Creativity is like shitting. Most people do it. Everyone needs to do it…. More or less regularly. Every shit is different. There is nothing like a good shit! Some people obsess on their shitting! Some obsess on their own shit; Others obsess on others’ shit, Even buying it! I just enjoy a good shit! Oh shit, I’ll let you in on a secret… I play with shit! Creativity is just playing.
i get worried if my words and images fit through veins clogged with fatty taboos of polite appropriate of comfortability.
i get worried…is the art that small that it fits through that pinhole of a hole…so small that nudes on the walls, words on telephone poles, any shift in the social power structure threatens the very reality fabric.
i’m too proud to admit the art poetry is that small. so my art becomes a roto-rooting balloon covered in razors tipped in draino acid, pushing pressuring uncomfortable unsocial grinding against the grain until the killer fatty clots of taboos burst out the other end and go down the drain like trouble.
i don’t really go after the hitlers, the mccarthys, the helms, or their brown shirts.
they are just limp-dicked power-junkies with swiss-cheese egos, each hole filled with inferiority. they are just moons with no power light of themselves, just reflecting fear.
no, i go after the nice people who never asked where the trains were going, boxcars filled with people. didn’t have to. only suspected, only heard rumors…after all, the general is a friend. never said, excuse me, i am a jew too, arab too, a jap too, a gay too, i’ve negro blood running in my body, aids too. i’m a commie who took home movies of our nude kids. so better put me on that train too. better put us all on that train. there ain’t no train big enough!
i go after the nice people who keep going to work after seeing their friends missing, after hearing rumors of blacklist and blackball. must write something about that subject to THE TIMES. he used to be such a pleasant fellow…but now he is a whining paranoid…not a sort to have to tea. he is like a wet messy fart. not in my backyard!
yes, i go after nice people. but my time in the belljar is about over. so i’ll leave you with this. what is happening in your backyard is what really matters. so be sure to weed!
The Art of Frank Moore & LaBash The first ever showing of shaman performance artist Frank Moore’s erotic innocent primitive passionate digital art, alongside the funny/disturbing/mind-scrambling/reality-bending drawings of LaBash. Sunday, Feb. 2 – Saturday Feb. 15, 2020 Hours M-F 12-8pm Sa-Su 11am-8pm
Let Me Be Frank video screening On Valentine’s Day, the first ever live screening of episodes from the web video documentary series, Let Me Be Frank, based on the life and art of shaman, performance artist, writer, poet, painter, rock singer, director, TV show host, teacher and bon vivant, Frank Moore. Come EARLY and bring your musical instruments for a music jam before the screening! Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 5-6:30pm – MUSIC JAM 6:30-8pm – LET ME BE FRANK screening and Q&A
Adobe Books 3130 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110
by Erika Shaver-Nelson, Alexi Malenky and Corey Nicholl
When we arrived at Adobe for the event, we found that people had left comments and drawings in the notebook we had left in the gallery space.
“fuckin’ love this stuff!” “you inspire me profoundly” “many thoughts head full …” “whoa!” “WTF?! infathomable, navy?” “the world needs more FRANK MOORE for all of us to be sexually liberated!”
Heather said that the art show has been getting a lot of positive reactions, especially from young people who come into the shop. Heather and the other volunteers at Adobe Books create a very open feeling there, and it felt great to have the event there. She told us later that when we take down the art in a week, the next group is a bunch of young people who will be doing some sleepovers in the space, and writing their dreams on the walls …
We brought homemade popcorn (two kinds: buttered & curry), and orange spearmint water, and valentine’s chocolate … they were a big hit, devoured!
Michael Peppe was the first to arrive, and the first person who came for the jam. Only one other came to jam, one of the people we recognized from several of Frank’s later performances, including at Temescal. He brought a drum which he played, and sometimes took toy instruments and shook them inside the drum, etc.
But at first, it was just Peppe … he came back into the gallery and sat down at a keyboard and started playing … we three started jamming with him, and before long there was a couple who had not even come for the event, but were drawn back to the gallery space, and after checking out the art, they also joined the jam. It was really fun, and it felt/sounded like a Frank jam, felt primal, and Erika said that the feeling during the jam was “freedom”. As time went on, more people came in and joined the jam.
Between the first two episodes, we were talking with Michael Peppe, and he said some amazing things about Frank …
“You have a bunch of things that you regret in your life, not necessarily that you regret doing, but regret not doing, but I was thinking watching the film that that’s one I totally do not regret, is hanging out with Frank Moore, and jumping into his thing, you know, going to performances, being in the performances, watching the videos, reading the text, and all his art … not one second of my life was wasted hanging out with Frank Moore.” He remembered the first time he performed with Frank at UC Berkeley. “From that moment on, yeah, I absolutely do not regret any of that.”
