Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thinking outside the P.O. Box

Hey pal, how is everything? Are you warm enough? Are you eating well? Getting enough sleep? Are you alright for money? Nobody's picking on you are they? You'd tell me if they were wouldn't you? 

Ok good. It's only because I care.

In other news, for my birthday on the weekend I got one of the best presents ever, (Thanks again Cherie!), my very own P.O Box!

You can see it here, located behind the lady rolling a smoke.
I've gone down and checked the box 3 times in the last 3 days and each time there's been nothing in it. 

I'm probably going to continue checking it every day for the rest of my life so please write to me, you literally have know idea how happy that would make me.

If you'd like to send me something but you're unsure what, well, I collect other peoples shopping lists, so if you find one, or you've made one and are done with it, please put it in an envelope and send me my first letter.

Here's three lists I found in the last week.
If you do send me a shopping list, (fingers crossed), I'll happily put it on this blog with a very special thank you. 

Ok, I think I just heard the Postie so I'd better get back down to my P.O Box and make sure it's still empty. Thanks for reading. Now go put a jacket on for heavens sake the last thing you want to do is catch a cold.

UPDATE- Hi, this is Kenny from the future, (April, 2020). I still collect shopping lists but I now have a new P.O. Box, the new address is P.O. Box 232, Batman, Victoria, Australia. 3058.
Thanks for reading, hope you're well and hope to hear from you soon!

Friday, May 17, 2013

"How was Perth?"

Hey pal, thanks for stopping by, great to see ya, hope everything's going good.

I can't sleep and so I figure I'll tell you a little bit about a funny day I had when I was up in Perth a few weeks ago. It involves toast, terrorism and a dirty old man. Your three favourite things.

The backpackers I stayed at was mainly inhabited by Irish guys. Tall, tough guys with alarmingly fair skin and surprisingly chiselled bodies. None of them ever wore a top and all of them were covered in tattoos. I saw at least three bald twenty year olds with the same “Only God can judge me” scrolled in fancy cursive on their upper back.

Here's a drawing I did of one of the tattoos whilst I had my feet dangling in the backpackers pool.

(Acrylic and paint marker on 225gsm paper. 42 x 29.7cm)

The place was pretty rough. One day I got home to find I'd been robbed. You don't expect to be robbed when you're paying 80 bucks a night for a room with one bed. Apparently it was the cleaners who'd cleaned me out.

I didn’t lose much; just my camera case, (luckily for me my camera wasn’t in it), my phone charger, a jumper, a towel and my food, (baked beans, bananas and tuna). I didn’t mind so much about that stuff, although I was a bit sadder when I realised they’d also taken a few small pieces of my art and some hand written scribbles I'd jotted in the middle of the night.

The guy that runs the place was pretty good about it. He gave me a towel and bought me a new phone charger. 
The guy that runs the place was Paul McCartney. Well, he looked close enough.
In addition to the charger and towel, Paul McCartney also told me he'd found the notes I'd lost. 

One of the 2 notes he gave me was an A4 piece of printer paper covered in graffiti tags, and the other was a letter that said "Dear Lorretta, please hang my sheets out today if you think it's windy enough. Hopefully the bed bugs are gone. Thanks -D".

I handed the notes back to Paul, I would've kept them but they probably had bed bugs.

But so yeah, much like I can't sleep tonight, I could't sleep that night either, and so the next morning I got up at 6am, (4am Melbourne time), for the free breakfast. 

When the backpackers hostel had promised free breakfast what they’d really meant is that they provide a one hundred kilo tub of Rice Bubbles and you have to bring your own bowl, spoon and milk. 
I like Rice Bubbles a lot but I didn’t have a bowl or spoon or milk, so I settled for toast.

The place only had one toaster, you had to wait your turn. That morning someone else's toast had popped up and after waiting about 30 seconds by the unattended toaster for someone to take out the toast I figured that was long enough and went to get it out myself. 

As I did this I felt the thud of a hand grip into my shoulder followed by a stern warning of “Don’t you dare touch my toast.”
(Paint marker on 225gsm paper. 42 x 29.7cm)

“Yeah no problem" I said. "Just get it out yourself then, I wanna put mine in” 

“You’d better not try that move again mate” he warned me, “I don’t know where your hands've been.”

"Probably pretty similar places to where your hands have been” I told him.

He was pretty intimidating but his anger over the toast was so ridiculous and made him seem so much like a bully out of a cartoon that I couldn't quite take him seriously. Then we spotted the TV on the ceiling of the breakfast room. 

Boston Bombings. 
Maybe it's because I'd been alone in a strange city for a week but I ended up watching the news for nearly two hours. They repeated that same 15 second explosion footage at least two times every minute.
The nineteen year old kid. The Terrorist. This Villain that the Whitehouse was tweeting would soon suffer “Justice”. He looked just like me. A better looking version of me with a smaller nose and without the dint in his chin.

