The other day I was privileged to have lunch with a very dear friend of mine. Don Sergeant, an extremely bright, creative and dynamic Vietnam war veteran, whose main responsibility in this world is to save lives; a beautiful man. When we finished lunch, I stopped by The Forge Gallery and said hello to another dear friend, Phil Rachelson. Phil is not only a great artist, he also has the ability of generating great designs in his gallery. He displays the artwork in a way; it’s pleasant to the eye and geometrically sound. It’s a special Christmas show, to all the ships at sea, if you have an opportunity stop by and support the artists and the gallery. Great art at great prices. -Joe D.
To all the ships at sea, last week ranged from brutal to inconceivable, and back to brutal cubed. I was suffering from negativity, which was probably my doing because I allow things to bother me. Well, enough of that. A young man showed up on our doorstep with a number 2 pencil and a tape recorder and interviewed JoAnne and myself. Separately, as a matter of fact, which I thought was a pretty innovative way of doing it (“no white lies, you’ll get caught!”). There’s something about a consummate professional; there’s an aura about them. In my experience, they’re bright, intelligent, soft spoken, and honest. I’m talking about Michael Hartnett. I normally have some minor defense mechanisms in place, but Michael was able to have me drop them in about ten seconds. Great interviewer, again I was totally impressed. We talked a little bit about some of his art and he showed me this beautiful illustration with which I fell in love. Then he explained that he makes them in the woods. Makes a record photograph and within hours it disappears. The initial concept threw me for a loop. You mean I can’t take it home? I can’t put it on my wall? It’s not archival? It’s here today, gone tomorrow? Then I gave it a little bit more thought and realized how brilliant it is. Just like us; here today, gone tomorrow. He’s written a novel called Tales of Allamucha; expect to see it on Amazon in the upcoming future. What a breath of fresh air! This is Joe DiMaggio signing off. PS, he was writing an article on JoAnne and myself for The Milford Journal. Check out the July issue.
“I hate artist’s statements. They are pretentious, and I am pretentious enough without adding to it. I have read too many statements about artists who are “exploring psycho/sexual boundaries” or artists who are “Concerned with the tension between x and y…” These statements are more for the artists, to convince themselves that they are creating something meaningful and of value. I reality you buy art because it connects with you, or it matches your couch, not because the artist was “depicting the hypocrisy of gender roles in a post modern America”. I am much more interested to hear what you think about my work, then to tell you what I think about it.”
There are very few things that motivate me to the point of screaming, jumping up and down, or possibly wetting myself. I was introduced to a young man by the name of Thann Clark and I went to his webpage. What you’ve read above is his artist’s statement. I am totally blessed that most of my friends are artists, whether they use oil, water, pen, pencil, cameras, blues, jazz, poetry, or ballet; they’re all artists. I strongly recommend to Thann that he should get his statement copyrighted and trademarked, because if he doesn’t, I’m going to steal it. This artists statement could go on from here to infinity. I’m throwing a photo in here just because I want to. Just for people to keep records, the above gorilla photograph was the number one selling greeting card for over two years. Canon EOS, 600 f4, 1/100th at f4, ISO 100, Gitzo monopod.
Dennis Wheeler is one of the finest artists in America today. He has to his credit: his work is in the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art, and his artwork is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. When he talks about Andy, he’s not talking about Andy Rooney; he’s talking about Andy Warhol. He also has 40 Time covers to his credit. He’s one of the smartest and most creative people I’ve ever met. Extremely bright, creative, and quite humble. If you ever have an opportunity to be in Hillsdale, stop by his gallery. It’s absolutely awesome. And he makes a mean martini! How bad could it be?
Have a great day, Joe D signing off.
Hi to All the Ships at Sea,
It’s a little known fact that JoAnne and I had an illegitimate son, by the name of Dylan (just joking.) Please understand across the studio just came a comment…”You’re out of your mind what are you saying?.” So let’s just be honest, I am out of my mind, I agree, it’s just the nature of the beast. Dylan at a very young age had a babysitter, by the name of Dennis Wheeler. Dennis’s art is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. In my humble opinion he is one of the finest artists of our time. In those days we lived on the sea and rainbows were relatively commonplace. They usually happened after it rained…I never quite did figure that out. One day Dylan decided to paint rainbows. He painted, I don’t know, somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty different rainbows. I think JoAnne said to him one day, “Why don’t you sit outside on the stoop and maybe you can sell the rainbows to people who pass by.” (You can tell who the mercenary business person is in our small company) That’s why she is the brains and the beauty.
Dylan sat outside with the rainbows as people would come by and pick them up for 2 cents each. The timing on this was approximately ten months after Musician Doug Stegmeyer went on to playing bass on a different plateau. There was a knock on the door and it was Peggy Stegmeyer, who lived down the street. In her hand was one of Dylan’s rainbows. She very softly said, (I am paraphrasing) “Joe, this is the first time a smiled in almost a year.” I’ve been known to say, all the great things in the world are free and occasionally a great piece of art may only sell for 2 cents. But it made some one very happy.
All the Best, Joe D
As a man or woman makes the journey from birth to death along the way they meet people who change their life. It’s given with our parents and family. There are maybe 8 or 10 people who radically changed the direction of my life other than my parents of course . Today I will just talk about one – Will Barnet who passed away November 13 at age 101.
My partner JoAnne Kalish had an assignment to photograph Will and she did these amazing and iconic portraits of Will and they became close. One day Will invited us to lunch and on that day I learned more about art, art appreciation and art history in a very short period of time then any other time in my life.
There will only be one Will Barnet – He was a warm, kind, generous, exceptionally talented, and a humble human being. I’ve been known to say the greatest things in life are free. On New’s Years Day 2012 Will Barnet gave us a million dollar gift by merely calling to wish us a Happy New Year. My God does it get better than that?
To all the ships at sea; we very rarely see a photograph of JoAnne and I together because most of the time she’s working on one specific project and I on another. The one good thing is we always agree; she says black, I say white, she says up, I say down. It makes for one hell of a relationship. Artistically, it really works. She is an extremely fine photographer and a difficult producer. As for me; best described as pain in the ass. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Recently, there’s been a new artist community social network organization, the Milford Arts Alliance Open Gallery Tour, and we’ve had our first gallery opening for them which was extremely successful. A total of 60 clients came through with four sales. Great conversation; I thoroughly enjoyed it. A big thank you to Amy Bridge and her publication The Milford Journal, and a big thank you to Micheal Hartnett for a great photo. Have a great weekend.