He is such a once in a lifetime kind of person. Usually in art, you think well, wow, he was great, I wonder who the next guy’s gonna be. You know, who’s gonna follow up. There is no next Frank Moore. There is only one. There is only one, and that’s all you get. And I’m sure that there’s not going to be anyone quite as amazing and remarkable as him. The world has had plenty of time to come up with another one, and it hasn’t managed to do it, so … he’s it, he’s the only one.”
He also talked about the Outrageous Beauty Revue, which is when he first saw Frank at the Mabuhay in 1981. “No one had ever done that, and no one has done it since.” “Celebrating people for who they are, what they are, whatever they look like …” He was also really struck by the quotes from Frank at the end of the 1st episode, about faking it until you make it, and how Frank saw himself as beautiful. “And like he said, that’s magic. That’s what magic is. You know, that’s something to think about. That’s magic.”
Watching Let Me Be Frank with a live audience was amazing … it was the first time, after only having watched it together at home. Both the reactions, laughter, etc. and the silence really made you feel like people were taking a lot in from the episodes.
Alexi counted about 25 people at the screening. Among the people who came was a coworker from the health food store where Corey works, Kacey, and Erika’s coworker Megan and her boyfriend Josh. Megan was the last student who worked with Frank. Also, Keith Wilson came, the filmmaker who is doing his own documentary on Frank.
One of the first questions after the screening was if Frank had been an organizer for disabled people in the bay area community, or if his work drew other people with disabilities into his work. We talked about how he had participated in the protests in the early 80s at the Federal building in SF over the ADA, and also about the group that put on the OBR, and how it came together through Frank’s workshops, and that there were several people with disabilities that were part of the workshops and later formed deeper relationships, formed households together, etc.
We talked also about how Frank was challenging to the disability community in the seventies, because while they were advocating independence, hiring people to help you so that you could be “independent”, Frank was talking about having deep relationships with friends and lovers who would take care of your needs.
We also told the story of Frank showing Fairytales Can Come True at the CP Center.
Heather brought up what she had read in How To Handle An Anthropologist about Frank’s experience at the San Francisco Art Institute, and about not getting booked by gallery spaces and being embraced by other subcultures like the punk scene … and we ended up telling the story of The Lab cancelling Frank’s performances, and how the poetry community came out to perform with him on the street in front of the space. And then Peppe talked about how you can’t even count how many places have banned Frank! And how Frank didn’t care, he just thought it was funny!
A Japanese woman who Heather told us later had come specifically “for the Frank Moore event” told Erika that she had a friend who had been severely disabled, and gets very down in the dumps about what she can’t do anymore (she is an artist), and that she felt that Frank was really inspiring, and would be inspiring to her friend.
At the end of the night, after the second episode, she talked again about how Frank was really inspiring, especially how for so long, from such an early point, Frank had this idea of interdependence (instead of independence), and she was struck by his self-respect and his will to do his art, that was really admirable, and a lot of people could not do this, so she couldn’t understand how anyone could ever ban him! She also said he was “so cute! so lovable”
Afterward, a couple who had come to the event came up to us. Matt is someone who volunteers at Adobe, and is a musician who recently did a dissertation for his degree at Mills College where he helped create musical instruments for people with disabilities, that they could play and jam together with. He was really inspired by Frank, and had been thinking about doing something about Frank with his disabled students where he teaches at an Academy, but he said he will have to see what the administration of the school is open to.
Also after the screening, as we were packing up, Heather’s partner Kyle talked about the part of the OBR episode where Steve Hoffman was playing Joe Cocker. He was really impressed. He said it was “pure rock ‘n’ roll”, and that he have never seen anything quite like it.
When Peppe left, he asked us when is the next one!? He wants to be there.
Heather wants to do more screenings/jams, and suggested that perhaps the next one could be around Frank’s birthday!
There are all kinds of art. There is art that calms, art that pacifies, art that sells, art that decorates, art that entertains.
But what I am committed to is art as a battle, an underground war against fragmentation. The battle is on all realities.
The controllers have always tried to fragment us. Fragment us from each other. Imprison us in islands of sex, color, religion, politics, classes, labels, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. they fragment our inner worlds, they blow our individual realities apart, and play the pieces against one another. They are us, or a part of us. They are the controllers, the politicians, the sexists, the women’s libbers, the pornographers, the censors, the moralists, the church, the media, the businessmen, educators, the victims and the powerful.
They are us. They have divided us from our power, from our beauty, from our lust for life and pleasure. They have divided us from most of reality – divided dying from living – sex from living, sex from pleasure. We are kept in boxes of fear, of mistrust. We are kept waiting – kept waiting to do what we want – waiting for enough money, enough schooling, for everything to be right. We are kept waiting and protecting and hiding and suffering.
