Tag Archive | Interview

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Shadow By Stephen Greene

The Shadow
Photo By Gail

Stephen Greene (September 19, 1917 – November 18, 1999) was an American artist known for his abstract paintings and, in the 1940s, his social realist figure paintings.  Greene studied with Philip Guston with whom he remained friends until Guston’s death in 1980. During his career, Greene taught at Princeton University, where he was teacher to many well-known figures in the art world including Frank Stella and art critic / historian Michael Fried. In honor of this being Halloween, I wanted to find an appropriately-themed work of art, and I think that Greene’s painting, The Shadow (1950), suits perfectly.

Below is an excerpt from an in-depth interview with Greene conducted by Dorothy Seckler on June 8, 1968, found Here, in which he describes his state of mind at the time of painting The Shadow, and reveals his feelings about the painting:

“In Europe I just sort of went crazy. I didn’t sleep much. I wander around till 5 o’clock in the morning. I had worked very hard to become a painter and to show. I suddenly found myself in a foreign place. And I bought canvas there and it was the wrong canvas and the paint went through. Everything seemed to go wrong. I had sort of loss of nerve. And so when I got a little better, the doctor asked me if I would prefer to go home rather than staying there. Well then I came home. I had taken leave from my job. So I had no job. The Gallery gave me around $150 a month for 2 or 3 months: no, it was a little more than that. But in a very scary way. The Whitney bought The Burial just about that time. And the Gallery was so peculiar about giving me the money sometimes I’d have to call 4 or 5 times for the check. And I needed it. I didn’t live sensibly enough so I could live on $150 a month. So I finally said give me $100 a month. I tried to teach privately. And then I got a one-day job back at Parsons. And I think that psychologically I had undergone a very bad experience. And so suddenly from someone who had been known I became unknown. It was like everything I had sort of worked for for a long time was rather difficult. I was very depressed. And so I had to start off like an invalid almost. I’d put something in front and almost trace it, fill it in. I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever be able to paint. So I painted this picture. It’s called The Shadow.

It’s a setup. But it’s a very simple form easel with an actual skeleton on it, and a bone on the floor and then the shadow of the skeleton on the thing. And in retrospect I certainly am not very happy about it. You know, it’s very morbid and I think subject matter can be murderous because no painting is worth anything unless it’s formally exciting in some kind of very different way. So I think this is just some sort of – you see when anything gets so straightly autobiographical and not much else, no matter what anybody else might see, I just don’t like the picture. That is never with me, too. And I find it’s just a curio out of my existence.”

Photographed in the Whitey Museum of American Art in NYC.

Gail’s Classic Interview with John Paul Jones Appears in New Book About Led Zeppelin!

Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin

Some of you who have been fans for a while may know that, back in the day before I wrote about Rad Art and Delicious Food, I used to interview famous Rock Stars at a pretty steady clip and then publish those interviews across the globe. Those days are long gone, of course, but sometimes traces of my previous life live on!

A former Rock Journalist colleague of mine, Hank Bordowitz, has recently published a book of more than fifty collected interviews (from 1957 to 2012) with all four members of Led Zeppelin, appropriately entitled Led Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin, and it is just a fantastic read. The best thing about this book, however, it that my rad interview with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, conducted in his NYC Hotel Room in Spring of 2002 has made its way into this fine Rock Tome.

Hank was kind enough to send me a copy of the published book and I was so excited to see my interview in there that I read it right away, and then I made a little squee. Let me tell you, it is a really terrific interview — and if mine is that great, imagine how excellent some of the others must be that were conducted by people who were fortunate enough to be able to make a living writing about music and didn’t have to get a day job working for the man. Led Zeppelin!

Buy the book at Amazon Dot Com!

Joseph Arthur Solo Exhibition at Able Fine Art

Joseph Arthur with Art
Artist/Musician Joseph Arthur with his Art (All Photos By Gail)

I first heard the name Joseph Arthur over 13 years ago, when he was recording for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label (then distributed by Virgin). What I discovered closely in tandem with his music is Joseph’s distinctive, almost primitive Picasso-esque style of abstract drawing, which you could see adorning his album covers and T Shirts.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit5

Although he is not quite a household name, both Arthur’s music and art careers have continued to thrive worldwide and I was lucky to attend the opening of a new exhibit of his artwork last night in Chelsea.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit6

