Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Long Gone Ray

Lately I have been given to watching documentaries on artists, having an abundance of time on my hands. I saw one to day that was quite sad in the end. It was about Ray Johnson, a contemporary of Warhol's and who was into performance art. The film I saw was entitled “How to Draw a Bunny,” and charted the course of Ray's life right up until the long swim he took, never to return.

I didn't think much of the artwork he did produces, mostly off-beat collage and stylized bunny heads with other artist names on them. He lived in a time when culture was flourishing, the Beats ruled and art was in full bloom. He was fortunate to be part of the scene, but apparently in the end it wasn't enough. He was alone at the end, had chatted on the phone with his friends and colleagues, little did they know he was hinting that the show was about to end. He'd even told one friend he was about to create his greatest work, and wouldn't give any clues.

The it was over. No more drawings of bunnies, or beating cardboard boxes at readings, or anymore Ray Johnson. He lives on to a degree in his work and I guess that is all anyone can hope for.


At 6:48 PM, Blogger dianne said...

That is sad Phossy dear, not good to be alone, many artists seem to be alone ... thank goodness you and I both have families.
Thanks for stopping by today, it meant a lot to me. xo ♡

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Ruela said...

Art world is wild...

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

That's a sad story.

At 5:33 AM, Blogger Helene said...

Interesting that he made enough of an impression on you that you posted about his death. I think you are right that he is lucky to live on in his work... I suppose I hope I live on in my children, but after a generation or 2 thats gone, and I will be totally perhaps I best get painting again! lol

At 1:26 PM, Blogger foam said...

i think his collages are interesting. i think, concerning his nominal fame,
he happened to be in the right place at the right time.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger boneman said...

how come it's so many artists who, being broken and neglected, just take to pissing on their toasters?
I mean, Pollack and that car, Van Gogh and his gun...geez.
Not me!
Heck with that.
I LIKE painting.
Don't make a week's wage in a year doing it, but, it drives me on, eh?
("pissin' on their toasters"?!? what the fippers?)

At 1:32 AM, Blogger nanuk said...

Here's a great documentary on another artist, one with a much happier outcome - "Tales of the Ratfink". It's a bio which is sure to evoke some childhood memories if I've got your age about right.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

Very sad.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger nanuk said...

Got another artist documentary, considered by some to be one of the best documentaries ever made. "Crumb" traces the life of R. Crumb and his family and friends. A must watch, Phos.


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