This is the time to do battle with the boxes.
As artists, our tools are magic, our bodies, taboos, and dreams.
This kind of art can be bubbles of childhood – hidden places where you can play and explore – it is the kids’ under-the-covers world, the playhouse, the treehouse, the cave, behind the barn, playing doctor, cars at drive-ins before going all the way, Huck Finn’s raft, tepees. People are afraid of this area of lusty exploring that they think they have out-grown — but they are sucked into it.
But this kind of art can have a more heavy-duty magical side to it that shocks, offends, and breaks new ground. This side is what is locked in, the subconscious, the womb, the underground, hell/heaven, pleasure/torture, the coffin, the grave, birth/death/rebirth, dream/nightmare, the hidden world of taboos.
Artists of this breed need to be warriors who are willing to go into the areas of taboo, willing to push beyond where it is comfortable and safe to explore and build a larger zone of safeness. They need to be idealists, willing to live ideals.
What we have here is only the first smell of fresh magic. Matter is hollow tubes containing fibers of packets of possibilities. Matter is symbol, is metaphor containing possibilities. These packets shape matter. These packets, in turn, are reshaped by each body /object they pass through. We are affected by the stars, and the stars are affected by us. We affect the Tarot cards and the I Ching coins we cast. The physicists affect the subatomic particles they observe.
By reshaping these inner packets, the material reality is reshaped.
The inner rivers of possibilities are two way on the linear level. The magical effects are always two way. The light of the sun warms us; but we affect the sun through the same channel.
We have entered the level of the dynamic web of relationships in which the individual does not exist. In place of the individual, there appear points of personal responsibility in a dance.
It is not the sun that warms, nor is it us who are warmed. It is the dance of no dancers, the dance of relationships that warms, and that is warmed.
Reality creation is a dance. We are the dancers. But in truth, it is a dance without dancers. If we really take on personal responsibility for the dance, we surrender to the dance, give up individual “control,” give up individual linking with the results. By taking on the personal responsibility for the dance, we are the dance. We melt with the dance. We are only the dance. We admit these facts. It is not a question of becoming, but of remembering and admitting. It is a question of being, living, dancing lustfully, without controls or limits in responsibility.
The life dance is beyond morals or limits. It joyfully digs into the dance to the juicy black core.
Here is a collection of Frank’s early oil paintings. We only know the dates they were painted for a couple of them. (Frank said he started painting in high school.) Frank painted with a brush attached to a hard hat.
1. What were the THREE MOST IMPORTANT things you did to get a break and start moving toward recognition as a performance artist?
2. While you were moving toward getting to where you needed to go, how did you make enough money to survive while not taking away TOO much time and energy from your creative work?
3. How do you spend your days now, mostly? e.g., approximately what percentage of each day is spent writing, marketing yourself, planning shows, arranging tours, scoping out and applying for grants, bringing in outside income, acting as a mentor to other artists, etc.?
4. What do you love MOST about doing what you do now?
5. What do you HATE most about doing what you do now?
I can only answer art is not a career not a money maker but a money taker an addiction, a life long master who does not give a flying fuck what I “THE ARTIST” loves, hates, what I want to do, where I want to go
the artist’s job is to surrender, to follow, to melt into art
making money is easy
but the river of art rarely flows
naturally that way
without damming the river up
so keep your day job get a day job you like doing because art is your mistress of night & you ain’t her pimp she’ll take your money & time she will take you into the basement of the unseen
you’ll get old with her attending her needs rocking on the porch with her no goals, no plans, no marketing, no rush.
Just rocking, just surprises everyday,
just people dropping by,
just floating without knowing,
just doing, just suffering, just enjoying.
After 9/11/01 and the move to war, Frank looked at his oil painting, HELL TO WAR, hanging on our wall, that he had painted in high school in the 1960s, and decided to do a digital version so we could put it up in our yard!
He ended up doing four digital paintings over the course of six days:
HELL TO WAR – September 17, 2001
HELL TO ALL TERRORISM – September 19, 2001
WAR IS TERRORISM – September 20, 2001
PEACE FLAG – September 22, 2001
One night at BURNT RAMEN, Bob said, “Man, I wish you would paint me a pussy that I could hang up on my wall so I could jerk off while looking at it!” So I did. This video was when my crew delivered the painting to Bob’s apartment [I could not get in because of stairs]. This is a glimpse of the backstage of Bob’s reality! For years later he kept calling me… “man, I just see a cheese sandwich in your painting!” But finally, “Oh man, I SEE THAT PUSSY!”