Notes on the Paintings of Les Rogers
1. Copernicus had some good ideas, no thanks to Pope Paul III, but the world is flat too. We live on planes on this planet, and the implications are vital. When we come to flatness man beats God. We’re the champions of the artificial and with our compasses and squares and carpenters level, we adjust the universe. We’re try to be on the level and we part on the square, and, as artists what we do in between is our own affair. 2. Planes intersect, logically and randomly. Cubism and vorticism and futurism all helped us get used to the new plane geometry of the shrinking world. We control the horizontal, we control the vertical, we control the contrast. Everything you see here can be projected on to the plane of our vision. 3. As more planes are added we expanded the laminated universe. Our consciousness is as multi-leveled as outr apartment buildings and parking garages. There are many subbasements in our universal mind, and the penthouses only begin with A. 4. Transition between levels occurs in many ways, some of them secret. Andy Warhol always felt that the Abstract Expressionists were too introspective, but he tended to measure things by appearances. The problem of introspection no longer exists. Introspectators keep to themselves. They have no form of representative government. Shallowness is a common vice and can often be excused since relief must be sought. 5. Transition occurs through overlap, erosion, attrition, overlay, exquisite corpse, spilling, graffiti, decomposition, penetration, hallucination, mirage, intrusion, transference, modulation, polarity reversal, realignment, upheaval, sleight of hand, transposition, relighting, echo, bait and switch and misdirection, to name a few. Random access is expected. If you can’t deliver, get out of the business. 6. Put on another coat. Jean Michel Basquiat. Mimmo Palladino. Bob Vilas. There is mystery in every paint over. A mind is a great thing to change. A great mind is change. 7. The new art is pretty new, but so is Joseph Beuys felt, not to mention Carlo Crivelli’s fly. 8. Gutenberg created the Warhol silkscreen. Milton Berle invented television. 9. Chasms yawn, but what do interstices do? Do they suck? Explosions are so old fashioned. You can’t give one away. Today it’s all about the implosion. It’s entropy. We grew up with T.V. But we have been formatted to fit the screen. Fools rush in because God abhors a vacuum. What does that say about religion? 10. At the heart of every dream home was real heartache - a vacuum tube, the bigger the better. Electrons shot from guns across interspace like oats. When the bubble burst, reality entered with a horn intro. 11. All control is remote, now. The channels bleed into one, pixels with permanent waves cha cha across the cornea. Ghost images pulsate in phantom gear changes. 12. What’s important in this wing of the art institute is making realistic paintings of an unreal world. The cartoon is also nature. What the cartoon nature lacks in verisimilitude it gains in amplitude modulation. 13. You don’t see the forest for the plywood. 14. Everything has hold, conference mute, redial. The changed channel has no regrets, but woe to the held call that listens to morning drive radio. 15. Who needs Monkeys? Monkeys. Monkeys who need monkeys are the luckiest monkeys in the world. Four hands are better than two. 16. The notorious fluxus practitioner Wolf Vostell described his artistic process as de-coll/age was the result of erosion of layers, and the corrosion of image. Erosion is the constant condition of snipe culture. Each poster covers a poster. Accidents splice publicity and create prophetic cut up. 17. 14A. De-collage in electronic media shows visual analogues of cacophony, feedback, dissonance, discord, elision and tachycardia. 18. Why not Picasso in a Godard picture or vice versa? As Tristan Tzara said, “Why not sneeze?” Which reminds us of R. Meltzer’s dilemma: “Is it possible to sneeze and puke at the same time?” 19. Leonard Maltin’s book makes good paper mâché. Some came rumbling. Brave new fishing, Island of burning riff raft, How to succeed on Elm Street. 20. The up to date universe is layered like mineral lasagna and the layers interact - the able practitioner is not so much concerned with famed surrealist cut up or overlay a la Salle vs. Picabia, but in auto metic revisionism. 21. Good imitation is good. Imitation of life is good imitation. There is no post-modern equivalent of Lana Turner. 22. A new narrative may be created simply be recasting as in Les Rogers film. In Lieu Of, starring Jimi Hendrix, Diane Lane, Jean Paul Belmondo , with Joseph Cornell, Frederique Socroun, Calista Folkhart (sic!) Buzz Aldrin, Jack Johnson and Jonathan Crary. Consider a cast starring Bobby “Blue” Bland, Gina Gershon and Abel Ferrara with Ray Johnson, Frederique van der Waal, Julianne Nicholson, Gordon Cooper, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. 23. When it comes to painting, a pretty girl is like a melody that haunts you night and day. 24. There is no substitute for Anna Karina but Michelle Breton is quite memorable indeed. 25. I think Les’s line looks quite a bit like Gary Panter but when he reels it in he’s got de Kooning on the hook. Put these lines on a palm and what do they say? 26. What makes pictures cool. Red makes them hot. Pink is courage. Hide in plain sight. 27. Underwear, like a white flag, may indicate surrender. surrender to the void is a charming sixties catchphrase, but defiance of the void has a lot going for it graphically as well as in terms of living life to the fullest. 28. Buckminster Fuller is a good study in times of domestic warfare, as is Vargas. Consider ways to utilize pictorial techniques in the disruption of iconoclastic belief systems. 29. Gordian knots were the ancient equivalent of the science fiction worm hole. Knot tying is a lost art. Today weaving is mechanized, but we still can recognize the warp and weft of connotation. 30. It’s hip to break style once in a while with a nice no nonsense picture of your girlfriend in her panties. 31. When dropping a ball one or two clublengths, the player may use any club in his bag. Generally the one wood affords the greatest drop distance, although pendulum putters often seen on the Senior Tour, are longer. 32. They say that for very action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, but when it’s snowing there is no obvious revenge. 33. Practice makes perfect. 34. For every subject matter there is an anti-subject matter. When they meet, the tendency is to change the subject. subject change is one of the most neglected tactics in our rhetorical arsenal. 35. Pictorially we still look for the golden mean, but we should also be looking for the epicenter. Old indicators of velocity don’t work any more. We must always be on the lookout for viable new exclusionistic usage. 36. Consider the effect of hanging the pictures on a plane perpendicular to Magnetic North, but don’t lose any sleep over it.