For over a year I have posted my idea on a Musical starring Christine and Stefan Eins that dynamic couple who have an established a living museum in the Village. With the connecting of these underground cables (East meets West) the creative sparks are flying!This match is the talk of the town. Witnesses have seen the return of the Honest Opinion. There is even the presence of a creative poltergeist that keeps ringing a curtain call!
“Ding-a-ling-a-ling! It’s show time!”
The director of Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann, says he has had the concept for movie about the rise of Hip-Hop and Graffiti Art in the Bronx. Perhaps, but the person who took the A Train by the horns, and rode the third rail, is my friend, Stefen Eins, the alleged founding father of Fashion Moda. Stefan may have created the first audition show for nobodies. On his show, no one get’s gonged, to the consternation of the real critics who can not deny the genius of that. Everything is art. Innocent stains in the concrete pavement are captured and hung. Things are seen in things. A mindless crack is on the wall of MONA. Then, on a certain sunny day, an infamous profile appear.
Thanks to Eins, the Big Show is not squeezed into, and confined in, a tiny little box. The whole United States of America is a stage full of dancers, musicians, and artists. Not since P.T. Barnum has one person got the big picture like Stefan has, because, I believe he is the Art Ring Master, that gent with the foreign accent and whip, who dare step into a cage of wild cats where dwell the Queen of Sheba. Make no mistake about it, Christine is a Leo.
Crack that whip!
Well, it looks like my windmill has come in. I have been vindicated by the Omnipotent Art Justice that nobody can deny! Who ordered up this Bohemian Ash Can Dream full of Hip-Hop and Graffiti? Well, it looks like Stefan, an artist in his seventies, is the Fagan, here, the Pied Piper leading his squad of pick-pockets out of the Bronx into the heart of NY Art World. I depict Stefan as the embodiment of Fred Astaire, who takes up residence at the Woodstock Hotel and reminds us that America is the Eternal Home of Jazz, a fact Europeans can never forget. The casting couch is alive and well in Eugene where Merry Pranksters still hit the road. Stefan, Ken, Bugsley Berkeley, the girl with kaleidoscope eyes!
In 1965, Christine was there, at THE START of the new Art and Rock scene, but you won’t catch her bragging about it. Allow me! Here’s the testimonial of Alessandra Hart who co-founded BEAF:
“A small group of our friends decided to create the Berkeley Experimental Arts Foundation and we rented a space on College Avenue in Berkeley which we made into a theater, calling it Open Theater & Gallery. Pop Art was just coming in, Andy Warhol was experimenting with it on the East Coast. We opened with a pop art exhibit and a theater piece my husband, Roland Jacopetti, wrote.”
The Loading Zone played at this event, and later at the Trips Festival and Acid Test. Peter Shapiro was the lead guitarist for the Zone, who went by the name ‘The Marbles’ before that. Christine met Peter at a UC frat party in 1964 while she was attending Mills College Peter played at my wedding reception, along with Tim O’Connor who lived in Venice and was a good friend of the Dooby Brothers. I was married to Mary Ann Tharaldsen, who was married to Thomas Pynchon. My ex was born in New York and went to Cornell where she befriended Thomas and his close friend Richard Farina. Mary Ann did a life-size portrait of Mimi Farina, the sister of Joan Baez, who sang in Washington Park in New York. Keith was at my reception. He was the lover of one of the Zorthian sisters, whose father was titled ‘The Last Bohemian’. He was an artist and good friend of Charlie Parker. We lived in a commune with Nancy Hamren who dated Stanley Augustus Owsley. My friend, Bryan MacLean, of the rock group, Love, sang at my wedding. Bryan and my sister Christine Rosamond, were lovers. Christine married the muralist Garth Benton, who was kin to the artist Thomas Hart Benton, Jackson Pollack’s teacher. His daughter was married to Mel Lyman who founded a famous commune in Boston, and an underground newspaper ‘The Avatar’.
Then there is Jessie and Susan Benton who had salons in Paris and San Francisco. Last but not least is Michael who was a good friend of Jim Morrison and the Stackpole family, who befriended the famous muralist Diego Rivera and his famous wife, Freda Kahlo. Michael was a good friend of the Beat Poet Michael MacLure and offered his detective services at my wedding reception where he caught some punk going thru the purses. Michael studied under the famous PI, William Lindhart, who was hired by the famous Red light Bandit, Caryl Chessman. Michael also worked for Bruce Perlowin ‘The King of Pot’ who has a movie in the works..
