Wednesday, August 31, 2022

On Reading

"Carpe Librum (Maastricht)", 48”x36”, oil on Belgian linen, 2021 

Collection of Dani Durkin and Dave Lowther, Brentwood, California 


Hail to Gorbachev

#RIP Mikhail Gorbachev- This ad from has a whole new historical meaning after Pizza Hut closed shop in Russia this year following Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan Explained


Forty-three million people will be eligible for loan relief under the Biden-Harris Administration’s student loan debt plan. And, nearly forty-five percent of those borrowers will have their loans fully cancelled. Watch as @SecCardona explains.

Frequently Asked Questions: How do I know if I am eligible for debt cancellation? To be eligible, your annual income must have fallen below $125,000 (for individuals) or $250,000 (for married couples or heads of households) If you received a Pell Grant in college and meet the income threshold, you will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation. If you did not receive a Pell Grant in college and meet the income threshold, you will be eligible for up to $10,000 in debt cancellation. What does the “up to” in “up to $20,000” or “up to $10,000” mean? Your relief is capped at the amount of your outstanding debt. For example: If you are eligible for $20,000 in debt relief, but have a balance of $15,000 remaining, you will only receive $15,000 in relief. What do I need to do in order to receive loan forgiveness? Nearly 8 million borrowers may be eligible to receive relief automatically because relevant income data is already available to the U.S. Department of Education. If the U.S. Department of Education doesn't have your income data - or if you don't know if the U.S. Department of Education has your income data, the Administration will launch a simple application in the coming weeks. The application will be available before the pause on federal student loan repayments ends on December 31st. If you would like to be notified by the U.S. Department of Education when the application is open, please sign up at the Department of Education subscription page.

More info at The Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan Explained

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Nerding out on Bruce Springsteen's BORN in the USA Multitrack with Bob Clearmountain

Wow! An inspiring and informative video breakdown of Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A"
with the legendary Bob Clearmountain and Jack Conte & Ryan Lerman. I love how they discuss the spatial and emotional sounds in the mixing process. Great stuff!

Jack Conte & Ryan Lerman describe this episode:
" Ryan and I get to visit his PRIVATE home studio in LA to listen to and dissect the multitrack for @Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."
Our channel is all about reacting to the original artwork of some amazing musicians. You should check out the original pieces of music below to get the full picture of the greatness we are reacting to.""

You can find them here; @Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A. ------------------------------------- Please leave us a comment below and tell us what you would like us to react to. Before we film episodes we ask the Scary Pockets Discord and Patreon members for questions on certain episodes, you can find the communities here; Discord: Patreon: ------------------------------ Follow me Twitter Instagram TikTok ------------------------------ The Dead Wax Crew: Hosts: Jack Conte & Ryan Lerman Executive Producer: Joe Smith Production Manager: Kate Torres Senior Producers: Kiko Suura, John Picklap Producer: Hitomi Aihara Director of Photography: Sam Price-Waldman Editor: Lorena Alvarado Audio Mixer: Cody Peterson Post Sound Mixer: Liam Tallon Graphics: Shelby Smith #brucespringsteen #bornintheusa #multitrack

Monday, August 22, 2022

Writing a Chrysanthemum: The Drawings of Rick Barton

Fascinating new exhibition of drawings by Rick Barton at the The Morgan Library & Museum.

They write:
"Very little is known about Rick Barton (1928–1992), who, between 1958 and 1962, created hundreds of drawings of striking originality. His subjects range from the intimacy of his room to the architecture of Mexican cathedrals, and from the gathering places of Beat-era San Francisco to the sinuous contours of plants. Drawing almost exclusively in pen or brush and ink, he captured his subjects in a web of line that was sometimes simple and economical, but more often complex and kaleidoscopic. With the exception of small displays in cafés and bookshops in the 1950s and ‘60s, this exhibition of sixty drawings, two accordion-fold sketchbooks, and five printed works, is the first time Barton’s art is being seen by the public."


“Untitled [Seated figure in the Black Cat Café],” Sept. 27, 1960, pen and ink, in the exhibition “Writing a Chrysanthemum: The Drawings of Rick Barton” at the Morgan Library & Museum. UCLA Library Special Collections 

The Morgan provides details on Rick Barton's drawing: "The Black Cat Café, located at the edge of San Francisco's North Beach, was a cause célèbre in the fight for gay rights. In the 1940s it became a gathering place for the queer community, attracting the attention of state liquor officials, who often revoked the licenses of gay bars. For nearly fifteen years the Black Cat's owner fought in court to retain its liquor license. The Black Cat gained additional renown tor the popular drag performances of activist Jose Sarria, who mounted a historic, if ultimately unsuccessful. campaign for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961. ...this figure who is absorbed in a book, bears some resemblance to Sarria."

