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A SHOT IN THE ARM
By JACK MICHELINE (1970)
Published in: Lurie, Boris; Krim, Seymour: NO!art, Cologne 1988
These cats were ahead of their time with their pinups and collages - REAL PAINTINGS, Boris and Sam. They were the true forerunners of real pop-art, before the Warhols and Poons' and Dines and Rauschenbergs and Oldenburgs. They even painted shit and it nearly went over. Boris Lurie and Sam Goodman were nicknamed the Mafia Boys by other artists - their vitality and drive unbelievable - the first real SHOT after the boom and bust of Abstract Expressionism.
Art's a business and the Doom-Shows predicted the bullshit which spread like St. Vitis Dance in the art world of the 60's - too bad the big guns didn't hustle their NO! Shit! It is a feast, an honest valid social statement, real protest art. It reflected the state of despair in America at the time beyond escapism. And because it was such negative real SHIT it stood side by side with AFFIRMATION seeking being a-ware of the darkness in which the world floundered. REAL ART seeks, asks questions. Fuck the banner of markets and con and profit which is the art-world, where a few people can corner the art market, manipulate and destroy art for the sake of profit. Fuck those who know nothing of ART, only profit, from the toil and blood of artists!
Boris sits in his East Side loft surrounded by history: the statement the NO!artists made belongs to REAL art history, along with the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges in the movies. I want to thank them both for having done what they did, even if Sam is with us no more. They deserve a lot of gratitude from all of us. I hope in time more will see and enjoy their work and be able to laugh at the world. They did it and that's what counts. A SHOT in the arm to all of us and I thank you both.
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About JACK MICHELINE: (born December 6, 1929 in The Bronx, New York; died February 27, 1998 in San Francisco, California) was a Bay Area painter and poet. His name is synonymous with street artists, underground writers, and "outlaw" poets. One of San Francisco's original Beat poets, he was an innovative artist who was active in the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance of the 1950s and 1960s. - Born Harold Martin Silver, he took his pen name from writer Jack London, and moved to Greenwich Village in the 1950s, where he became a street poet, drawing on Harlem blues and jazz rhythms and the cadence of word music. He lived on the fringe of poverty, writing about hookers, drug addicts, blue collar workers, and the dispossessed. In 1957, Troubadour Press published his first book River of Red Wine; Jack Kerouac wrote the introduction, and it was reviewed by Dorothy Parker in Esquire magazine. Micheline relocated to San Francisco in the early 1960s, where he spent the rest of his life. He published over twenty books, some of them mimeographs and chapbooks. - Micheline was married twice, to Pat Cherkin in the 1950s, and to Marian "Mimi" Redding in the early 1960s. His only child was born to a mistress during his second marriage. - Though a poet of the Beat generation, Micheline characterized the Beat movement as a product of media hustle, and hated being categorized as a Beat poet. He was also a painter, working primarily with gouache in a self-taught, primitive style he picked up in Mexico City. - Micheline died of a heart attack while riding a BART subway train from San Francisco to Orinda in 1998. The back room at San Francisco's Abandoned Planet Bookstore still showcases Micheline's wall mural paintings. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Micheline