Above is a photograph of me standing in front of my art studio and gallery on Blair Street in the Whiteaker that is considered one of the most creative enclaves in the world. Jeff Pasternak, his wife Shannon, Marilyn Reed, the wife of Kenny Reed, and myself are Whiteaker Pioneers. Kenny is a Jazz artists who has been up on stage with Ken Babbs and Izzy Whetstone, two famous Pranksters. Pynchon has a thing for Jazz. The Loading Zone morphed into The Tower of Power!
What I have just got down on paper is a Creative Cluster that has truly changed the world. With the resent revival of Love (the first mixed-race rock and roll band) Pynchon’s movie, the movie ‘Get Down’ along with Marilyn’s family connection to Fela, that is an off Broadway hit, what we are looking at is a New Renaissance.
I must mention the two lousy biographies written about Christine and her family, and the two movie scripts being pushed, one written by our kindred, Carrie Fisher. Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor and I share the same great, great,, great, grandfather. Liz’a son married a Getty, who own the largest art collection in the world. Liz collected fine art, and Warhol did her portrait. On the Venice bridge is Peter and Tim, whose father was a famous actor. There is a thespian cluster here.
My Rosemont kin owned windmills in Holland. My last two muses are dancers and choreographers. I ran my musical by Jeff Pasternak a founding father of the Whiteaker Punk Rock Art Scene who is writing a musical based on his life. Shannon Pasternak hung with the Rat Pack. Last week I returned there and founded a new newspaper ‘The Green Whiteaker Hood. My first article is titled ‘Punk Sober’. Yesterday I read an acknowledgment to Stefan from a compatriot that helped produce ‘Get Down’. The there are the Miller brother and the Bohemian Club, which I would like to refound as a ‘Artist Writers, and Musicians Only Club.
Its time to make Peace. There is a master show being produced in a realm of reality we once knew, but have forsaken. I would love to give more details about reading the signs on the wall. Let me say this, the 400 pounds of blubber that first appear in Chris’s number, has left rings in her bathtub that some folks have trouble seeing, but, in this dance and song number Christine gets stuck in the butt-cheek of a 400 pound guerilla who didn’t look where she sat her big ass.
I’ve been telling everyone, this, thing, is writing itself! Just go with the flow. When I went back east with my ex, we stayed at Sol Yurick’s place in Brooklyn. We talked about his book and the gangs in Oakland. We discussed the ready-made drama that was captured in the movie West Side Story. Tony must capture the beautiful soul of Maria, or die!
I see alleged innovators claiming they broke the mold, then invent all kinds of claims to the new mold.- that changed the world forever! “Meet the new mold. Just like the old mold. We wont get fooled again!”
Sol does a much better job in character creation than Pynchon did in Inherent Vice, that is devoid of vice, action, and sexiness which Venice California explodes with. There are Chicano gangs there, mixing with Acid-head Beach Bunnies covered with fine, blonde, peach-fuzz body hair waving atop a golden tan. They got the natch. These are Leary’s Orphans, too, altered to live with their parents. So, they come down here to trip in the sea-foam. In the dance scene with the Warriors, you see a Beach Orphan dancing with a black Lizzie. This is the sexist dance scene I ever beheld.
I hope some of the proceeds from these musical go to helping the homeless and the hungry.
Mural in the Whiteaker
articles here: What makes ‘The Whit’ Tick? (2011), Idealism Fuels Anarchists’ Battles (2000), A Revolutionary Moment Hits Small-Town America (1999), and Flames of Dissent II (2006) related to history and gentrification in the Whiteaker neighborhood, Eugene, Oregon. (Wikipedia).
Turn down the first video and play the second video, and then, the third.
Tower Of Power – What Is Hip Lyrics
And ease on into a hip bag
But you ain’t just exactly sure what’s hip
So you start to let your hair grow
Spend big bucks to cop you a wardrobe
But somehow you know there’s much more to the trip
What is hip?
Tell me, tell me if you think you know
What is hip?
If you was really hip
The passing years would show
You into a hip trip
Maybe hipper than hip
But what is hip?
So you became part of the new breed
Been smokin’ only the best weed
Been hangin’ out on the so-called hippest set
Being seen at all the right places
Being seen with just the right faces
You should be satisfied
Still it ain’t quite right
Hipness, what it is!
Hipness, what it is!
Hipness, what it is!