More by Walker Mimms in the New York Times - Unearthing Rick Barton, a Boho Bard of North Beach

"His drawings from the early ’60s in 'craggy, neurotic, ruthlessly precise ink' are on view in a remarkable museum debut at the Morgan Library."

Catalog Available from the Morgan and also Here 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Uncle Jake and His World of Stories

by Gregg Chadwick

My Uncle Jake looms large in my life. And not only because he has the build of a defensive tackle on the San Francisco 49ers. When Jake walks into a room he fills the scene like James Gandolfini in the Sopranos. Then the stories begin. 

Jolly Green Giant

Jake sets the scene. Imagine he is on a covert mission during the Vietnam War. President Nixon has launched a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia and Laos. From March 18, 1969 until May 26, 1970, code name Operation Menu targeted resupply areas that the North Vietnamese and their allies the National Liberation Front and the Viet Cong were using as bases of attack against the South Vietnamese and their American allies.  Heavy B-52 bombers from the US Air Force carpet bombed the Laotian and Cambodian borders in an attempt to interdict North Vietnamese supply lines. 

Airman Jacob J Desch (Vietnam Era Photo)

Airman Jake Desch was deployed in Thailand where the massive B-52s were stationed at U Tapao Royal Thai Air Base, and smaller bombers at the secret Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Navy Base on the Thai/Laos border. The story goes that Jake was onboard an aircraft collecting signals intel, possibly a C-123 Provider used for special ops over Laos, when the plane encountered difficulties. Engine failure, enemy anti-aircraft fire, pilot error - all possibilities. Jake is fuzzy on the details, but he definitely wasn't the pilot. Jake assures us that he was adept at airborne insertion and geared up quickly in his parachute gear. Soon Jake was out the door and free from the aircraft. The plane was flying low, so Jake's drop was fast. His parachute barely unfurled before he slammed into the Laotian jungle. Jake blacked out from the force of the descent and his abrupt landing. When he came to, Jake found himself caught high in a forest canopy. Jake was lucky, unlike many airmen whose planes were lost during the war. Jake had survived. Jake was a tech specialist and his quick thinking saved his life.  Trapped in the branches, Jake used the serrated edge on his survival knife to cut himself clear from the tree. 

A rescue team had taken off from a nearby base, perhaps Nakhon Phanom. Hope was on its way.
Fitting that Jake, a red headed giant of a man, would be rescued by airmen aboard an HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter from the U.S. Air Force Rescue team. Jake hasn't expressed to me what he said to the rescue team. But, I am sure that as a Jersey boy he would have joked with them and asked - "What took you so long?"

The National Museum of the United States Air Force describes the incredible heroism of the Combat Pararescue teams in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War:
"The blood-red beret, symbolizing sacrifice, has been the pararescueman or "PJ" (for parajumper) mark of distinction since early 1966. The PJ's unique mission in the Southeast Asia War was to ride into a combat zone aboard a rescue helicopter and descend into jungles, swamps, mountains, and forests on a cable and winch. On the ground, they stabilized and helped hoist the injured to safety, often under fire. All volunteers, the PJs earned more decorations per man than any other USAF group in the SEA War."

 A U.S. Air Force pararescueman is lowered on a forest penetrator from a hovering 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron HH-53 helicopter during a rescue mission in Southeast Asia, June 1970. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. Air Force air rescue team: Four Nakhon Phanom based A-1 Skyraiders and a Lockheed HC-130P Hercules recovery aircraft refueling a Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter

Jersey Guys 

Jake still carries the wounds of that encounter during the Vietnam War. Perhaps Jake gained courage that helped him move into his new life as a student at San Francisco State and husband to his effervescent wife Linda. 

Francis Ford Coppola directs Marlon Brando in the Godfather wedding scene 

Like a scene from Francis Ford Coppola’s sweeping masterpiece The Godfather, Jake's stories embrace the cinematic moments of life. Jake loves to tell the tale when he encountered a posse of overly friendly gentlemen at a reception in San Francisco. Jake's wife comes from an Italian American family and is proud of her heritage. Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Jake had met his fair share of the cosa nostra. But that evening at one of the grand old hotels in downtown San Francisco was more than Jake expected. 

