Archive for the ‘EARNED’ Category


Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Fashion week a few winters ago, Vinny and Nikki Haas came over to borrow some stencils. Gallo’d seen all of the simple cuts I’d been testing for FORE, knew that there were a few of his heros in there and wanted to quickly spray some on the back of a Helmut Lang parka he would wear to the shows.

“Vinny, put a little spraymount on the back of the mylar or the spraypaint’s gonna vignette all over.” “Habib… Habib… Just… You got any change? Some quarters–nickels? Nikki? Change?” “Gallo, you don’t have any change…” “Habib, you seen the size of the roll I’m packin’? You think I got change in my pocket? Habibi…” It’s true. I hadn’t expected change to be jangling in his pockets, but drawing out the experience of Vinny squatting down in a filthy stairwell spare-changing us was a momentary guilty pleasure.

We got him a few stacks of change. He dropped ’em around the stencils and sprayed. Reagan’s spritz went everywhere–in ways Nancy hadn’t seen since the late 60’s. Dubya’s was a little less stochastic. Maybe I’d misunderestimated the master’s technique.

“Habib, I need a Sharpie. Nikki, look at this studio. It looks like a 12-year old’s bedroom. Habib, your studio looks like a 12-year old’s bedroom.” He assigned Reagan “LEGEND” and Dubs “HERO”. I cried a solitary tear for progress. “GREAT! This is great. You wanna come with us?” “Nah. I got work to do.” “Habib, lemme see that Sharpie again. [scribbles signature on a quarter] Here. The jacket’s worth every penny.” “Gallo… this is my quarter…” “It is. But it’s got my name on it.”

And there you have it. SHELFLIFE #25B, 25¢.

vincent gallo quarter


Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Nate traded me this lathe a few years ago for some Wolf Eyes footage I shot for them. Whenever they tour, it’s guaranteed that Wolf Eyes is hawking epic, editioned, handmade tour merch. They do it so frequently, that they lose track of the editions as they become superseded by newer output. I brought up the Mangled Mess lathe this weekend before the band played the final McCarren Park Pool show. Nate instantly recalled the edition from a description of the artwork, but was foggy on some specifics. He had cut each record into cardboard-backed and decoupaged plastic ice-cream lids on his Presto lathe. The cardboard jackets were open on two sides–the result, apparently of just having cut up and spraypainted over old 12″ jackets. Each record was enclosed in a different hand-collaged cover and etched onto an ice-cream lid with a uniquely collaged back. Mine has some pencil-written text–spraypainted over and then topped with fishnetted and booted legs.

mangled mess


Thursday, May 8th, 2008

These are stills from a video I shot for Rita during an Ecstatic Peace showcase one balmy evening at the Learning Alliance. Rita wrote the story and designed the puppets/sets. Susan Cianciolo designed the puppet clothing. Kim narrated. I’ll write more about this later. I’m a little hurried to finish up some other work.


Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Kim and I were doing the Free Kitten video for Teenie Weenie Boppie. It was for a Kill Rock Stars VHS video comp. The video’s hilarious, but I’ll save it for another post. I was actually reminiscing about it last night while Monika and I were at a screening of Godard’s Breathless. The scene in Breathless–where Seberg interviews an artist for the Herald Tribune–there’s an off-handed homage to that in the Kitten vid. That scene had me thinking about the video. The video had me thinking about something Kim had given me after we submitted it to KRS. That something got me to searching and then finding led to this post.

So, Fama & Fortune Fanzine–it’s what Kim had given me a copy of shortly after we finished the Teenie Weenie Boppie video. I still have little idea as to what the hell it is. Kim and Mike Kelley put the zine together in 1991. The text is all in German. I haven’t the foggiest as to what any of it means. There are some great photos of tough, beautiful women woven amongst the interviews.  One of these days I’ll remember to ask someone for a translation–or at the very least, the Clif’s Notes.



Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Walk into a gallery and it isn’t. It’s a floor in the hamperless bedroom of a parentless 15 year old fashion-addict with an anaphylactic aversion to hangers, drawers and the associated errata that exist only to contain and mask things intended to be seen.