Eventually I went to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) and spent the next 7 hours installing my work.

PICA is so rad, I had the best time. The whole team who work there are such an amazing group of smart, cool, funny and generous people.
On top of this, all of the other artists I was exhibiting with in the show were also an amazing group of smart, cool, funny and generous people. 

The show's still on by the way, it runs until July 9. Hopefully you might get a chance to check it out. 

Also, be sure to look out for an image of my Bubble'O Bill sculpture in the big light box infront of the gallery. 
You can also buy it in a postcard.
And, best of all, we even managed to sell real Bubble'O bills at the opening.

Pretty amazing right? It was kind of funny to suddenly be The Bubble'O Bill Guy. It was sort of a dream come true, but also it was a bit strange in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

But so yeah, anyway, when I got home that night from installing my work I was sitting in the backpackers courtyard, drinking a beer with that guy whose toast I’d touched. 

There was about ten of us in the courtyard, guys and girls. There was an older man also staying at the backpackers who was in his room overlooking us. I hadn't seen him until he lifted back his curtain. He made eye contact with most of us then began to masturbate.

He was really going at it. You could see everything. The girls were laughing “Hahaha, gross, old men are alright but not dirty old men!” 
Paul McCartney came out and told us “It’s ok everybody, we’re kicking him out at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning. Try to just ignore the dude, he wants you look.”

I didn't know what to think, everybody laughing made the whole situation confusing. I said to the guy on my right, “Hey, at least it wasn’t him that touched your toast this morning”. We clinked beers, but it was weird.

I headed in to make dinner. I watched the blokey blokes and yoga instructor looking women efficiently prepare their elaborate gourmet feasts.

My brother's a great cook, he would've fit right in, but not me, I couldn't be bothered with any of that, I was drained, I waited 3 minutes by the microwave for my McCains frozen Chicken Parmigiana and Vegetables and when that microwave went ding I couldn't get out of the kitchen area fast enough.
Amongst the people I sat with at the table was the man who'd just masturbated in front of me. 
COPS was on TV, some guy had been pulled over for drink driving and in the boot of his car they'd found a hollowed out computer monitor with a block of hash hidden in it. Everyone was watching the guy on TV getting arrested, except for a girl from Finland three chairs down from me who was happily rolling herself a joint.

I wanted to tell the old man how out of line I felt he was. My head was racing through all the things I could say to him, and then imagining what his response might be to each of them. Ultimately I couldn't think of anything worth saying. I thought about my new friend Paul McCartney and his song Let it be, and I decided to do just that. 

Besides, who am I to judge him? I've read enough upper back tattoos to know that only God can do that. 

I walked to the corner store and bought a bowl, a plastic spoon and some milk. Tomorrow morning I'd have Rice Bubbles.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A bit of alright

I'd never really been in much of a car accident until yesterday. 

Actually, I'll get to that in a second.

First, hey, what're you up to today? I'm in an exhibition at the awesome Third Drawer Down, (off Gertrude street in Brunswick, Melbourne), this afternoon between 3 and 5. If you're free definitely come say hi.

If you can't make it though, the exhibition runs for the entire month of May.

The other artists in the show are really, really good; Tessa Carapic and Brodie Wood.

There's a fourth artist in the show as well whose work I haven't seen yet. His name's Morgan Peck. He's American, he lives and works in Washington. 

Peck managed to deliver his work to Third Drawer Down all the way from the other side of the world. Me, I couldn't do it from here in Upper Ferntree Gully. 

I was driving to Third Drawer Down yesterday to install my work. I probably didn't need to buy any petrol, I had a little bit over a quarter of a tank, but I decided to play it safe. As I was pulling into the petrol station a truck mustn't have seen me and crash, he drove straight into me.

The jolt and crunching metal was scary. The whole thing was scary. To me this truck looked about a thousand meters long. It was one of those refrigerated ones that're used for carrying meat. Or ice sculptures. At least no-one was hurt. It could've been a lot worse.

There was no time to be upset, I had to be a grown up. Get out. Ask the truck driver for his license. Document the accident. Assess the damage. Clean up the road, (I kept some pieces of his truck as souvenirs).

But after he'd driven off I was left on the side of the highway alone with a car that I wasn't sure still worked, and I was pretty shaken up. Luckily I have the best Dad in the world who came and helped me sort out the insurance and fix the car well enough to get it home.

I only have a couple of minutes to write this so I'll have to speed it up a bit, but so basically I'm going back to Third Drawer Down today to have a second shot at installing my work.

And here's a painting I did that's being used as the invite image, it's acrylic on 225gsm paper. 21 x 29.5cm.
Anyway, fingers crossed my car isn't written off, come have a drink with me this afternoon if you can, hope to see you soon.