And sometimes hipness is
What it ain’t!
You done even went and found you a guru
In your effort to find you a new you
And maybe even managed
To raise your conscious level
As you striving to find the right road
There’s one thing you should know
What’s hip today
Might become passé
Fisher was born in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Russia, and her mother was raised a Nazarene, and is of Scots-Irish and English ancestry. Her younger brother is producer and actor Todd Fisher, and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is the singer and actress Connie Stevens.
When Fisher was two, her parents divorced after her father left Reynolds for her best friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of her father’s best friend Mike Todd. The following year, her mother married shoe store chain owner Harry Karl, who secretly spent Reynolds’s life savings. She attended Beverly Hills High School, but she left to join her mother on the road. She appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973), which starred her mother.
Wandel’s Woeful Wail
Once upon a time I used to be so free
I danced in a park at the human be-in
to Ginsberg’s extra-cosmic tamborine
I even caught a psychedelic wink
from a dimpled Timothy Leary
Now I am being squeezed hard up against 400 pounds of blubber.
Hey, in this town
its hard to be any kind of lover!
(Man wearing tin foil on head, reads Christ, mind)
Hey, Blondie, I’m on your wave-length
You can be my bosom babe
as long as you can pick up signals from outer space
And if you don’t mind French kissing a dirty old man
born of an alien race!
Rembrandt (Warriors) and Hinton (Dominators) share the role of the artist in their respective gangs; however, they have totally different personalities. Rembrandt is portrayed as being level-headed but weak when it comes to fighting, whereas Hinton is a lot braver and has a rep for going “psycho” every now and then. Hinton ends up being the focal point of the novel, while the film focuses more on Swan, the gang’s field leader.
In the film, the Warriors encounter a gang called the Orphans who try to prove they’re tough by showing the Warriors newspaper articles of incidents and crimes done by their gang. In the novel, the Dominators encounter a gang called The Borinquen Blazers and exchange newspaper articles with them of their doings in an attempt to avoid trouble from the gang.
“The Get Down will focus on 1970s New York — broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying,” The Hollywood Reporter says. “Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them — except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world … forever.”
Fashion Moda was founded in 1978 by Stefan Eins. He was soon joined by artist Joe Lewis and William Scott, a young teenager from the neighborhood as co-directors. Defining itself as a concept, Fashion Moda quickly became a strong voice in the New York art world during the late 1970s and the 1980s. Fashion Moda crossed boundaries and mixed metaphors. It helped redefine the function of art in a post-modernist society. Fashion Moda spotlighted such artists as David Wojnarowicz, Keith Haring, Jane Dickson, Stefan Roloff, Jenny Holzer, Mark Kostabi, Kenny Scharf, Carson Grant, Joe Lewis, Thom Corn, John Ahearn, Lisa Kahane, Christy Rupp, John Fekner, Don Leicht, Jacek Tylicki, Stefan Eins himself and graffiti artists like Richard Hambleton, Koor, Daze, Crash, Spank, and many others. In addition to highlighting new talent, Fashion Moda was a major force in establishing new venues. In 1980, Fashion Moda collaborated with the downtown progressive artists organization Colab (Collaborative Projects Inc.) on “The Times Square Show” (June 1980), and Now Gallery which introduced uptown graffiti-related art to downtown art and punk scenes.
Speaking on the project, which acts as his debut television series and first musical venture since 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, Baz Luhrmann says The Get Down is something he has been envisioning for over a decade.
“The Get Down [is] a project I have been contemplating and working on now for over 10 years,” Luhrmann says. “Throughout, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of how a city in its lowest moment, forgotten and half-destroyed, could give birth to such creativity and originality in music, art and culture. I’m thrilled to be working with my partners at Sony and collaborating with a team of extraordinary writers and musicians, many of whom grew up with and lived the story we’ve set out to tell.”
I went to Colab meetings, you know, from the early days. The summer of the Times Square Show I was already involved with Fashion Moda, so my focus was on Fashion Moda, but I did go to Colab meetings. Many shows at Fashion Moda included Colab members.
There was also my space before Fashion Moda on 3 Mercer Street. I chose that location, because I wanted to be close to Canal Street. I wanted to sell my work, my multiples, to an audience on a mass-market level. I invited other people to make work for the 3 Mercer Store. I made my own work there, and then I provided others the opportunity to use the storefront. Tom Otterness had his first show there; Sherrie Levine had a show there; and many more.
