Thursday, December 11, 2008

Che as banker begets Fidel as ballplayer

My sketch of Che Guevara as bank president that I submitted to the 2008 Poetry Scores Art Invitational provoked a wide range of response.

One guy, who seemed a little touched, was ranting about the choice of line and raving that it was the best piece in the show (it took me awhile, but I gradually came to accept that he was sincere, if mistaken).

On the other hand, when bidding on the piece climbed to a towering $30 (from a starting bid of $5), someone issued some graffiti on the bid sheet, by implication insulting the judgment of anyone willing to spend that much money on a childish sketch in foul terms I'd just as soon not reprint.

Jesse Swoboda outbid Tom Boyle on my sketch, but she and her manfriend Tony Renner split before the bidding was closed, so we accepted Tom's bid and closed the sale. Robert Goetz photographed me and my buyer, holding his new acquisition, at my request. Boyle joins Jay-Jay, Andrew Torch and the lovely and graceful Dawn Fuller in the ranks of collectors who have supported my habit.

Tom told me he was struck, not so much by my artistry, but by the imagery from K. Curtis Lyle's poem Nailed Seraphim that inspired it, Che as bank prez. I remember his saying something like that summed up his economic thinking perfectly. Reagan gave us Voodoo Economics. Curtis gives us Guerilla Econ.

Jesse Swoboda did manage to buy John Minkoff's drawing from the invitational. When Tony came to get the piece and pay up, he said Jesse is nuts for Che and (especially) for Fidel Castro. I told him Fidel's name was in the poem too and I could make a drawing of Castro and give it to her. "I'll buy it," he said. I told him bidding starts at $5 and she's the only bidder!

So, Tony, here's the drawing, "Castro will whip your astro." The act of ekphrasis here is not visualizing a poem but cartooning a David Letterman Top 10 list. My daughter, Leyla Fern, insisted on collaborating. She drew those cool little faces. I asked her who they were, and she acted like I had insulted her intelligence with an overly obvious question. "Can't you see the people in the crowd, Daddy?" Only after she drew them.

Come and get it, Tony or Jesse, if you want it.

No comments: