Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Hunger-Artist.

 This rave is a carry-on from the previous post where I bitch about the hard slog of the non-careerist artist. I am absolutely spewing about yet another outrage committed against my saintly self so be prepared to get splattered by my vitriol.

When I was a kid I told my father that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up and his face dropped, although a working-class man he knew what was what and that it meant a life of toil, tears and troubles. It's bad enough that a wannabe artist has to face Big Powers along the way, "experts" with millions of dollars and governments behind them, who are like Cerberus dogs at the Gates of Hell tearing to bits many applicants hoping to be hung in their hallowed citadels of Art.

But when you get shat on by talentless brain-dead nobodies with 7 cents worth of power on the doors of back-alley galleries it's infuriating to the point of me getting violent and wanting to kick arse. My friend Richard Machine had updated my cyber-gallery at with a new links page and as I was perusing the various titles I came across "Kings Cross Art" and checked it out, and here's the bad-arsed story about the kind of low-down dirty tricks that get perpetrated against the hopeful all along the way.

About seven years ago I got a call from a moronic booze-hound who thinks he's a poet but is really a bag of bad breath. I call him Robert Baywatch because he's notorious for hanging around the life-drawing classes at the Booze-on-tap Gallery and perving on the naked pussy of the models. He asked me to submit my latest prize-winning drawing to a book of his arse-wipe poetry that was just being published and I said OK, thinking about no payment as per usual but it's cool to help him out. He then stated that I would have to pay him $300 for the privilege of being included to which I replied that I was long over paying to get published, I was always hoping to be paid, and therefore I refused my art to him.

The alcohol-pickled deadhead waited like a crocodile and got revenge a couple of years later when, after I won the People's Choice Award at the Images of the Cross Contest, he had the power over who got hung at the Booze-on-tap Gallery and asked me to politely fuck-off with my painting, after only three days, while the exhibition carried on. I complained bitterly about this, writing him a poison-pen letter, I have no power except with my pen, using it as a sword. Now I've discovered he's got extra revenge by colluding with some fuckwit student from the art college to post a page about a show of mine but excluding my work totally from the walls.

The chief librarian at Kings Cross Library asked me to put on a show of my drawings, posters and paintings depicting Kings Cross for the "Kings Cross Arts Festival". Gavin Harris and I worked for weeks on the show and called it "Cross Crazies." I had 21 works to fill the venue, but being ever the naive co-operative fool, I thought why not give a young friend of mine a chance and invite him to show two works alongside mine, then we invited a third artist to also show his stuff. I didn't have to do this but I am just not that cut-throat competitive, elitist or exclusive and it's always been my downfall. I foolishly never flashed that in this tough time of 7 billion wailing, scrambling humans, even the art-world is ruthless, the top of the heap involving such enormous fame and wealth it's worth betraying anyone and everyone for the prize of being the "world-reknowned artist", if one is soul-less enough to want it that bad.

Years later I find this page "Kings Cross Art" put up by the slime-bag Robert Baywatch in which he mentions my name so that if you Google T.Z. his page comes up, but there's not one photo of my art there, there's Nick's two images, both of which you'd never guess were about Kings Cross, and then there's photos of a poetry reading given by the little zombie, Robert Baywatch, his name mentioned twice. What the pea-brain actually does is literally show what a bastard he is, it's there for the thinking person to see, my show but no pics of my work and his name pushed, tho he has nothing to do with Kings Cross Art. What to say about talentless alcoholics, do they even have lives? This guy looks like one of those velociraptors out of "Jurassic park", red leather face, bird-brained and vicious. Young female artists have told me he's always trying to sleaze onto them with his 7 cents worth of power he's dredged up from the Booze-on-tap Gallery.

And he's just one of the arts-holes I've met in the long travail slogging up the pyramid of shit that is the Art world. There's three posters of mine for sale for near $1000 each at the Joseph Lebovic Gallery that were not bought from me, they seem to have been stolen from an archives somewhere and the Gallery didn't even put my name on two of the works though my signature is all over them, they've bullshitted that the work is from "Guttersnipes", my studio tag at the time of production. I hand-printed these posters while on the dole, spending all my money to make them, going without, starving, the proverbial hunger-artist who eventually disappears, the designs stolen, the artist never having existed.

