Day 247: 2/27/14: “The Man Who Loved Looking at Sharks And So Became One”

carmenI met Carmen Einfinger in New York in the summer of 1996. Carmen is a wild painter, a genius of color. That summer I spent many afternoons in the small East Village apartment Carmen shared with her filmmaker boyfriend while Carmen painted my portrait. In the end, I became yellow, red, green and orange and very tall.

In between posing, Carmen and I went to art shows and ate great food. Carmen told me about séances she’d attended as a child in Brazil. We talked a lot about painting. We listened to John Moran’s “The Manson Family: An Opera.”

In short, we had a blast.

Recently, Carmen took a trip to Tahiti, which inspired some amazing work. When I saw her ink and paper piece, “The Man Who Loved Looking at Sharks and Then Became One,” I knew I had to share it here. I loved the drawing, and the title sounded like the invention of a new myth. Carmen wrote to me about her creative process:

These images I do in my daily sketchbook come from a place of “this child” in me.

When I was young, my father was gone.

My mother was not around.

I was a child, but not this child.

This child now creates images from that lost place.

However, as much as these drawings are an expression of my lost child, they also are an expression of a lifetime of cultural and artistic development.

I believe that we have our own personal and a collective history. We keep imprints in our bodies from all our existences.

In the collective unconscious, these emotions express themselves as universal symbols creating then the universality of human emotions.

My image “The Man Who Loved Looking at Sharks and then Became One….” is a symbol for what we fear, expressed through the child in its purest primal unconscious state. The man who loves looking at sharks is aware of the danger: the shark could eat him up emotionally or physically. In order to avoid this, he must become a shark, so that he can eat the shark instead of being eaten. The child here speaks of the darker side of the shark, the one he fears.

If we are lucky and are able to live our lives without becoming fragmented, we can connect with this primal existence as many times as we wish.

I discovered this through my creativity.

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Day 246 2/26/14: Good News L.A.! Sharks in Venice Canals

images-1Leopard sharks will always have a place in my heart because they are the first shark I ever saw in the ocean and I swear one raised her head from of those sad “petting” tanks at the Santa Monica Aquarium and looked straight at me once.

Anyway, they’re shy and gorgeous and swimming in the canals of Venice, California.

( Thanks Brandy, for this bit of good news)

P.S. While trying to find the link to the story, I stumbled on yet another bad shark movie: Sharks in Venice (Italy, of course) starring Stephen Baldwin.

Day 245 2/25/14: Divers Save Dying Shark

shark-1-A-Human beings never cease to completely baffle me.

In Australia, tiger sharks are being hooked, drown and shot as part of an ineffective “cull” program, while in the same waters divers and veterinarians collaborate in an elaborate attempt to save this grey nurse shark from being suffocated by a piece of plastic wound tightly around its neck.

(Tip of the fin to Connie for sending this one!)

Day 243 2/23/14: The Sweetest Hangover (I don’t want to get over)

Yes, I do have a hangover today—one born not only of vodka, but of LOVE.

WOW! So much fun at JAWS: An Evening Of Relentless Terror & Really Awkward Sex! Hilarious readers, really fun audience, sold out of shark cupcakes, laughed our asses off and raised over $1000 for sharks. Thank you again to our most talented cast: Dan Koeppel, Peter Gilstrap, Andrew Quintero, Sandi Hemmerlein, Jessica Groper, Erik Odom, Jack Morrissey! What a talented bunch. AND Helen Kim, Connie Pearson, Gail Gibson, Jennifer Alessi & Lisa Stone & Renee Patton for all your hard work.

The JAWSREADNGsharks love you and so do I!!!

Day 242 2/22/14: JAWS: Countdown to Ecstasy!

-1I am way too busy/excited/distracted to blog today. Why so busy? So animated? Why, there are only a few mere HOURS to go before the hilarious and astounding JAWS benefit reading: An Evening of Relentless Terror and Really Awkward Sex! 

Recoil as the shark reduces Chrissie Watkins to a mass of bone and jelly!

Thrill as married Ellen Brody reveals her torrid sexual fantasies to a cocky marine biologist!

Marvel at Martin Brody’s immense bladder!

Gasp as Quint makes fun of the shark’s genitals!

All for a mere $10!

Day 240 2/20/14: Relentless Terror & Really Awkward Sex

An Evening of Relentless Terror & Really Awkward Sex: A Benefit Reading of JAWS is a mere two days away….

Come Los Angeles!  Eat shark-themed cupcakes and buy one-of-a-kind shark memorabilia!

Thrill to a live reading of Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel!

THIS Saturday Feb. 22, 7:30 pm

Twinkle Toes Dance Studio

5917 North Figueroa Street Los Angeles 90042

Admission is $10

ALL proceeds go to shark conservation

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Day 239 2/19/14: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

9780805092998_custom-ce72d9f30660107dc01a119cafb41a38ac7afe31-s2-c85“Amphibians have the dubious distinction of being the world’s most endangered class of animals,” Elizabeth Kolbert writes. “But also heading toward extinction are one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all fresh-water mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles and sixth of all birds.”

I really enjoyed (if enjoy is the word for such a book) “Field Notes from a Catastrophe,” Elizabeth Kolbert’s book on climate change. I am eager to read her latest work “The Sixth Extinction.”  Check out Kolbert’s recent interview  with Terry Gross in which she discusses taxi-cab yellow frogs, ocean acidification, disappearing bats and the latest science on the state of the planet.