the country dealing in Rare Coins, I attended several years of bi-annual shows held in the Vista Hotel and booked my room there, nestled between the towers.

I would go up to Windows of the World at the cocktail hour but I'd get a little dizzy if I got real close to the windows themselves.

Today, gentle readers, I give you a gift of the late Jack Buck. He wrote this poem.
I'll give the link at the end if you'd like to see him read it on youtube.

Since this nation was founded under God,
more than 200 years ago,
We've been the bastion of Freedom...
The light which keeps the free world Aglow.
We do not covet the possessions of Others,
we are blessed with the Bounty we share.
We have rushed to help other Nations...
War is just not our nature...we
Won't start, but we will end the fight.
If we are involved we shall be
Resolved to protect what we know is Right.
We've been challenged by a Cowardly foe,
who strikes and then Hides from our view.
With one voice we say there's no Choice today,
there is only one Thing to do.
Everyone is saying the same thing
And praying that we end these Senseless moments we are living.
As our fathers did before, we shall Win this unwanted war.
And our children will enjoy the Future we'll be giving.