Post 3 Potentialist-Riding Bukowski Bus & Bowie 1

Riding the bus across town today, I’m going for canvases. A book of Charles Bukowski’s letters to editors accompanies me. The letters are so personal it touches nicely a nerve to see how he was. I’m sitting in the back enjoying the sights and soaking up this man’s mind. I’ll need to pick up a pen before the art store.

It matters who my heroes are. Who is more “every man” than Bukowski? It tells me what’s important to me. I study the photos of the writer seated at a humble desk facing a wall with plaques, he’s in his underwear and with a drink. Scotch was it? Sacrificing for the art is an important concept and we’ve seen plenty of examples of the wrong way to carry out that notion. Bukowski is one of those who died younger than he should have because of the drink and the smoke which were the comfort he allowed himself. Other things like wives and lovers could go to hell but these two, they would never leave him and his typewriter.

So many of us want to speak for others but that’s not going to get us to the finish line is it? Riding the bus today has me on the subject of collective action and how does a project get carried out? How do humans do big and good things? The like-minded unite, right? People come together in agreement. Perhaps their agreement is centered on something rejected–something their group dislikes–but their aim is to achieve something. The concerted effort is what reins in the change sought after. Some individuality must be sacrificed for the collective and that is a voluntary action. It’s an agreement entered into.

Is this a gift? Is it altruism to enter into this agreement with a group to collectively enact something? Is there personal gain expected from the agreement? If it makes you happy to help the under-served, then this happiness is a fair outcome. It’s a harmonious goal. This is compassion. Win/wins do happen in life.

The only way to make myself a bigger person is to let go of more ‘self’. Debts and balances can’t overshadow what’s right. “You owe me” is not a mindset cohesive to healthy inter-dependence. Healthy co-existence depends upon a sane level of true compassion and compassion is not keeping track.

So often we see a power battle ensue while objectivity evaporates from existence. It’s a subject important in politics, love, and life. All interactions happen in relation to compassion. Some have no compassion at all.

Even Bukowski’s compassion comes through in these letters of his. Most of them are in regard to rejection letters he’d gotten but you can see that literary imagination and courage light him up and he expects these to light others up as well as he accepts his fate, continually. Such is his craft. It’s his gift to the world. Bukowski sacrificed himself, in ways, to his art. I’m grateful.

At the very end of that one you see my just start to paint Bowie, that was the night I learned of his death and started painting.
The next one is painting Bowie but sped up. It’s so much better in fast motion. There will be a part 2 of that theme.

Here’s the previous post, Part 2:


Post 2 Potentialist-Brick Building

Potentialist Workshop & Gallery is a brick building on 2nd Street in Reno with big picture windows framing 2 front doors. It’s in a very old neighborhood sprinkled with Victorians in various states of maintenance. Fairly forgotten by the regentrification crowd. There’s still rawness in this neighborhood. There’s a walled in daycare right across the street, nice looking, plus mechanic shops and next door are glass workers in their shop. The hospital, Renown, dominates our view from the backyard. The homes right next door feature dirt yard squats filled with young families and tough dogs. We have nice parking off the busy street.

There’s a gallery, workshop with 10 or so studio spaces, and a 40 seat theater. Art all over the place. It’s a fully functional place with a large number of people coming and going here, most are creators of some kind. The gallery and workshop brings lively energy. Many people stop in. Characters, the lot. I like everybody who comes here. Their eyes are open to what this place is and that makes for a nice vibe between us. People are curious here and it’s an unusual place to be in for most. It’s exciting to see where artists create and I’m proud to be one. Playing gallery maiden puts me right in the middle of it all. I meet everyone.

Environment is everything. The informing characteristics from brick plate glass to overcast afternoons and neighborhood bars shade every brushstroke. Every car crash at the 7-11 and altercation in front of the Launderland boils into aromatic broth for my reflections and the art will always be unique to my experience. I hold to the energizing ideas in this very real life.

We create something new together by our combinations and outside of the gallery even. They’re not even thinking about things like art, perhaps, but our paths cross like rocket exhaust trails. Even if it’s not collaboration between us we might influence each other just by being. We live at the same moment in time. I tied my red and grey scarf around my pony tail yesterday, hanging off my head slanted. That might have given somebody something to chuckle over. I made something for them instead of nothing.