There are 16 of my posters in the Print Collection at the National Gallery in Canberra, again most of which were not paid for, the money collected by the "Dirtworks" and "Juicytoil" Collectives. They excluded me from the Catalogue they got printed up, "The Walls Also Speak", I'd paraphrase it with "also crash down upon the artist's head" as that's what the rush to fame and wealth involves. They've got me down as a member of their bullshit collectives when I was never invited to participate in any of their kudos/money/decision-making processes and I printed all my works as an independent artist, paying them all costs involved. After seven years of slaving at the Tin Sheds, when a job finally came up to teach silk-screen printing and I applied for it, the "Juicy-toil" bitches knocked me back, giving the job to an arsehole who'd just walked in the door, (they got rid of him several weeks later as he tried to crack onto the 'feminists'.) Now they got me in the records as a member of their 'Collectives' and my work is "Copy-writed", to whom I'd like to know as I can't get access to it.

I am a street artist, with no connections and powerless, except for this one little Blog where I state all this "for the record", it's not just my side of the story, it's the truth. One of the many underlying threads running throughout this Blog is the travail of the artist, the heights and pitfalls. Lucky for me I don't put all my existential eggs in that one "arts basket", I have a great life with fantastic adventures and beautiful friends and all those arts-holes can't take that away from me. I'm not the greatest artist in the world but I'm not the worst, eyeball the works above as proof that I do have some reason for calling myself an "artist". As much as some arts-holes try they can't wipe me from the many walls where my work has hung and still exists, scumbags like Baywatch will long be forgotten but my work will live on and that's my real revenge. (Wank wank but what else can a scruffy alley-cat do?)

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Punk Poofy Cat Has Landed.

In Chinese hocus-pocus this is supposed to be my year as I'm an earth Ox, having been born sixty years ago, and it's certainly worked out fabulous so far as, after much angst, I got my mother in a nursing home and I'm about to finish the grand novel I've been slaving over for seven years, The Seven Fucked-up Lives of the Punk Poofy Cat. Also I got an art exhibition, Vagabond World, in a back-alley of cyberspace with Soulprojector, and finally I learned how to drop photos into this Blog so from now on there will be illustrations, the Cat has landed on his hairy pink feet and is loving it.

I grew up in Melbourne but left that city when I was 21 and I never exhibited art there. When I flew back into Auz I chose Sydney to live in, it was 1977 and it seemed more cutting edge, which ended up meaning I got my throat cut. Within a few months I entered an anti-nuclear art show at the Opera House Gallery of all places and my painting of Lord Shiva with an atomic cloud exploding as He did his dance of destruction got a commendation from some guy raving about nuclear proliferation.

It was all down-hill from there I'm afraid as I only ever got exhibited in the Sydney underground, never invited to any galleries, openings, shows or soirees, kicked in the arse, stabbed in the back and ripped mercilessly by every wannabe I met in the climb up the pyramid of shit. Many of my works have ended up in "high culture" sites like the National Gallery in Canberra, the Powerhouse Museum and the Josef Lebovic Poster Gallery but most of it wasn't paid for, basically stolen from archives with me left to starve in the proverbial derelict garret.

Every dickhead wants the cachet of being "the artist" and make millions with prints of their butt-holes, it's a cunt of a proffession/life, you're dependant on wankers who work as curators for Govt. galleries to bestow the validation, otherwise you're finger-painting in the wilderness. But what the hell, now there's cyberspace and anyone can get their work up and out there, with no one at the door to bounce you, I pray. So from now on I will post old and new artworks and I hope, you, the unknown voyeur, will cogitate upon my radical, scurrilous visions. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Howling at the Full Moon Cafe.

I was snapped back to present day reality at the Piccolo Cafe by the ballyhoo of yet another madman crashing through the door. I'd been surfing the infinities of cyberspace via my laptop and it was a rude jolt to suddenly find this maniac spitting in my face and throwing the furniture about. His name is Gregory, another troll from under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, he gets about with his shirt open down the front so we have to look at his hairy man-boobs and he's always having a wild, raving conversation with himself, "Gregory did this, Gregory says that...", it's distracting in the extreme.

