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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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20 August 2022

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No. 9,293 (cartoon)

You know what’s great about us?

I give up.

Nothing. I gave up a long time ago.

21 August 2022

Artists Gone Bananas

This is such a good story that I’m not going to bother with too many little details such as names.

Twenty years or so ago Some Artist taped a plastic banana to a gallery wall and called it art. A while back Another Artist taped a real banana to a wall, called it art, and sold it for a hundred thousand dollars. And now Some Artist is suing Another Artist for copyright infringement.

Taping objects to a wall is of no aesthetic interest to me, but the court case sure smells like art!

22 August 2022

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The Sound of a Black Hole

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration released what administrators claim is the sound of an actual black hole in the Perseus galaxy cluster, but Fiona knows better. She said she recognized the recording as a lightning iron tune that was popular in Berlin underground clubs a dozen years or so ago.

I couldn’t get the rights to reproduce NASA’s alleged black hole recording here, so put your ear up to the black hole I’ve published. Listen carefully, for that, good buddy, is what a black hole really sounds like.

23 August 2022

A Real Nice Garden at the Bottom of the Ocean

I always thought it must be raining dead this and dead that at the bottom of the ocean. This may be a personal scientific first, but I was right. What I didn’t envision was that there’d be peculiar ocean critters there thriving on the carcassy bounty from above.

I’m talking about the wee worms that marine scientists didn’t discover until twenty years ago when they found ’em feasting on whale bones. They come in thirty flavors; my favorite is Osedax mucofloris, the bone-eating snot flower. I hope whoever is charged with disposing of my corpse just dumps it in the briny deep.

I can imagine my skeleton in peaceful repose covered in gently undulating bone-eating snot flowers. I’ll have my friends join me and we’ll make a real nice garden. We’d all be dead happily ever after ...

24 August 2022

Stamp Out Bad Art

Chinese bureaucrats cracked down on twenty-seven people who made pathetically bad textbook art. It was deemed “not beautiful,” “quite ugly,” and failed to “properly reflect the sunny image of China’s children.”

Hmmm ...

I’m warming up to the impossible dream of stamping out bad art, but I don’t think the government should be involved. I’d probably be one of the first artists to get sent to a reëducation program. Or, even worse, I wouldn’t.

25 August 2022


Here’s one of my favorite Michael Heizer quotes: “I make something by taking something away.” That harkens back to his Double Negative days in the sixties.

Heizer certainly did take a lot away from the Nevada desert, rearranged and reshaped it, then put it back over the course of fifty years to create City. I’d heard a lot about how mammoth the piece was, but it wasn’t until Minnisha explained the scope that l realized just how huge it is: one hundred and eighty-three football pitches.

I don’t like where the “mine is bigger than theirs” school is going. I don’t want to think about some racist billionaire funding a giant statue of Robert E. Lee that’s visible from space, so I won’t.

26 August 2022

The Ol’ Switcheroo

Most of the characters in this story from the eighties are dead, so time to finally pass it along ...

Once upon a time a prominent and respected art dealer asked my late friend if he owned any prints by Robert Mapplethorpe. When he said that he had a great print and that it wasn’t for sale, the dealer offered him more than the current going price since the Mapplethorpe piece would be worth a lot more when he was gone.

“He’s got AIDS and he’s gonna die!” he explained.

(Since this is a true story, that must be what really happened.)

Later, in leaner times, my friend accepted an offer from a Japanese collector to buy the Mapplethorpe print for twice as much as the price he could get for it in California. That financial solution generated a social problem. Several friends had offered to buy the print, so my friend made a perfect copy of it in his darkroom and then put the forgery in the same frame on his wall as the original. As a result, no one ever found out about the cunning ruse.

I was reminded of that clever ploy when someone at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottowa noticed that Yousuf Karsh’s original print of his 1941 portrait of Winston Churchill has been replaced with a shoddy counterfeit. No one knows when the ne’er-do-well villains pulled the ol’ switcheroo.

Well played, lads!

27 August 2022

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A Real Line

I made A Real Line contemplating Sol LeWitt’s declaration, “Obviously a drawing of a person is not a real person, but a drawing of a line is a real line.” I suppose it follows that a photograph of a human drawing a line is neither.

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2022 David Glenn Rinehart

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