When I started Fashion Moda in the Bronx, I already knew Joe Lewis from the 3 Mercer project. Joe had a studio up there [in the Bronx] at that time. I wanted him to be involved because I didn’t want to be the only European in this predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhood. I thought it was important for both of us to work together and to be a curatorial team. Early on there was another person working with us, Hector Ortega, who was Hispanic. I wanted different ethnic and racial elements—Joe Lewis’s mom is Canadian and a painter, his stepmother is German, and his dad was an African-American singer and lyricist. He also had formal art school training in upstate New York at Hamilton College studying painting and printmaking. Joe is now dean at UC Irvine in California.
The racial diversity at Fashion Moda was a result of my concept, which was and still is that creativity is a basic human trait. And so forget anything else. Where there is humanity, there is creativity. So I don’t even have to consider race [when understanding or promoting] creativity. I called Fashion Moda the museum of science, art, invention, technology, and fantasy to include all the different aspects of human creativity. Creativity always has to do with possibilities realized or attempted. Of course I found hip-hop, and hip-hop found Fashion Moda, in the Bronx.
Everything we did at Fashion Moda translated into the Times Square Show; for example, the idea of independence from certain structures in the art world. I think the whole approach really made a difference in the art world since galleries realized it’s not only them making decisions and that there are other ways to proceed.
As TSS was being set up, I knew that Tom Otterness and John Ahearn were working on the exhibition and that it was open to artists to participate. There was a moment at Fashion Moda prior to the exhibition where this kid suggested to John Ahearn to do a show in Times Square.
I did a piece at the TSS but I was actually in Austria for most of the time, attending my high school reunion. I put my piece up, and then I left the country. When I came back, I realized how much of a success it [TSS] had been. In my TSS piece, I used an image from Norman Mailer, The Executioner’s Song, a book about criminal Gary Gilmore. I just liked the image. The piece wasn’t necessarily related to other work I was doing at the time. What interested me was that an artist was a criminal and the idea that being a criminal doesn’t mean you can’t do interesting art. Anybody could do whatever they wanted to do for TSS, there was an independence of production and also in the mode of presentation.
I put my piece up the day before I left. I wanted it to be very visible. So I put it on the second floor very visible, and it said FASHION MODA on it. When I returned I was surprised and thrilled at the impact the show had. The Village Voice cover was a major moment. Of course the magazines came later. Lucy Lippard wrote something in Artforum. Jeffrey Deitch wrote something in Art in America.
The currents and ideas implemented at Fashion Moda that carried over into the TSS changed the whole art world. Thirty years ago, Fashion Moda communicated in four major world languages on our posters and press releases: Chinese, Russian, English, and Spanish. It foresaw the global development in the art world and that whole interconnectedness on the global level that is so much more now than it was then.
Also, in terms of Modernism, you really had to be a participant in an accepted movement. If you were not a Cubist, a Surrealist, a Pop artist—even a Conceptual artist or part of other movements—then you weren’t really regarded as important. We did away with that. Also: Subway Graffiti, Street Art (David Finn, Justen Ladda, Gail Rothchild, David Wells, and others at Fashion Moda). I don’t mean to exclude anyone, these are just the names that come to mind right now. There are others I probably don’t name here who are important to early Street Art. Fashion Moda’s activities from that time are all documented in the Fales Library at New York University.
I am quoting here from Cesar Levinson’s book Graffiti Street Art Revolution, 2008, “Fashion Moda mixed artists and styles of work in a way that is familiar today but at the time was considered cutting edge.” A mixing of styles was also part of the Times Square Show; and also at the Fashion Moda show at the New Museum in 1980–81.
What fashion meant to me was to be cutting edge, and I wanted to correlate with the fashion industry. I did not work on the Fashion Lounge at the Times Square Show, but the ideas were connected I suppose. After the TSS, Fashion Moda produced the line of T-shirts for our Stores at documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany, in 1982. I asked Keith Haring to design a T-shirt for the documenta stores, his first ever. Other T-shirts were by Joseph Beuys, John Fekner, Jenny Holzer, Picasso, Judy Rifka, myself. Christy Rupp made a rat T-shirt. So did the graffiti artists A-1 and Crash—all in all, it was a beautiful creative mix, almost twenty different designs. The MODE FASHION MODA logo T-shirt included Russian and Chinese. Mode means “fashion” in German.