Linda and Jake Desch 1970s

As Jake tells the tale, the wedding celebration was opulent.  Lights, camera, action, The hors d'oeuvres, crudités (as only a Jersey guy would know), antipasti (most likely from Molinari's in North Beach),  lasagne, fish (this was San Francisco after all), and freshly carved meats were all spectacular. Champagne flowed freely , the music had swing (Tony Bennett should have been there), and the dancing went on all night. Linda liked to move on the dance floor and Jake eagerly glided along with her. Like most big men, Jake gets hot easily and he needed to take a break to cool off. 

At the sink in the men's room, Jake splashed water on his face with his eyes down. He could hear the thumping of the music down the corridor and then heard it grow louder as the restroom door swung open. Jake gathered himself quickly and looked up to see six large, beefy, muscular, no nonsense men gathered in the bathroom with him. Too many to wrestle with Jake thought. So Jake did what was natural to him. He made friends. "How's it going guys?", Jake asked in a Jersey accent he pulled out for these kind of occasions. The six men nodded positively as they looked Jake over. Their internal threat response meters sensed no threat from Jake. In actuality, the men saw Jake as a fellow member of their rare club. "What are you packing?", the lead bodyguard asked Jake in a whisper as he flashed his holstered weapon. The other five Italian guardians followed suit and displayed their handguns.
"What am I packing?" 
"These!" - Jake said as he held out his massive hands. 

Three Regular Jersey Guys in the Soprano's 
The meat market Satriale's created for the show  is possibly based on Sacco's Meat Market located at 806 3rd Avenue in Elizabeth, New Jersey which served as the unofficial base of "Uncle Joe" Giacobbe, a veteran made man in the DeCavalcante crime family.

Alaskan Earthquake

I remember sitting in the living room with Uncle Jake at the Desch family residence in Garfield, New Jersey when my Dad was with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. We often stopped by to visit my Grandma and Grandpa and assorted aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews on weekends in those years, 1965 - 1966, to hang out with family. One Saturday the TV was on playing Attack of the 50 Foot Woman - a low budget sci-fi film from 1958 - and Jake was passing around a stack of photos of the damage from the Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 that he had taken while stationed at a Strategic Air Command Base in Alaska. To me, the film's theatrical release poster appears like a green screened actress in front of Jake's earthquake photos. Worlds colliding indeed. 

While Jake was there, on March 27, 1964, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Prince William Sound region of Alaska. The quake lasted  4.5 minutes and is still the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. history. It is also the second largest earthquake ever recorded, next to the 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile in 1960. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson provides an historical account of the military's response to the quake:

"The military in Alaska, from the moment of the disaster, mustered their full strength to assist their neighbors," wrote Air Force Lt. Gen. R.J. Reeves, commander of Alaskan Command, in a letter to Army Maj. Gen. Eugene Salet, commander of the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. 'The military services proved once again that they are ready, willing, and able to cope with emergencies, whatever their origin.'"

Alaska Earthquake March 27, 1964. Collapse of Fourth Avenue near C Street in Anchorage due to a landslide caused by the earthquake. (Photo by U.S. Army)

Jake and his colleagues started working immediately after the earthquake to provide aid to those in need throughout Alaska:

"At dawn the next day, 17 C-123 Providers left Elmendorf's runway carrying equipment and supplies south and east to Valdez, Seward, and Kodiak. During the next 21 days, nearly four million pounds of cargo was flown out in Operation Helping Hand. Massive airlift operations by the Military Air Transport Service shattered records, hauling in two and a half million pounds of cargo - from baby food to heavy equipment - from Lower 48 bases."

Homeward Bound

Gregg Chadwick
Jersey Cantos 
16"x20"oil on linen 2016
Private Collection, San Francisco

Northern New Jersey, where Jake grew up, is one of the United States' largest transportation hubs. When Jake was a kid, rail lines, automobile parkways, and air traffic filled the Jersey earth and sky with movement and the possibility of adventure. I remember when I was a young boy, Jake was on leave from the Air Force and brought by a small collection of his old toys to give us. Trucks, trains, and planes were there in miniature. And a red plastic spaceship ready to carry Buck Rogers and Wilma into the stars. I could almost hear the first line in the United States Air Force Song - "Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun"

Jake enjoyed telling me about his childhood playgrounds along the tracks of the Jersey Central rail line that his father rode along as a railway engineer. Jake and his buddies would play ball in a dirt yard next to an auto body shop on the edge of town. The crack of the bat would mix with the sounds of pneumatic air pumps and the hiss of paint guns. Often a train whistle sounded by Jake's Dad would ring out from a Jersey Central engine moving slowly down the tracks next to the field. Jake says that he and the boys would run and jump onto the freight cars as the train rolled on. 

