By 1973 a dozen volunteers, working with me since 1970 to establish the Free Learning Exchange as a cybernetic public resource directory and consumer repot, trying to found an internet which could replace fascist institutions like the school system, the government, media, with a free marketplace, unsupervised information, had failed to raise enough money to pay the rent, my wife abandoned me as hopeless, kidnapped our son so there could be no discussion of his education, and, if I wanted to eat (and still tout deschooling), I had to find an income. I got a job as a salesman for Circle Gallery. Big mother place, 10,000 square feet of floor space on the main floor alone, vastly more wall space thanks to partitions, a basement again as huge, the old Le Drugstore digs: 3rd & 64th. The public ignored us, seventeen salesmen inside, ready to tear each others’ throats out: if only there were a customer to contest for. The executives promised us that we were about to stage a show that would turn everything around: Frank Gallo erotic fiberglass multiples: Hugh Heffner had already bought one.
The big night came: champagne, cheese tidbits. But no salesman was allowed near the Gallos! Only Jack Solomon (Circle founder & Pres.) could talk to the guests! the employees, working for commission!! were hogtied to entertain the public not yet allowed in to see the … the … the porn.
thanx, Saper Galleries
Gallo’s sculptures showed one female head, same one shown here,
one girl getting fucked with her legs splayed wide, two girls getting eaten (sitting on guys’ faces), and the rest: all girls giving head: blow job after blow job after blow job. (Multiples: in other words, the artist declared an edition size: he’d sculpt up to “thirty” of a given design. That didn’t mean that thirty had sold, it didn’t mean that one had sold; it meant that he promised not to sell more than thirty (not counting artists proofs, studio proofs, sales samples … you know: multiples: if the edition declared is 300, you’ll be lucky if there are fewer an one thousand around: a colleague joked how if you wanted to know how many artist proofs there were for a particular Leroy Neiman graphic, you’d have to hire Madison Square Garden and count heads.))
I would have already quit before then had I any other chance of eating that week: clutching a water-logged straw. But, I put the best face on it I could manage: and in fact, I made the only sale in the entire gallery for that fiasco night. I sold a $10 Frank Gallo poster of one of the girls, nice hips, really cute ass, sitting on the guy’s face while his dork waves infertilely in the air. I wish I had that scan to show. A penis very much like my own.
Anyway, as we wrapped my customer’s poster in a tube, tried to charge her American Express card, this very attractive, well groomed young blond, twenty-something I’m sure, told me more about herself. She lived in SOHO. Her hobby was to make plaster casts of the erections of her friends. She had a loft full of clay memories of hard-ons longing to spurt.
I looked at this girl. God, did I want to audition for her! Like Hannibal Lecter meeting Agent Starling, I longed to be able to smell her femaleness through her svelte skirt-suit, to taste her, to offer my throbbing dick to her mouth. Had she paid by check I would have been getting her address and phone number as well as her name. But what would I do with it? call her up and tell her that I was near starvation, had been starving since 1969 when the fed purged intelligence from the universities and colleges with arbitrary firings: only Nazis left of the faculties? No one wants information that demonstrates illegitimacy. The Germans won’t record accusations against the Nazis. Don’t expect Jews to prove that their Temple murdered Christ.
No, no: we’ll all spend our time in Disney World while Armageddon coils.
Here’s a different memmory from the previous week. Larry Shiller showed up one morning before the doors were open. He had Norman Mailer in tow. Mailer couldn’t come during business hours, couldn’t he please see the Gallos anyway. I was assigned to show them, the one person on their staff they imagined might be able to speak English.
And I’m very glad, because I said something aside to Mailer, that had him beaming, calling me Paul (repeatedly), and promising to recheck a passage in his own writing that he didn’t recognize my description of: but lusted to confiirm: I had to be right about it (something in Prison of Sex). (He also asked me, “Paul, if my daughter stops by will you show her these Gallo sculptures for me?” Certainly, of course.
I may return to expand on the writer’s device I credited Mailer with inventing. And I may say more about that sexy girl buying the eat poster. I’ll try to add another story about that night: the dirty joke I told that had Frank Gallo, his wife, his children, and the Circle execs, Larry Ettinger (the biggest NY exec), guffawing right in my face.
Widipedia isn’t recognizing my spellings of Larry Shiller, or Prisoner of Sex. Larry and Norm were working together on another thing Circle got tangent to, something on graffiti.
Note: I met a sculptor a year later, a guy who wanted me to rep him, who worked in fiberglass, did human forms, but who was slowly dying from the fiberglass; all those little fibers floating around inside his body, slowly shredding him. The stuff was super realist. I’ve seen other stuff since them even more spectacularly mimetic: for a moment, you, even a pro, will think it’s a person.
2014 02 05 Just recently, I met the master: Jeff Koons. Do an image search: erect dicks (his own), open c-s (his wife’s) … slickest vulgarity I’ve ever seen. Guy got the highest auction price ever to a living artist.
One day I’ll have to come back and comment on the public ignorance that assumes that art is trying (and succeeding or failing) to be realistic.