Autobiography brings honesty and plainness. In what other form would I narrate? ..or not narrate. Most of my videos have been without words. They’re open to interpretation but it’s mostly just the way it was. The pacing is all about frequency.. the output, but online attention must be maintained. Viewers must be entertained. Editing must happen quickly. Post frequency, you see.

So the week after I took down my show in the gallery I was painting Tesla to the point of being finished and then on to a couple small abstract landscapes. It was cold, hovered over the heater and we’d play music in the studio while the improv people practiced in the theater. Pan and Kelsey had their little baby at Christmas by the way. Axiom is a little handsome guy. His facial expressions are pronounced. He will rule his own art empire some day.

Here’s Post 3 from Potentialist Workshop in Reno, plus Bowie Portrait video Part 1:


Legend has it that John Lennon met Yoko Ono in this way:

Yoko had an art show

and in the middle of the room

was this ladder

which John climbed

and he used the magnifying glass

to inspect the surface above him

which in tiny letters



Yoko Yes

2 Poems: ‘This Is Not a Journal’ & ‘From My Little Art Desk’

This Is Not A Journal

so I won’t get into it

but frustrations…

I want to be alone sometimes

now, for instance.

Nothing can cure this

but being alone.

Everything is so much easier

when I’m just alone.

I think of women:

I want to be alone.


I don’t think of them.

But these women though

they are the genesis

of stress.

They are where stress comes from.

Women ARE stress.

“Are you mad at me?”

If I say yes, it’s on me;

if I say no, it’s on me;

either way I pay.

Imagine a tangle

black sticky fatal tangle

like from a swamp

or an alien trap.

THAT’S a woman.

I want to be alone on Christmas day, even

because with me

there’s nothing to it.

To deal with anyone right now

that’s more than I deserve to deal with

and take care of

and coddle.

That’s more than I want.

But this woman

who I call

an alien swamp trap

she’s free to say the same of me:

never satisfied

always complicating

so it’s not about the battle of

the sexes

it’s not about “the others”

it’s just the way

it is

for someone like me,


I hate to bring an acronym into it

like clinical cyborg

but this is it

I guess

so simple

analysis shows

what I am, statistically,

and who I am

and how I came to be

I could choose this to be

mad about,

probably safer,

because dehumanization

will never ask

“Are you mad at me?”

I’ll end this riff

Christmas day 2013

but I hope you find it funny,

the frustration of man

(and woman)

because we’re only human

and I know this ’cause

I see our specie

right here

on the categorical tree


just above chimpanzee.


From My Little Artist Desk

From my little desk at the back of the living room

quietly drawing army guys in battles

between the crosses and the stars

with TV crews on the sidelines

reporting on the malay

and on thru the schooling years

when I refused to take art in middle school

because I knew better

I didn’t want to become


& up thru high school

where I made my art teacher cry once

with my snotty attitude

Mr. Platt I liked better

he was laid back

& would give passes during classes

(I got a blow job once on the way to Dairy Queen)

and the murals I painted

in hallways

yearbooks my art graced

and into college

when I took all the prerequisites

up until Life Drawing

which was exciting

but the model was

too skinny

and didn’t strip down

and then I quit

to start my airbrush shop

in Daytona

with my best friend

we lined up hurricane insurance

but it all fell through

and then at 23

I decided


I’d be an artist

no matter what

because I knew

it would be

an uphill, lifelong struggle

but I knew

this was me

Back to college

this time in Tempe

graphic design

a logical choice

all the while still painting


and that feeling

back then

in that most productive period

the feeling that

I’m doing this

and I’m in it

for the long haul

and this was just the


I’m proud that I could see it then

the revelation

that this would never end

And then

a gallery

perspective flipped

now as the middle man

to see

what we,

these artists,

were like to deal for

but mostly a view

of this job, this career

this is an industry

with tricks of the trade

which amount to selling high ticket luxury items

to the upper middle class

and intellectuals

The floor got ripped out from under me

How noble, really

was this shit?

