This is one of my favorite Replacements songs, and I feel like more people should know about it so they can love it, too. It’s an ode to Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls, who did die of a drug overdose in 1991, ten years after this song was released. Four years later, Bob Stinson, Replacements guitarist, followed in his tracks (um…pun intended?)
A continuation of my conversation with Mississippi-based artist and illustrator, Ginger Williams-Cook. The first part, a conversation with Ginger in 2005–just before she sold everything she’d ever painted and headed to Paris for a fresh start–lives here. This interview took place in February 2010.
C: You talk about Paris as if it was a stylistic turning point for you.
G: It’s strange to me how it all happened. I knew I had talent, but something kind of changed in me when I started venturing out. You know a lot of fundamental basics of art, but you’ll never get your style until many takes. I guess it’s kind of like a child learning the alphabet, then learning how to print the alphabet, then learning to write cursive. It eventually becomes her own script. That’s kind of how I view the evolution of my style. I’ll look at some of my early drawings and I see where I wanted to go with it, but I didn’t have enough in me to really get there.
One of my biggest influences in middle school and high school was Tim Burton and The Nightmare Before Christmas. That made me want to do illustration and come up with strange characters. For a span I was drawing these lonely figures and people would say they looked like orphans. I guess in a way I felt orphaned and was drawing from that loneliness or sadness. Sometimes the eyes wouldn’t have pupils, they would just be solid. So they’d look kind of empty. Its definitely a balance between being technical and knowing how to draw the figure and then stylizing.
But Paris and The Cedars show…it’s overwhelming when you have so much artwork that you haven’t been able to sell because you’re attached to it for certain reasons. It’s almost like I was a hoarder of my own artwork. It was interesting to see everything on the walls. I felt very accomplished, and it actually felt great to sell those things, get rid of them. What happened to me in France, I spent all that time living out of essentially one suitcase. All of the artwork that I was producing, my camera and my laptop, I was carrying that in a portable studio on my back. It made me more collected in general, living out of a single suitcase and working on 9×12 pieces of paper. It corralled me, somewhat.
Keep reading at Juxtapoz.
Once featured on Juxtapoz reader art, Ginger Williams is piecing together a living out of art and illustration in the small city of Jackson, Miss. She holds a series of part-time jobs—a collection of odd duties at the Mississippi Art Museum, teaching art to kids via an urban assistance program called Operation Shoestring, selling her personal work through the occasional gallery show and cranking out hundreds of commissioned, affordable portraits—a gig that picks up tremendously around holidays. When I first met Ginger five years ago, she was 25 and in the midst of planning an art-trip to Paris. She wanted to take a Parisian apartment for several months, spend time with some extended family, host a series of creative friends passing through Europe, and sketch cafés and landmarks. It seemed very dreamy, like a throwback to Gay Paris of the 1920’s.
At that point (2006), any of Ginger’s non-commissioned work was highly personal. She painted her grandmother as a young woman, she painted her friends and her boyfriends, she painted herself as an Elizabethan queen or an orphaned child or a fragment of a weeping face. Highly affected by the unexpected death of her mother in 2002 and a few years later, the Katrina-wreaked destruction of Gulfport, her college town, Ginger’s art became an outlet for her pain and unwavering faith—the sense that there is connection beyond the tangible, the power of spirituality and beauty, a heightened sense of fate and a purpose behind everything. In 2004, sporting a fresh B.F.A. from William Carey University, Ginger moved back to her hometown of Jackson and became an integral part of a small, informal collective, a handful of twenty-something, Mississippi-bred local artists. They pulled pranks and painted murals, held all-night photoshoots, ran errands and went to dinner dressed as altar-egos. But by 2005, the group has begun to disperse, moving to separate towns, starting their separate careers. The trip to Paris was to be a fresh start, the beginning of the rest of Ginger’s life. Keep reading at Juxtapoz.
So Saturday I rode down to Jackson with Ghosthand, some garage-rockabilly guys out of Columbus, Mississippi…although really, they should be called Black Black Evil Eye (maybe Ming Donkey is working on this?) We were riding in Bryan’s van–no seatbelts, no AC, just good conversation, gorgeous skies and a gnarly storm (did I mention, no windshield wipers?)…
Although Ming Donkey wouldn’t know, since he slept through the storm.
Then at Hal & Mal’s, Ghosthand and the Dots had to deal with the problem of standing puddles on the same patio where they needed to run wires. Ming Donkey disappeared to make a set list, and I rocked out to the latest incarnation of the Party Dots–the wife and husband duo (Daphne and Marsh Nabors…unless they’re brother and sister, hmn…) of the Goner Records punk trio the Overnight Lows. “We tried not to let Marsh drink too much before leaving the house,” Chrissy, Daphne’s bandmate in the girl-garage outfit Wild Emotions, whispered to me as we bounced in tandem. The Dots got through most of a set before Marsh started dropping notes and Daphne started sighing into the mic–”Are we gonna actually play this one, Marsh?” All I could think, was Our Band Could Be Your Life. And it is. YOUR life, Bryan Leslie. Continue reading
MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE AND CONSEQUENCE
According to a recent report, in 2009 the U.S. experienced a 2.4% decline in culture related donations. But halfway through 2010, things are looking up. Bellevue, Washington’s Performing Arts Center Eastside became the recipient of a $25 million gift from the Tateuchi Foundation—the third largest single donation to an arts institute since 2007. Over in France, censorship seems to be on the rise. A group exhibit of erotic art scheduled for the Bibliothèque départementale de la Somme in Amiens, France was prevented from opening by Christian Manable, a French Socialist and president of the general counsel. Manable objected on the grounds that such work was unsuitable for a library supported by public funding. And The Getty Museum faces objections of its own, from an Armenian Apolistic church in La Crescenta. The church claims that the museum illegally purchased seven pages ripped from a sacred thirteenth-century Bible during the Armenian genocide. The Getty acquired the pages in 1994. Artist and filmmaker Daryush Shokof, an exiled Iranian living in Berlin, was kidnapped and held for two weeks by four Arabic-speaking man who threatened to kill him based on a film he made that criticizes the Iranian regime. Another filmmaker is in trouble in Virginia, where photographer Anne Pearse-Hocker is suing Firelight Media and the Smithsonian for $450,000, claiming that the 2008 PBS documentary “We Shall Remain: Wounded Knee” used her 1973 photographs without permission or credit. One of the companies owned by Thomas Kincaid, America’s most collected living artist, filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to pay $1 million awarded to gallery owners from an earlier settlement. The gallery owners sued the artist and his company for fraudulently using his Christian faith to coerce them into an unsound investment. As Poland’s National Museum prepares to open an exhibit of homoerotic art in conjunction with the Euro Pride parade, a number of politicians, journalists, historians and artists are protesting the show. Finally, Brandeis University’s troubled Rose Museum is exploring a new model to keep itself financially viable—renting out art.