I said addict. The pile reflects addiction. 15 feet long, 4 feet deep, 5 feet high–almost entirely composed of couture–balled-up, knotted, wrinkled and summited–Wallabee-shorn foot after Walabee-shorn foot.  Mark compiled the mound and invited available humans to engage it. The two things I liked best about Sizzler as a kid were all-you-can-eat popcorn shrimp and the dodecahydrant of soda that invited cup-upon-cup of concocting. An invitation to be photographed playing dress-up was adulthood’s Sizzler.

A few portraits of me made it into the book. Most are reflective of the hours spent spraying Sprite into Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper and grape Hi-C as a kid. Here’s a snap of the book and one of the mirrors of my anally-explosive childhood that Borthwick edited in.



Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Terry Richardson’s always been a dilemma for me. The first time I saw anything of his was at a group show at Alleged on Prince Street. He had a grip of pics hanging–photomat quickprints of guys dressed up as Batman and Robin in various states of cocksuck. Funny, but the same shit I’d seen for years in alt.binaries.fetish usenet groups. I was kind of bummed that Aaron had put it in a show.

That was around the same time I was assisting for Kern. I remember heading to work a couple of times and running into Terry over there–trading prints with Richard. I was perplexed. Richard took out a copy of Son of Bob and started flipping thru it with me. It just kind of struck me as really similar to Larry Clark, Ed Templeton, Nick Waplington, Cameron Jamie, Harmony and Ryan McGinley’s work. I got the whole, “it’s all who you bump coke with” anthropology kick Terry was on. Fun. Yeah. Call up the Smithsonian–more qualm-weary kids sniffin’ glue and shovelin’ schlong!

So, a couple of months later, Aaron comes over to give me some design homework for the gallery. He brings a bunch of books in trade–Son of Bob included. I asked him what the deal was. “What, you’re not into Terry? He’s hilarious.” “I’m maybe just not inspired by Terry is all. I guess I’ve just seen lots of the same stuff for years and I sort of gloss over it. It’s just point and shoot on one of those Yashicas, right?” “Yeah. But his stuff’s so funny!”

I let it go. Everyone started buying Yashica T4’s. Everyone started shooting everything. People threw parties just to shoot them on their T4s in hopes of catching projectile streams of vomit mid-flash or underaged kids tackling tongues. These images became iconic and everyone had them. I started thinking, “well, at least–if nothing else–he’s inspiring people to make shit.” Again, I let it go. Yet still, even today… look at Dash Snow, aimlessly carrying that same dish-rag whore of a bluelight torch all the way to the bank with his human hamster coke-den. Wake up folks. Simulacra must die.

Anyway…cut to Terry’s meat packing district Alleged show some years later. OK. I had to admit. He’d gotten his concept together. Girls wearing his shades, taking his loads on their faces. Pretty fucking good. Summed up how I felt about fashion. Summed up how I felt about art.

And with that, he really started focusing on concrete series of work–ideas that he’d lift, re-think and own. He hasn’t looked back since. The other thing I’ve anecdotally come to learn about what he does, is that he really makes his subjects absolutely relaxed. That’s the part of photography that I guess people are flaunting in the images they make. Is the fact that a photo’s being taken so transparent that it’s obviously a joke? So invisible that it’s actually some sort of summary of someone’s character? Now… did Terry get there cos of all of the support people gave his work, or cos those elements were in utero and just needed to dodge the art-world’s fickle coat hanger? I dunno–but if you can find a copy, compare the images from Son of Bob to stuff like Terryworld and Kibosh. Nature or nurture?



Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

In 2000, I was hell-bent on textile design, started thinking about mediums and made a decision. Rugs–I wanted to make rugs. I had no idea what to do with rugs or how to sell ’em, but fuck it. I wanted to make rugs and everything would work itself out.

I ran the idea by Kern. He was stoked–particularly if he could lace them with models and shoot some porn. I asked if he’d consider trading promo photos for a rug. He sort of cackled a bit, smiled and huffed out a “yeah, man. That’d be GREAT!”

Sadly, I think I was only ever able to bring 4 of the 20-something designs over to him for shoots–but he shot the hell out of them. Honcho, Leg Show, JUGS, Hustler, Nerve–those rugs saw more carpet munching than a chaise at Plato’s Retreat.

Below are a few shots. I’ll add more as I scan the slides. I stopped manufacturing this series a few years ago. I’ve since moved on to Acts of God: Rugs for Lost Homes.