As usual, he's spent all his money on the drug-addict whores up the street and now begs for coffee and cigarettes off Vitto, snatching what he wants from the table and yelling how he deserves it after all his good custom. In his fury he threw more objects willy-nilly, swearing like a Blooper, just missing some mums and dads with their kids, all the straight customers jumped up and disappeared and Vitto had to call the police to have him taken away, his medication crammed down his throat in some back-street clinic I hoped.

As soon as one lunatic goes, another takes his place, as if there's a sign in all the out-patient psycho-wards saying, "If you're flipped out, go to the Piccolo, don't come here!" Philomena the bag-lady has pushed her way in and squeezed all her belongings into the corner, in her seventies, eternally wearing a night-dress, she seems to suffer from dementia and causes havoc having hissy fits wherever she goes so that no hotel or rented premises will have her and the poor bitch is left to live on the streets. Here she is raving nonsensically at anyone and everyone, disturbing other conversations and, to put the cherry on the cake, dropped a turd onto the floor right between her feet.

When it was pointed out she denied ownership and poor old Vitto had to get down on his knees and clean it up. She hissed and squawked till she was asked to leave and give us all a break to which she started screaming like she was being raped, then picked up a glass sugar container and threatened to klonk Vitto on the head with it. We all had to keep our distance as she was a vicious old battle-axe, an accomplished cabaret dancer in her day, she had the legs of a mule and could kick your guts in if you got too close. We had to wait for another hour before she slowly gathered up her many plastic bags and split, banned from ever crossing the threshold again.

I hoped I could soon catch my breath and get back into cyber-surfing but along came another flip-out, this time one of my best friends, Charles Fauntleroy, as if I don't have enough madness surrounding me. He's let his obsession for Peter Pumpkin get out of control, as if he's an egregious junkie denied smack, only he's denied love, like Glen Close in "Fatal Attraction", and I got to see up close how mad he is, not believing the tales recounted to me in the past. Last Friday night, after a hectic day had by all, me and Peter decided to have a quiet one, a drink at Allison's house, who herself was ill and exhausted, then home for a good sleep. Charles rang and asked if he could join us, we made our apologies and said, "Not tonight, we're having an early one, see you soon."

This sent him over the edge, he felt rejected and that he was missing out on something, possibly a liaison between me and the violin virtuoso, he thinks we're the Three Stooges and are contracted to always be together. He rang again and was again politely told we needed to chill, and then he set to harass us inordinately, ringing/texting all our mobiles seventy-seven times each, no exaggeration, our conversation interrupted, Peter's practice at violin disturbed, a pleasant evening ruined by Charles' spoilt-brat demands, till we all turned off our phones to shut up the racket.

Just as we were drifting off into ecstasy to Peter's new gypsy violin compositions there was a loud banging at the front door, like the cops doing a raid or some Muslim father come to demand his virgin daughter's return. Peter let the hysterical slob in, Charles launching into his old refrain of being vulnerable and needing support, and apologising for his furor but he was a sensitive being who needed much mollycoddling. I could stand it no longer and rushed out yelling, "Get out of my way you fat cunt! Your behaviour is appalling, I now see how your obsession with Peter is offensive harassment and for this you are being sent to Coventry for a few weeks!"

I ran off up the street but to my horror he chased me, trying to explain himself, asking why we didn't include him in our soiree and repeatedly moaning, "What does this all mean?" like it was some intellectual stage-play whose metaphors he wanted to solve. I yelled for him to "fuck off!" and finally shook him from my tail a few yards from my front door. And here he is at the Cafe Lobotomy with a torrent of excuses and apologies which I don't want to listen to, much else of my life is a mess and I don't need him adding to it. I told him I'll calm down in a few weeks but so as not to enable his temper-tantrums I was giving him a rude REALITY CHECK and banishing him from my presence for awhile.