To be an artist

granted, an American,

but still an artist

it had a veneer

even here

that doesn’t hold up

when you work on

pricing for the market

I looked back to the college years

when my appetite for knowledge

had expanded:

the stories from biographies

on artists

I revered

life saving

these stories

in getting to know artists

before me

gave me belonging

and recognition of the fact

that these were weirdos

like me

Ultimate heroes

to rise from the ranks

with their name in lights

and this all came back

to me:

it’s an ego stroking

the whole thing

Comfort food

And so then it was

that fishbowling

came into being,

a study in how comforts

effected my art

I became a wanderer,

a Saint Francis in mobility

renouncing all my stuff

and in that same timeframe

we started NadaDada

and it was in that

that I glimpsed again

what it meant to be

an artist again

in regard to community

and in just what capacity

the journey



We belong to a lineage

our creative output

is our family,

true, but those who come

after us

the creative makers

who have followed our lead

have a need

for the example we share

in finding

own power

This is the gift we give:

sharing the keys

to self empower

because this is a powerful thing

we do

to reflect and examine

through the power of passion

which is something

so nothing

so unrealized

and so unharnessed

in most

This power–passion–is dormant

in every moment

from within every point


it can be made

and should

this for multiple reasons

but to enrich

We take this energy

and we make it work for us


is the method

of transubstantiation

in the alchemist,

the artist,

and along the way


both poems by Chad Sorg, 2013


Imagine a story where he plans his wardrobe each year. He took an hour to plan out what he’d wear each day of the month and clothes in his closet were then categorized accordingly. The rest of the year he didn’t have to think about what to wear each day.

It was a good way for him to tell time and to remember which day an event took place based on what he was wearing. As time went on his mind became trained to notice this detail each day.

Eventually he became obsessed with the question of “which clothes will I be wearing the day I die.” He worried that they would not be appropriate.

Molezzo Effect Motor Lodge


Inspiration hit. Peeking out his motel window, downstairs, three pigeons flew diagonal past up against sharp blue backlight and at the same time in his field of vision 3 people seemed choreographed momentarily. The motel courtyard, trees shook, a woman with biker shorts too tight picked up a quarter and red jersey gold bracelet guy’s cigarette blew out. It was a flash.

So he opened the curtains.


A colorblind artist does not exist. I gotta’ finish this story some time.


The art event was over. A day after the public left and he was still in room 122. Anonymous here if you want to be so he was painting by the microwave and journaling by the window. Important things. The balance between red and blue and varied chapter lengths. He carried steady thought on how personal he might get in writing. He wondered how personal painting. Orange shadows, for instance, that’s personal.


And he told me that there’s a need for truth. Truth as we all see it. That kind of truth needs to exist he’s telling me, this man, this friend of mine the other night. We looked at his art and he told me that people need to believe that there is something beyond us. Quickly we got to that point in the conversation. It’s nice having old friends.


The stars over this desert at night cast unruly romantic ideas about her. It’s like he’s dreaming asleep but he walks the night to sagebrush too thick to assail in his waking. Alone, this trailer affords time to paint and to think of what’s missing. Rehash what was misaligned. Trash it all along. Alone, without the proximity to it all his judgement desireful.


The update of life surrounds minutes moments of the time, time. time.” He writes. “Innocent when you dream” he sings. Artist typecast like he’s on a mission. He’s inward and sitting in corners. Shut down to the outside.

“I’d be hoppin’ up and down like a boxer before the fight” crashing his gloves together making a pummphhk sound–pummphhk pummphhk. A small kid expresses himself passionately on the motel’s curb outside his window 122.

To title an artwork with long strung words is interesting and a certain choice. I wouldn’t blame anyone to dislike it. It concerns him how his artwork is talked about when he’s gone. This is why he listens when people talk about whatever they talk about.


The last art retreat I was on was more explicit. Everyone involved lived it the same way and with purpose to work. We stayed in an old hospital then. It had become an art center and art was central. This time it’s me on my own time on the shaded side of this motor lodge. It’s my own world I’m making and rough. I miss the pile of TVs outside. Also I’m not drinking so this brings something to it.

The detailed renderings come in spurts.


She showed me her posters screen printed and one featuring Hank Williams. Another one had Tammy Wynette. Who knows where she got ’em. She was hangin’ them in the motel office. They were done in a folk art style. Maybe by the Reverend Howard Finster, his style anyway.

The manager lives behind the office in her room that has a living room attached to the bedroom. She had a guy working on the courtyard the past week, watering the dirt. Planted some flowers. She takes pride in this motel. The owner, he’s a tight ass lawyer with car dealerships but she takes pride in this place.