Just recently I was reading an article in the New York Observer about galleries that do their exhibition scheduling quite differently from how galleries usually organize; not just in one location but in different locations. The article mentioned the TSS as an early role model. I just installed a Fashion Moda exhibition in Peekskill in Westchester, NY. It coincided with the show about the documenta 7 stores at the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, Westchester, New York in the spring of 2012.
The TSS changed the way art was installed and presented. It used to be that if you didn’t show in a gallery, you didn’t show. That is not so any longer. I think it opened up options and that correlates to the idea that you don’t have to belong to a movement to be accepted.
As told to Shawna Cooper, May 23, 2012
Stefan Eins (b. Prague, Czech Republic; raised in Vienna and Gresten, Austria)
Stefan Eins studied theology at the University of Vienna and attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna from 1964 to 1967, when he relocated to New York City. In 1978, he founded Fashion Moda as a cultural concept in New York City’s South Bronx, exhibiting the work of artists like Charlie Ahearn, John Ahearn, Jules Allen, Jane Dickson, Ilona Granet, Keith Haring, Candace Hill-Montgomery, Jenny Holzer, Becky Howald, Justen Ladda, Christof Kohlhöfer, Joe Lewis, Judy Rifka, Christy Rupp, Rigoberto Torres, David Wells, and others. Fashion Moda—in its South Bronx location—was in operation until 1993. Additional information is available at: http://www.oneunoeins.com/.
Ralph Ward Stackpole (May 1, 1885 – December 13, 1973) was an American sculptor, painter, muralist, etcher and art educator, San Francisco’s leading artist during the 1920s and 1930s. Stackpole was involved in the art and causes of social realism, especially during the Great Depression, when he was part of the Federal Art Project for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Stackpole was responsible for recommending that architect Timothy L. Pflueger bring Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to San Francisco to work on the San Francisco Stock Exchange and its attached office tower in 1930–31. His son Peter Stackpole became a well-known photojournalist.
What finally smoked him out was Richard Fariña’s wedding to Mimi Baez, sister of the famous folk singer. In August, Pynchon took a bus up the California coast to serve as his friend’s best man. Remembering the visit soon after, Fariña portrayed Pynchon with his head buried in Scientific American before eventually “coming to life with the tacos.” Pynchon later wrote to Mimi that Fariña teased him about his “anti-photograph Thing … what’s the matter, you afraid people are going to stick pins; pour aqua regia? So how could I tell him yeah, yeah right, you got it.”
After Fariña’s wedding, Pynchon went up to Berkeley, where he met up with Tharaldsen and Seidler. For years, Pynchon trackers have wondered about Tharaldsen, listed as married to Pynchon in a 1966–67 alumni directory. The real story is not of a secret marriage but a distressing divorce—hers from Seidler. Pynchon and Tharaldsen quickly fell in love, and when Pynchon went back to Mexico City shortly after John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Tharaldsen soon followed.
In Mexico, Tharaldsen says, Pynchon wrote all night, slept all day, and kept mostly to himself. When he didn’t write, he read—mainly Latin American writers like Jorge Luis Borges, a big influence on his second novel, The Crying of Lot 49. (He also translated Julio Cortázar’s short story “Axolotl.”) His odd writing habits persisted throughout his life; later, when he was in the throes of a chapter, he’d live off junk food (and sometimes pot). He’d cover the windows with black sheets, never answer the door, and avoid anything that smelled of obligation. He often worked on multiple books at once—three or four in the mid-sixties—and a friend remembers him bringing up the subject of 1997’s Mason & Dixon in 1970.
Tharaldsen grew bored of the routine. Soon they moved to Houston, then to Manhattan Beach. Tharaldsen, a painter, did a portrait of Pynchon with a pig on his shoulder, referencing a pig figurine he’d always carry in his pocket, talking to it on the street or at the movies. (He still identified closely with the animals, collecting swine paraphernalia and even signing a note to friends with a drawing of a pig.) Once Tharaldsen painted a man with massive teeth devouring a burger, which she titled Bottomless, Unfillable Nothingness. Pynchon thought it was him, and hated it. Tharaldsen insists it wasn’t, but their friend Mary Beal isn’t so sure. “I know she regarded him as devouring people. I think in the sense that he—well, I shouldn’t say this, because all writers do it. Writers use people.”
Tharaldsen hated L.A., and decided to go back to school in Berkeley. “I thought they were unserious sort of beach people—lazy bums! But Tom didn’t care because he was inside all day and writing all night.”