Ayesha the Drag(on) Lady is on one of her periodical manic flights, jabbering and posturing like Fu Man Chu on acid, when I tried to get a word in she rushed over and slapped my face to which I could only laugh, she's so pathetic a slap back wouldn't improve things. Tired of howling at the Full Moon Cafe I went home but that was like going from the pan to the fire, Northcott Place is the biggest lunatic asylum in the southern hemisphere, the State having closed down all the chronic psyche hospitals and dumping the mentally ill into public housing, most of them at my joint. There's a new guy directly above me who rushes from his apartment many times a day screaming for the birds to stop twittering and singing, he throws buckets of water at the trees and waves big sticks, yelling, "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" He's even threatened the old ladies on his floor to get the fuck out of his face whenever he meets them in the corridor and has us all quaking in terror at where it will all end.

And my next door neighbour, Cursula, is the worst of them all, she gets the Shit-brown Ribbon for grungy contrariness. It all came to a head the day before I ran away to Nimbin, after her Mongolian yurt had been burnt down she'd rebuilt her hobo's camp up into a vast ragged circus-tent in front of my door, attracting every drunk, junkie, schitzo and derelict in the area to sit yahooing with her till dawn. I was too scared to go out my door but luckily she had another fight with her boyfriend Bawl and called the cops on him, they first took him away and fined him for "disturbing the peace", then came back the next day, saw the mess she'd made of the area, discovered she was sleeping in the workers' toilet instead of her own apartment and dragged her off to Caritas Acute Psyche Clinic for a few weeks respite.

Respite was what I got, peace and quiet reigned through the nights, I finally caught up on my sleep, the neighbours cleaned up her mess and the Housing Department came and told her if she continued with the dumpster-diving she would get evicted. She's come back in the last few days, within seven minutes she started the noise and rubbish collection again, speaking loudly lots of nonsense in an elevated whining voice, typical of long-term Methadone addiction, her brain-cells fried and re-programmed into maniacal self-centerdness.

She woke me up whining loudly to some fellow zombie how her next door neighbour hates her and won't let her keep her precious stuff stacked up out the front. I heard the zombie reply, "Don't worry luv, I've got a six foot boyfriend who'll come and sort him out. I promise you you've got support, I know lots of people who have filled their flats with junk till you can't squeeze in, what's wrong with that?" I tried not to worry but this isn't the only one, Cursula has inveigled other deadheads to join her brigade, no one else listens to her, she's like the Witch of the Zombies and can set her army of the walking dead onto whoever crosses her, and so I lay awake shitting myself cogitating how I could counteract her cunning passive-aggressive war tactics?

I know, I'll get a zombie of my own to sick onto hers, it'll be like" the Zombie Wars" with Northcott as the battlefield. A mate of mine has come from out of the past, just got out of gaol, seven times as nasty as anything she can throw up, with one of those zombie wranglers around his neck I can direct him to whatever bastard she's entertaining out the front. Again she woke me up bullshitting to some workers trying to concrete our verandha about how she's an artist and it was an artist's studio she'd built into the workers' toilet. I screamed from my front door, "She's no artist, she's a drug addict trying to manipulate you!"

She then whined, "Gee Toby, I hoped you'd just wish me well." "You're kidding, after seven years of living hell I wish you dead, do us all a favour, kill yourself!" "I'm calling the police on you for saying that, you not allowed to say that to me!" "Oh yeah, call the cops again, they just love coming here to deal with you. Like you called the cops on Bawl, he won't be back, you'll die a lonely old hag. The cops'll just cart you back to the bin!" She seems to have gone back to the bin of her own accord, for her it's like a holiday camp with dinner served up and a team of therapists waiting on her hand and foot, she'll have them all around her little finger, manipulating the system to get what she wants.

But at least the nights have grown quiet again, I have to take advantage of this halcyonic interlude to rush through my creative projects and/or get some sleep as madness rains down like hail-stones in these tough times and I'll have to work hard not to join their howling, full moon disaffected ranks.

P.S. I saw one of those old lunatic asylum movies once where a nutter was about to tear a few heads off until they played classical music to him and he calmed down. And music did indeed soothe this savage breast, all is not dark and nasty in my world, for I went to the Sydney Opera House to hear the Sydney Symphony Orchestra play William Walton's "Balshazar's Feast", conducted by Vladimir Ashkanazy, that intense genius who has blessed Sydney with his talent this year. I got swept away, lifted out of my body and floating above the choir, tears brought to my eyes, white light hot in my forebrain, music makes the shadows flee and life worth living.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.