Friday, February 4, 2011

Get Religion, Philosophize, Lighten Up, Eat An Orange

The Orange, 12" X 12", 1981, inquire here for print.
OK I'm a giant Don Martin fan.  There I've said it.  Actually met him.  Went to a congressional hearing once on copyright/W4H issues, you know supporting the cause and all.  And there he was telling his tale of woe from the hot seat.  Don't tell anyone, but I really went there just to maybe catch a glimpse of him, my first art hero. 

Think of it.  Don fricken Martin and me within a hundred yards, cowering in the shadows, pretending to be a professional, before the commissars of the land, shaking in my boots.  Probably 400 other concerned activist right brainers in the room--lawyers, cameras.  What a mess. 

Anyway,  I used to buy all of his books, and spent countless hours laughing my self silly, and marveling at the shear expressive quality and genius of his characters.  To me he was God.

The whole thing lasted an hour or so, and then there was a flurry of the exiting mob, and the invitation open, some of us were headed down to the congressional cafeteria to have lunch and rub elbows with the hoi-paloi. 

I don't know how it happened, but there I was actually dropping thirteen stories in the elevator with Mr. Martin himself.  OK it was three stories.  I thought, "say something intelligent, it's now or never."  All that came out was, "uh, Mr. Martin, I am your biggest fan.  dah, You're why I ended up an artist in the first place".  He smiled at me, recognizing the situation, and duly prepared, reached into his pocket and, 'thoont', whipped out a Daisey Mae print, autographed it, and gave it to me.  I melted inside.  This is my most prized possession in this world here below (can't find it--put it somewhere safe). 

I then had lunch with him and about a dozen other artists and attorneys.  Everything was so serious and sombre, though--not at all what you'd expect.  What a group. Weird day all in all.  But I didn't care.

Schtoink, I'm done.



Anonymous said...

William- it's a fantastic print! The orange with the blue is perfect.

I'm a huge Don Martin fan too. I found a huge double hard back volume of his work for Madd Magazine in December at Barnes and Noble for $24. I couldn't believe my good luck!

Great post.

William Cook said...

PAMO--Thanks for the heads up. I'm on the lookout for it. Bill

Kathy said...

I'm a Martin fan, too! Funny story about meeting him, but great. I wonder how many artists have the same feeling about you? Surely, you've had a profound influence on many.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Great story about meeting an icon. Where is the witty repartee when we need it? Oh, wait, it's here, on your blog!

That orange doesn't stand a chance with those articulated hands and pinkies raised high in classy flair.

William Cook said...

Kathy--Not at all. I've always gotten the bum's rush by the gatekeepers. I flunked artspeak. At one point about 25 years ago I had a mountain top experience and dropped out of the art scene altogether. Kept doing art, though. I really am an art monk--one of Kandinsky's hermits. This blog effort is the first time I've tried to share anything in years. Well, except for the D'art site. All I ever got out of that was some hilarious letters from Nigeria in broken English. Yesterday was my one month anniversary for blogging, you know.

Katherine--He really was an icon and art hero of my world. To meet him truely was a high point. I suspect that most of the other artists at the hearing were doing the same thing--trying to catch a glimpse of him. That orange, done twenty years prior, was me trying to exagerate the hands doing a task--a sort of in your face appeal to appreciate the hand and what it's capable of. I didn't realize at the time I was obviously painting Don Martin hands. Thanks for your kind comments.

Jane said...

Love this.