Tweeting the Gonzo Art Creation

On Monday evening I had lighting strike of inspiration hit my head. First, I turned off 300 on my computer, then I finished reviewing changes to a research paper, and then I decided to Tweet the creation process of a painting. The idea was, I’d take pictures at different intervals and then post them to my social networks including Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Since they’re all tied together, I just send it all to Tumblr and the updates were forwarded to the other accounts. I don’t know if this was a good idea, or if it just seemed like it should have been a good idea at the time, but it seemed like an idea, and so I followed through with the plan. I like Facebook for networking and Twitter is cool to get an overview on trends, but I’d never attempted to harness these things to broadcast a message of creation. However, after downing a red bull, everything seemed possible, so I pulled out a canvas and manga markers and started writing some things and sketching out a large head.

Mortal Lust

I can’t say for sure what was going through my head, but I wanted to start small, and wrote, “all the things you long to forget” on one side of the canvas. After some fun with the manga markers and using a stencil to write out MORTAL LUST – or was it before? Well, at some point early in the process I added the line, “It’s distasteful to think that every day should be special and beautiful. That you must enjoy life just because the sun warms your face with love before giving you skin cancer.” I don’t know where this line came from, possibly from a journal entry or maybe it was the red bull twisting my mind. In any event, I decided that the large head needed some fire coming out of the mouth and that it would also need to be green at some point.

I like using manga markers on canvas. It’s something about the way that the fabric soaks up the ink. With these markers you can go back and blend two colors together, so I’ll start with a base color for the edge of the flame, and then fill and blend it with a lighter color on the interior. It’s like taking all the fun of Photoshop and transplanting the experience to 3D reality. This also gives off a lot of vapor, and possibly this inspired me to write, “Shaman set me free” in the corner of the canvas. This all formed the basis for the painting, and I decided that it was now time to retire to the paint-throwing wing of my apartment, and get to work blending colors together. So I tapped up the plastic that had fallen down in my painting room and setup the canvas on the floor. I was barefoot of course, because that’s the best way to paint.

I made it point, when I moved into my place, to not buy any furniture. People move into places and buy stuff and then the whole space is filled up with useless places to sit and relax. Fuck that I thought, I want a laboratory to create in. So I left a room connecting to the photo studio mainly empty, and eventually covered the floor and walls with plastic to throw paint around in. Now that I’ve ben in to painting for a year or so I’m getting a collection of works. I’ll either need to hang them all up, or sell them, or just destroy the basterds with a chainsaw at some point. But, until that time I’ll stick with creating paintings. I’ll call this piece Gonzo Art II, or maybe Mortal Art, or whatever. Names can be so meaningless without a proper context. As I said, I had the bright idea to tweet the creation process and uploaded the images to my Tumblr account, which then filtered to Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know if this had a positive impact on the world, but it was a fun experiment, and all the images can be enjoyed here below.

The Gonzo New Year

Editor’s Note: The following was recieved this evening from an undisclosed location in the postal code of Zurich, Switzerland. The return address was scrowlled with GONZO and sent C.O.D. We accepted the charge, of course, for our man in Zurich has always come through on deadline, but this may be his last submission to the magazine. Our fact checkers are working overtime to track down the details, but it appears as though our correspondant in Europe has taken a vacation from his mind after the first day back in the office after the start of the New Year. Any information you can provide may prove invaluable to his safe return as a regular contributer to this fine publication.


The first work day of 2007 – I woke with some sort of deep hatred for the notion of any industrious or worthwhile pursuits in life. Why did I get out of bed? I should have hid there under the covers, locked the door and pulled the blinds and ridden out the first waves of fear and madness as the Hell of the New Year began to loom right straight in front of me.

Recoil…throw the demon back into its pit and board up the door to its lair. But this won’t do, trying to skip the New Year is like trying to ignore your birthday. We invented the concept of time – but God Dammit, why can’t we just turn the clocks off and stay in bed? This is the year of paradox and regret, you see – the culmination of my PhD nightmare is set for a finishing date in July of 2007 and I’m responsible for getting myself into it. How will it all play out? How will the beast develop?

You dropped my fool soul on this Earth dear Lord, and now I have to deal with it. Now there’s my mistakes to account for – July, Oh dear Lord, why did I tell them I’d have my PhD finished by July!!!! Nothing is quite so difficult and revolting to the mind and nerves than trying to smile at 8 a.m. and say "Frohes neues Jahr" to everyone at the office. Why yes, "a Happy New Year to you as well." You fall in love and everything is going great, that’s the time to freak out you see – that’s when the hammer comes cracking down and splits the fool head all across your white wall.

No padding on these, no sir – I haven’t’ been committed yet and am still allowed to roam free with all the healthy heads though rooms with solid walls and door frames. Yes…Happy fucking New Year. I’m screwed and making a B-line for the responsiblility-free environment of the nearest asylum, what’s your resolution? I know a phychiatrist you see, she’ll check me into a fine Swiss Head-Hospital, no questions asked.

The Great Shark Hunt – The Death of Ruben SalazarAztlan – and the ’72 Campaign Trail. Oh, why God, why did I read those fool articles. Thompson’s (Hunter S.) words fill your head with violent musings of vile words and aggressive sentence structures. A cookbook for bleak outlooks and depressive premonitions.

There’s no guarantee you see, no real concrete words are on any books anywhere saying that anything will work out in 2007. And why – Oh why God did I complicate matters by putting in that application for the research stay in Japan? A two month stay in Japan, and the dissertation is supposed to be finished and submitted before stepping on the plane. What if I’m actually accepted and sent to Tokyo? I’m too crazy to turn down a trip like that. Let’s not face the Bastard, let’s jump off the ship before the iceberg and airlift ourselves away to Greece.