One day only Jake made it onto the train. He was actually able to reach up towards the train engine and his dad pulled him up into the cab. "Where are we going Dad?, Jake asked his father as the train pulled away. "Anywhere you want to go Jake.", his Dad said. "Anywhere you want to go!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act is Now Law

Happy Birthday Bill Evans

Bill Evans, known for his work with Miles Davis was born on this day in 1929.
Evans received 7 Grammy's and 31 nominations for his work as a jazz pianist and composer.

Steve Silberman writes that "Evans once told a friend that a musician should be able to maintain focus on a single tone in his mind for at least five minutes—and in playing like this, he achieved a nearly mystical immersion in the music: a state of pure, undistracted concentration. Even before writers like Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder made Buddhism a subject of popular fascination in America, Evans saw parallels between meditative practice and the keen, alert state that jazz improvisation demands, when years of work on perfecting tone and technique suddenly drop away and a direct channel opens up between the musician’s brain and his or her fingers." Bill Evans wrote Waltz for Debby for his niece, and it's a celebration of life.

More on Bill Evans at - Broken Time via @believermag

Saturday, August 13, 2022

A Day of Poetry in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson and former Anaheim Poet Laureate Grant Hier will host A Day of Poetry in Los Angeles which will include readings by the former Los Angeles Poet Laureate, Luis J. Rodriguez, and the current Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate, Salome Agbaroji, as well as sixty other local poets.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Thinking of Salman Rushdie


Thinking of Salman Rushdie today after he was attacked at the Chautauqua Institution this morning. I had the privilege to meet Salman at an event in Beverly Hills in 2008 that was moderated by Carrie Fisher. This is a photo I created after meeting this amazing man. A card of my painting "A Walk With Ganesh" sits on the table next to him. On this #worldelephantday I wish for Ganesh to lift Salman up in his current struggle to survive and heal. Hate has no place in our world.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

New E Line digital screens feature rider portrait artworks

The Metro E Line (Expo) has newly installed digital screens on its station platforms, and in addition to Metro customer information and third-party advertising, the new amenity also features Metro Art programming.  

The digital screens are the latest location where riders can view portraits from Metro Art’s multi-site We Are… rider portrait exhibition. Community art advisors worked with Metro Art to ensure that the commissioned portraits displayed on the new screens each have a link to the neighborhoods served by E Line (Expo).  

Here are the nine portraits featured on the E Line (Expo) digital screens: 

There are lots of ways to see the artworks even if the A Line (Blue) or E Line (Expo) aren’t part of your normal route!  The twelve A Line (Blue) and nine E Line (Expo) rider portraits are part of the collection of portraits in the exhibition We Are…Portraits of Metro Riders by Local Artists 

You can find them among the 41 portraits inside the Metro Art Bus, in the Union Station Passageway Art Gallery and in the online gallery on the Metro Art website. In addition, the A Line (Blue) portraits are also highlighted in the latest Art on TAP cards, too!   

Click here for more information about the Metro Art program. Follow Metro Art on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe for email updates.

From Metro - The Source

Happy International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Monday, August 08, 2022

Vantage Point (Chicago Theatre)

Gregg Chadwick
Vantage Point (Chicago Theatre)
30"x22"gouache on paper 2022
Private Collection Bloomington, Illinois

Day turns towards night on State Street in Chicago. Above us glows the marquee of the timeless Chicago Theatre. Built in 1921, the building just celebrated its centennial last year. I am reminded that as a child - my father, a career military officer, taught me to be aware of my surroundings. "Always look up," my Dad would say. And as an artist, I heed his words and look up to see what is above.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

PASSED: The Inflation Reduction Act!

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

David Hockney: Moving Focus / Retrospective at Kunstmuseum Luzern

Long time readers know that I am inspired by the life and work of David Hockney.
My thoughts on Hockney's 2005 exhibition at LA Louver can be found here
 I wrote then and still feel that Hockney, throughout his career, has been as interested in how we see as in what we see. Light, color and questions on space and time have come to the forefront in both physics (light has become the cornerstone of reality and space and time have become observer-dependent) and the art of David Hockney. This new retrospective of David Hockney's art at the Kunstmuseum Luzern looks like a must see.