A guy got shot here a couple weeks ago but that was just stupid I’m told.


Art takes us away. It’s the opiate for the masses but the masses found other opiates. It’s too bad. It is what it is. We think and think about what to do about it all to fix it all, but these folks are getting their fix elsewhere. Their drugs are putting them somewhere you’ll never be able to take them.

Art is for the stable in life. Art can bring to the stable instability and this is the excitement.

A woman stormed in to look at my art room and she had intelligent things to say. As she left me and my dude friend at the curb, she talked about liking art like this which makes her a hippy. She called herself a “hippy hooker” and walked away in tight shorts.

Blank stare, my friend turns to me “but how much? Wait… but how much?”

Porn Mattresses & Peter Paul Rubens

The artists have to work for it here and the audience gets nothing it ever wished for. I’ve never been to an art event as unexpected as this. Motels are the antidote to austere white germ-free galleries. Instead of aged wine, we’re talkin’ the tequila that got your mom’s sister pregnant behind the frat house. No one owns this. No one controls this and the taste police? No jurisdiction at NadaDada.

The participants wear T shirts that say “You say disorganized like it’s a bad thing!” The nature of the motel industry does not allow for predictable. We think this match is appropriate because predictable art sucks. Wanna’ shot?

Reno’s the place for something like this. It’s really in keeping with the mood of culture these days. There permeates a dismantling of highbrow and exclusivity. Reno can be an environment of broken dreams. People gasp when discovering there’s a thriving art community here behind the broken neon tubes. I almost feel sorry for the towns trying to follow our lead.

Crackheads? Drunks? We got ’em. I never thought “crack for sale” sung to a gospel chord could move me so much till I heard it echoing, 2am between brick buildings on 4th street.

Frank Sinatra? LBJ? We got stories linking them to the places where we room. Today you might find porn under the mattress, a bible in the drawer and cigarette burns divetting your carpet. Check out time is 11:00 but you guys are OK.

We’re not trying to clean up with Gambler’s Anonymous. No one thinks sex offenders will change at the sight of chiaroscuro. Peter Paul Rubens? Not usually a popular subject around these coke machines. If a marble bust clashes with your macramé lamp shades, your room will be talked about.

I wasn’t joking about the porn mattresses and cigarette burns.

Otherwise, the one place to go for all information regarding locations and times for this year’s art show: or click the following spaceman for hyperspace online di-rect connection to the map and schedule page.


Related articles:

Andy Kaufman as Latka Gravas


An Artist’s Bodhisattva

Image created by Trelaine
Sorghisattva image created by Trelaine

Point taken: If I like NadaDada as a leaderless entity, I should step back and make it clear that I’m just another among the ranks–it’s a Tao thang. Well, that is what I am, just another artist. It’s just that I have trouble not being a connector. I suppose I think of myself as an artist’s bodhisattva. Note to self: write that one down–in fact, it’s not a bad title for this essay…

I’m told that I should just get a room and promote what I’m doing. It’s the same for all of us. My secret weapon? I have a blog–yeah, it’s the one you’re reading right now.

So maybe I’ve already told you but I’m writing a book. It’s well underway and each month it gets better. I’m becoming a better writer. I’ve even put painting on hold to a certain extent. All my concentration has gone to the writing of this book. At this point, though, I need some help. It’s great when I can read from it to someone. My girlfriend is getting sick of the job.

For NadaDada this year, I’m going to be doing some readings. I’ll ask if I can read to them and then I will read a passage and then thank them profusely. Hopefully they’ll have some kind of reaction I’ll be able to gauge from.

I’ve always tried to apply the wisdom that each job should be regarded as an education. Each art show should be treated in this way as well. Like Saturday Night Live, NadaDada is not yet ready for prime time. If the art I show is unfinished, what’s wrong with that? The rule book never said we can’t use NadaDada for our own selfish needs.

I need an audience to help me edit this book. I think it’s going to be titled “The Never Ending Fishbowler Excursion”. Maybe someone will talk me out of that title. I dunno. Maybe it will have a chapter called “An Artist’s Bodhisattva“. I dunno.

NadaDada is June 13th thru 16th, 2013 in various motels around Reno.