Entitled simply, Solo Exhibition, this collection of vibrant and engagingly abstract portraits are mostly rendered in ink and oil pastel on paper or spray paint on paper. I’ve been following Joe’s art for years and it’s so exciting to see his considerable body of work progress and develop while staying recognizably in his unique style.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit Painted Instruments

Around the gallery you will also see a few guitars and musical instruments (such as a child’s toy drumset) as well as the lower half of a mannequin, all of which Joe has hand painted. It’s almost as if he just can’t stop being creative.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit4

Joseph Arthur Painted Guitar

With a little memory jogging, Joseph remembered me from an interview we did at the Virgin Records Offices in 2000 for the release of his critically lauded sophomore album, Come to Where I’m From — a really fun conversation which he admitted he “Think[s] of often,” which was flattering to hear.

Joseph Arthur Performing in Art Gallery

Once the gallery started to fill up with fans and admirers, Joseph sat down to play his guitar, accompanied by his trademark recorded loops and effects, which are truly mesmerizing. What a talented guy!

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit1

If you enjoy colorful, thought provoking abstract art or are a fan of the spontaneity inherent in the street art movement, you will dig the creative force of Joseph Arthur.

Joseph Arthur’s Solo Exhibition will be on View through April 16th, 2013 at Able Fine Art, Located at 511 West 25th Street, Suite 507, in Chelsea, New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Joseph Arthur Art Exhibit2

Happy Birthday, Simon Le Bon!

Simon Le Bon Dreamy
Image Source

Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran was born on this day, October 27th, in 1958! Happy Birthday, Simon!

"Black No. 1"

Heaviest song ever about a box of hair dye. Rest in Peace, Peter Steele, who Passed on this day, April 14th, in 2010.

Read my interview with Peter from 2003 at This Link.

Happy 65th Birthday, Dennis Dunaway!


Dennis, Gail, Alice and Neal, 2003

Dennis Dunaway, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and Bass Player for the Band called Alice Cooper, celebrates 65 years on the planet today, December 9th. Read my two part interview with Dennis from 2004 at This Link. Happy Birthday, Dennis!

Gail's Interview with Sex Pistols/Manraze Drummer Paul Cook Now Online!


Phil Collen, Paul Cook & Simon Laffy are Manraze

Drummer Paul Cook talks about the Old School Punk Rock, his amazing new band, Manraze (featuring Def Leppard Guitarist Phil Collen) and their new album, PunkFunkRootsRock in this simply smashing New Interview with Gail up now at Ink19.com!

Happy Birthday, John Tempesta!


“Smiling Is Not Metal” – John Tempesta

Drummer and all-around nice guy John Tempesta (Exodus, Testament, White Zombie, Helmet, The Cult etc.) is celebrating his 47th Birthday today! I’ve interviewed John a few times and he is always a great interview and completely hilarious to talk to. Happy Birthday, Johnny!

Happy Birthday, Paul Cook!


Paul in the Sex Pistols Circa 1978

Former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook was born on this day, July 20th, in 1956. Paul currently plays in the band Manraze with guitarist Phil Collen from Def Leppard and bassist Simon Laffy from Girl (Phil’s old glam band). Their new CD, punkfunkrootsrock will be released on August 2, 2011. Happy Birthday, Paul!

Read my Interview with Paul Cook at This Link!


Phil, Simon and Paul in Manraze

Paul McCartney Admits to Taking LSD

On This Date, June 19th in 1967: Paul McCartney was the first British pop star to publicly admit using LSD, in chatting with a reporter who had inquired about it. Paul’s LSD quote appeared in Queen, a UK-based magazine at the time. The quote was also then reprinted by Life magazine in their June 1967 feature, ‘The New Far-Out Beatles: They’re grown men now and creating extraordinary musical sounds’ by Thomas Thompson.

In both articles, Paul McCartney was quoted as saying, “After I took it (LSD), it opened my eyes. We only use one-tenth of our brain. Just think what we could accomplish if we could only tap that hidden part. It would mean a whole new world.” ITV seized the opportunity to interview Paul about this public admission. The controversy would become a springboard for discussing the responsibilities of celebrities and journalists. The interview was filmed by ITV on June 19th 1967, in Paul’s backyard garden on Cavendish Avenue, and would be telecast in Britain later that evening. Paul had just celebrated his 25th birthday the previous day. The Beatles‘ latest LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was number one on the album charts – released less than three weeks prior on June 1st.