Lena Ulanova Is Sadder But Wiser, Maybe I Don’t Know…

“Rolling Stone”

I still owe Lena a painting from way back. We offered to trade in January or February. She held up her end of the bargain, sent me her painting, and then joined the circus. I think she is back now. I know she is painting. Is that her in the background petting the circus dog, doing the handstand, or both?

Here is the rub with Stuckism, or any art that begins with innocence: Taking ourselves seriously.

I would send her that painting yesterday afternoon if I felt anything I did was worthy of persistent reminder. The only difference between the amateur and the professional is that the professional can afford the top shelf liquor to cloud the nagging sadder-but-wiser effect, otherwise known as depressive realism, that left alone for too long discovers a hundred pretty paved roads to self-loathing for every single choppy path to freedom. I know that what I do is very personal, and yet highly creative. More so than toenail clipping anyway, although these days a well-constructed arrangement of the latter might sell better at art auction. My problem as painter in 21st century anti-culture is not so much self-liberation as spirit sharing with other self-liberators. Ulanova is my kind of artist, which is to say, a painter, through and through, in both the spiritual and communal sense.

It is the Stuckist’s duty to explore his/her neurosis and innocence through the making of paintings and displaying them in public, thereby enriching society by giving shared form to individual experience and an individual form to shared experience.

Sounds easy, right?

Try it for a while. But then do like Ulanova and join the traveling circus. Cyber-art will send us all to the nuthouse eventually. If you are unable to show your work in person to people today, right now, then take to the road and dance with the bear, pet a trick dog, stand on your hands, or sell peanuts and popcorn. Communing with rolling stones has got to be a whole lot better than drinking alone…

Congratulations on enriching your life Lena Ulanova!

Now please demand the painting so I can join the American circus.


“Almost Serially Monogamous Ron and Rose Cardinal” 2015. Acrylic on birch panel, 24 x 24″


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