NadaDada–We’re So Un-Punk!

Years ago, our gallery Blue Lyon hosted a show called “We’re So Punk” which, open for interpretation, was–in my mind–mostly a sarcastic title, making fun of all the posers tryin’ so hard to defy.

NadaDada has had its share of that ilk–so eager to be left of left bank and outside of outsiders, “art for art’s sake” & all of that. We’ve gotten ourselves un-invited to a few venues. A bit of a rowdy reputation has chained itself to our collective neck in years past. But that brings up a strong point: we’ve never been a collective. We quit taking votes on anything back in ’09 when we decided 3rd weekend of June henceforth. So besides a bunch of independent artists, what are we?

Our Noble Instigator, El Jefe, instilled in us the lasting mindset of a group presenting workable anarchy. This is sexy and this is note worthy but is this the truth? They ask. C’mon, no hierarchy? No leadership? I hear their tone. Well that’s the thing: leadership can belong to the many and that’s what we had always encouraged. Let’s all lead.

As you may know I, myself, have logged more man hours than anyone else to keep this party goin’ year after year and I’ve had to fight off the punks goin’ “Sorg, you’re not the boss, maaaan! This is ‘sposta’ be Anarchy!”

Way back when, I had curated a Dada Motel show in a Vegas museum and I was strict. One observer said “That’s not Dada–more like Nada!” The name(s) stuck. Dada Motel became Nada Motel which became NadaDada Motel.

Keeping myself in this central position has garnered me more press than anyone because the media wants to talk to the guy in the middle of it all. So for my time, I’ve been paid in publicity. Last year I didn’t really help organize or publicize and for once I had the money and energy to actually get a room of my own. Not sure about this year. I’m not really complaining… much.

Folks, I gotta’ tell ya’, I just want a good party. I care deeply about art and I care extensively about community. Truly non-hierarchical efforts must proliferate at the hands of many and to the benefit of many. NadaDada is about art-in-motel rooms, but alas, Wildflower is full and Midtown doesn’t seem to have any more willing weeklies at our disposal. 8 rooms at the Best Bet just might be our only bet in Midtown, but those rooms are already filled too. I might end up getting a room in an “un-sanctioned” motel.. not even mention NadaDada to the management.

But friends, here’s the great news: All the merchants want NadaDada in Midtown. Here’s my proposal to you…. you wanna’ show your art for NadaDada this June, you march your ass down to Midtown Reno and you talk to some locations yourself. Work it out with a shop owner and see if they’ll let you hang art or present your performance on their premises during our event June 13 thru 16, 2013.

We’re bringing them attention. We’re bringing them potential business; why would they say no? Go get yourself some attention! We’re not punks, this is a different kind of anarchy.

The one place to go for all information regarding locations and times for this year’s art show: or click the following spaceman for hyperspace online di-rect connection to the map and schedule page.



Related articles

Advice For The Young in Art

burger I illustrated in design sollege

It’s like spiritual. If we grasp so tightly to the idea of dollar amounts for our art and business this and business that, the art–it goes away.. it no longer carries the aura of art.

The most blessed ones, the gifted ones, the perfrectly at ease ones.. the ones that end up in the history books, they’re able to control their desires to make money and forget about it and just make FUCKING ART! It’s art! make art!

Don’t be a lost art baby, swimming around after a few canvases going “where’s the money? Why am I not making money? Why does no one see my genius?” Just fucking paint. Just fucking shoot. Treat them like materials, since this is a material world, and make them stand–out items of material. Make them into stunning presentations of “things” and then, just maybe THEN, someone will pay attention to your things. But until then, you’re just another monkey smearing paint in a sea of millions of paint smearing monkeys.

Don’t take it for granted what the professionals have done with their time. They’ve studied art history and they’ve studied the art market and they know what’s happening. They’re not trying to re-invent the wheel. They understand their niche.

Keep your head about you. Stay objective.

Remember: there’s art for art’s sake, the kind of art that is NOT “sell out” and then there’s art for the sake of something else. If that something else is $$$$.. well, sorry, that’s just not fucking interesting, but if that something else that your art is in the service of, make it something beautiful. Art in the name of community, or art in the name of peace. Make art for the sake of humanity but MEAN IT! Art can serve whatever end you’d like it to.

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