Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

The speech was incredible! I know there are all those Republican and McCain criticisms floating about. However those which worry me, are the statements by Toby Harndon of the U.K. Telegraph. His is an objective summary of that which the Democratic Party and Barack Obama are up against in the last years in the first decade of the Twentyfirst Century.

Never the less, the speech was magnificent (no baseball metaphor here - such American tropisms!). Barack's my man - can't help it. He inspires me. Hillery does too. Just wish we Democrats could pick a candidate that Republicans could like. H-m-m-m-m - is that an oxymoron?

I know the pundits will pundit on, and meanwhile I will return to my art, and HOPE for the best.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And Hillary Was So Impressive Last Night...

as always!

I wish we could have co-presidents. And while I'm doing pie in the sky stuff, why not wish that my idealistic vision for America could actually happen, that all the petty prejudices and stupidities were not able to exist in our wonderful country. No need for people to be upset over Hillary's defeat because that "glass ceiling" no longer existed. No need for Barack Obama to be fighting an up-hill battle against John McCain because of the politically incorrect but ever present division between black and white. No need for me to be so terribly aware of the difference between myself and my heterosexual brothers and sisters because LGBT people would not be second class citizens. No need for various religons to be set in opposition because conservative practitioners see themselves as chosen above all others.

What a fantastic country that would be!

Ah well, perhaps my fellow country men and women will actually demonstrate that they are ready to create change in that direction in this November's election.

I can only hope.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama and Ted Kennedy's Speeches at the Democratic Convention

I jus had to create this digital photomontage based on my watching and listening to Teddy and Michelle speak last night at the Democratic National Convention.

We have to make this change in national priorities!

Here’s what I wrote to a friend about last night.

“Wow! I know I'm in the right party. Our vision is the clear-headed combination of intellect with a connection to human concerns, God and country. The Republican Party stole family values and true Christian practice from us, altered and damaged them! It's good to see the party reclaiming true/actual family values and Christian practices as its own (and that includes separation of church and state).”

All those other “should be” inconsequential issues aside, I’m proud to be a Democrat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peter Hujar

As part of the series of Journal entries about contemporary alternative gay male art versus traditional gay male art I explore the history and relationship of photography in general to gay male photography in particular. In order to do that I investigate the lives and careers of many photographers.

Born in Trenton New Jersey in 1934, Peter Hujar died in New York City in 1987. I’m saddened that I cannot find much more than these two biographical tidbits about Peter Hujar. There are many reviews written that speak to his photography as presented at various venues including The Mathew Marks Gallery, New York City, The ICA in the UK, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, among others. There is the oft-sited fact that he and David Wojnarowicz were lovers, but nothing more about their lives together. There is, however, once again reference to photographs, this time created by Wojnarowicz, of Hujar as he lay dead from AIDS in the hospital corridor, a transcendent smile fixed upon his face.

The living Hujar had sharpened his photographer’s wits as a fashion and advertising artist in New York City during the 1950’s and 1960’s. At the same time he perfected a discerning technique and eye with which he was able to pierce the psychic aura of the living, find the hidden seat of humanity beneath the surface, as well as demonstrate the omni-present but invisible arm of the grim reaper. Most reviewers seem to agree that Peter was a master of composition and a technical perfectionist who influenced other more famous photographers such as Nan Golden and Robert Mapplethorpe. However, at the same time they do not discuss his work in relation to the diurnal facts of his existence. It is almost as though this portrait photographer was himself a spectral being moving among the denizens of the night, and the demimonde of a city immediately before all were decimated by the plague.

As of today, I have not been able to obtain permission from the Mathew Marks Gallery for use of any of Peter Hujar’s images, so the following link will take the viewer/reader to the New York Times Website and a portrait of David Wajnarowicz, Peter’s lover, “lighting up.” *


Hegarty, Antony. “The Outsiders.” The Guardian Weekend (December 1, 2007): pp. 42-50.

*Hujar, Peter, “David Wajnarowicz” (1981) New York Times on line, August 10, 2006, viewed 9:43 AM EDT, August 21, 2008.

Hujar, Peter, “The Frankel Gallery, January 3 - March 2, 2002,” The Culture Vulture, Viewed 8:19 AM EDT, Monday, August 18, 2008.

Lazere, Arthur, “Peter Hujar,”, January 8, 2002. Viewed 8:47 AM EDT, Tuesday, August 19, 2008.

Pitman, Joanna, “Peter Hujar’s Love for the Lonely, The London Times on Line,, viewed 9:21 AM EDT, Thursday, August 21, 2008.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Butterfly on Partner's Head

I was going through and organizing images for my Morgue this morning (file of photos to be used as an aid to drawing, painting and making photomontages), and I found this photograph that I hadn't looked at previously. At least I don't remember it. It's from Butterfly World near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I apparently took the photograph in 2007 during one of many visits.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowic

"Peter Hujar Dreaming/Yukio Mishima: St. Sebastian," (1982)*

Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowic were lovers. That statement would make a great song or book title. And, right there my nasty alter ego jumps in.

“Why not for this essay, John?” (said sarcastically)

“Your making fun again.”

“No! But you’re such an incurable romantic!”

“Like that’s a bad thing.”

“The incurable part isn’t real great. And, of course we all know how the tale ended.”

“So - - - they both died of AIDS, first Peter (1987) then several years later, David (1992).”

“End of your story. Essay over.”

“But it isn’t over. I think their lives and work would make a wonderful play.”

“Fabulous, John!” (Said even more sarcastically.)

“Yes, well why not? In a way, Peter saved David’s life, helped to give him purpose and meaning. David took Peter’s death, and the deaths of so many others, and turned them into his personal crusade. His photographic montages / paintings became a scathing condemnation of a culture that was and still is perhaps as sick or more so than any poor soul dieing from AIDS.”

“Be that as it may…”

“No, I won’t be cut off that way. In future journal entries, as part of the series about gay male artists and the two kinds of artwork they create, I’ll take a look at the lives of Peter Hujar and David Wojnarowicz. I will show how they impacted one another’s lives, and I’ll discuss whether or not their work is just about the male body. I have a feeling that once again, the work of both men is more about the relationship of their vision to their sexuality, as well as to the culture in which they lived. I also think that we should especially revisit David’s work with an eye toward capturing his concerns about our culture. We might just be able to address current issues with more care. Perhaps we might even be able to make some corrections here and there.”

“Ah,” as I said, “Forever the incurable romantic.”

*The Image was taken from Queer Arts Organization Website,,"Peter Hujar Dreaming/Yukio Mishima: St. Sebastian," 1982. Acrylic and spray paint on masonite, 48” x 48”.
Collection of Evan Lurie (a bequest of Keith Davis), New York. Visited Sunday, August 10, 2008, 9:40 AM EDT. (The censure is my own doing due to fears of government pornography law.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kitty Butt Shot

Whenever friends visit us and we are walking or hiking and we approach a beautiful spot, my partner often says, “It’s butt shot time.” He knows that I will ask everyone to look out over valley vista, or seascape and shoot several photographs before I ask everyone to face the camera. I have a collection of these photographs of various groupings of friend’s posteriors framing the view of horseback riders on the beach, giant waves crashing onto the beach at Rehoboth or the view of the Atlantic Ocean between sand dunes on Cape Henlopen, among other panoramas. So, when I saw our cat, Anna sitting in the dining room window mezmerized by that presently stationary bird or bug out in the yard, it was time to get the trusty Sony camera from my closet and hope she would still be there when I returned. Fortunately the outdoor critter was safe from our spellbound cat who remained framed by window and bouquet.