Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Don't Go Out Much Anymore.

Once there was a time when I couldn't let a weekend go by without some rock'n'roll carousing in one of the hot venues of Sydney, jumping, pumping, crashing, smashing, slamming, bang-bamming, to punk, grunge, thrash electrics gone wild, we danced till we dropped on the floor, then was picked up by the stomping crowd to grapple some more, the electricity coursing along our nerve paths and radiating out of our spiked-up hair. Now in the 21st century I've slowed down, become tired and jaded, except for the occasional dance party on a sacred full moon where I still dance ecstatically to the rhythm of the cosmos just to keep the body/mind/soul in tune.

Now in my mid-fifties I leave it to the young-un's to let their hair down in public, live venues bore me as there's very little intellectual information available, I mostly stay at home and read hot text or watch hot video from around the world. My apartment is like a snug Himalayan cave wherein I can contemplate world history and knowledge, and my own foibles, then figure out what to do next. These days I'm hallucinating a huge painting of a scene I witnessed many years ago, Kings Cross on New Years Eve, 1980, and I spend hours at it, into the twilight of dawn, getting very high on my art, inspired by Heironymous Bosch, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, Otto Dix, Diego Rivera and Robert Crumb. It's a personal painting, for myself, not for money or to please a critic, gallery owner or competition judge, tho I will hang it in this year's Kings Cross Art Festival Competition, and I don't give a flying fart if nobody else likes it.

For all my reclusive life I do love to go out into the world to see what my fellow humans are up to on the streets, I roam the city, claiming it as my personal space, like the Situationists of 1950s Paris, making certain landmarks my layabout rest-stop and sacred contemplation site, like Chinatown for the bustle of Paddy's Market and the Asian food-halls; the gangbusting action of the Entertainment Centre with it's vast temple to Cinema and eye-candy spunks crowding the game-parlors; the Surry Hills Shopping Mall for my daily needs and the local library to soak up the wondrous world of text; Oxford Street with the gay crowd trundling in and out of the clubs and pubs; and Kings Cross, magnet for sleazebags and dilletantes where one can watch humanity in its raw nasty splendor.

And of course I have my special club at the Piccolo Pirates Bar where I can meld in with other freaks and not stand out so much, tho my big mouth turns all eyes in my direction. A young friend who works there is also a painter and we discuss styles, philosophies, subject matter with relish, he's a young artist who I first met in India a few years ago, I was painting a wall mural in a freak's lodge, he told me how impressed he was by my work and acted humble, I hope he's a true friend but he's also deliriously ambitious, the usual hunger artist dreaming of fame and fortune, maybe not caring too much if I get bulldozed out of the way of his progress, like so many wannabes I've met in the "arts" industry. He's recently done a portrait of Vitto, Major Dodo of the Piccolo, all the clientele love it but I think it looks like a photographic likeness of Boris Karloff as a Dead Dwarf propped up in his coffin, most suitable for Cafe Freakshow Alley.

It's hilarious to visit the cafe in the arctic waste of pre-dawn and see the maestro sitting alone, glumly knitting with his portrait glowering down upon him, the pair of them like doppelgangers from a German expressionist horror movie, "The Cabinet Cafe of Dr.Calimari", a surreal mother and child, only who spawned who is the conundrum? I'm also reminded of that Tim Burton movie, "Ed Wood", when he visits Bela Lugosi in his low-rent hovel in Hollywood: the great cinematic monster, stoned on morphine, sits below a huge portrait of himself as Dracula, and that's what Vitto looks like under his corpse-like portrait and I can't help taking the piss. It's healthy to go out into the world sometime, just to get a laugh at the absurdity of human existence, my own included.