Thanks for agreeing to
post my letter. I'm happy to accept any publicity as long as I can
represent myself fairly along with it. Initially, after my first
letter, I was under the impression that maybe you pretty much ignored
fan mail from men, and I didn't want to be ignored, so I tried appealing
to your vividly illustrated attraction to sexy ladies in a respectful
way that I was hoping you might appreciate, but with a little bit
of an edge, too, because when someone is as edgy as yourself, I
always assume they can take it as well as dish it out. I believe
I unintentionally pushed a button with you, you felt insulted, and
this provided you with the impetus to create my very own page on
your site, taking the time and effort to lift images of my art,
etc. I'm glad to have my art on your site, in addition to the link,
because it looks great anywhere.
You start out your last
letter very fairly, giving me some facts about "what you do here."
If you don't respect me as a person or an artist, I can appreciate
that. As far as how I present my art and my site goes, I am trying
to appeal to the widest possible audience, internationally (not
to cynical atheists only). I'm not sure where you read my "rave
reviews" about my own work, but I do find that people who are not
steeped in art history and theory like a little bit of explanation
to go with theoretical art. So, that's all I'm doing. I use inflated
language because that's the way I like to write. If you go to museums,
you'll usually find brief statements about the work being shown
posted with it. I'm not likening my art to museum art, just illustrating
Also, if you look at
the web sites of many artists, you'll see it's pretty standard practice
to post a curriculum vitae. Many artists post all of their shows
and awards received. I think mine is very modest in comparison.
Because this practice is beneath you, I will humbly defer to your
rebelliousness against convention.
35 years ago, Andy Warhol
appropriated most of his imagery from advertising and other sources.
If you don't like or respect him, fine - I just want to be sure
you know that many artists of his stature use this technique quite
often. And they also sometimes use them more than once, if you can
believe that! As far as calling the found images I use "my own,"
you're making another mistake. The appropriated images themselves
are not my own, but in the contexts of my compositions, they become
parts of artworks which are my own. I can think of many cartoonists
and illustrators who came before you and whose work yours very much
resembles. Saying my work is "slight manipulations of other people's
stuff" is dead wrong. The images are found, the artwork is mine.
We all draw inspiration from somewhere. Also, I must correct your
reference to me saying that I promise to be more exciting and provocative.
I was referring only to my news entries, and not to myself or my
I disagree with spirituality
not being painful for you. Let's look at your recent past as a neurotic,
ill-adjusted, CHRISTIAN? At least I can say I have never been a
Christian. I'm not sure you were a Christian per se, I'm pretty
sure you were, having followed the beliefs of your parents? At any
rate, you believed in God not too long ago. I think when you come
to peace with your past self, you will find Christian-bashing much
less interesting. I think the inspiration for Jesus Dress-Up did
come from a negative history, as does the choice for green hair
("I know! I'll dye my hair green and that way no one, including
myself, will ever mistake me for a Christian again!").
On being funny: Your
pretending that your quotes I sited from your (my) web page are
something I actually said is certainly a laugh-riot ala Don Rickles.
Or perhaps you really did forget you had written these things, or
just couldn't decipher my very difficult email? In this case, this
symptom of simple-mindedness might qualify you for your own Special
People Club. I don't wan't to be nasty, don't need to be, I'm sorry
you feel like you have to. I will continue to enjoy your site and
the hits I receive from it.
Two more of your fine
"I am going to assume that your repeated attempts to get me at
your site were so that I would give you a blunt opinion of your
I wouldn't have minded
an opinion of my work, but what I was after principally was a link
on your site. Hell Yeah! A link from your million-hit a month site!
Sue me! And who is presenting a high estimate of his own opinions
"I am at the point
in my life where I choose to NOT have discussions (debate anissue
like spirituality or art)"
Bob, if you will be kind
enough to post this letter as well, I will be happy to call our
debate quits. I know it's long, but I'd appreciate it. My wife Larysa,
who is a very cute and sexy atheist, believes that our debate is
the most interesting thing on your site. Maybe you could convince
her to send you a fan mail letter and a picture. Lastly, you split
an infinitive here ("to NOT have").
say I am a little surprised that you are sending me letters that
you are sending to Bob. Primarily they address differences of opinion
that you two have over your work, and your previous emails to him.
Although I am certainly a fan of Bob's site, I do not know him personally,
and was not trying to advocate his point of view, but rather my
own. I have always grown up with a high level of exposure to art,
my Uncle is a prominent art collector (primarily art deco and south/central
American art) in Boston, and although I certainly do not have a
surfeit of artistic ability, I have been exposed to art that I have
found evocative, extraordinary, "good", interesting, puzzling and
even poor. My reaction to your site was primarily fueled by your
art falling into that last category. As you have kindly included
me in this correspondence between Bob and yourself, let me make
this brief assessment of your, shall we say, MO.
art is not bad, it is without the ability to evoke feeling, or thought.
You are hardly making any original statements, and the work itself
utterly lacks both beauty, feeling, or any other quality, positive
or negative, that would make the observer stop for a moment and
just think. In short, you seem to regard art as a form of expression,
yet your art is singularly mute.
your art is mute, it is a tragedy that you are not similarly impeded.
Your responses to me have been reasonable responses to criticism,
which amounts to me saying, "I don't like your work." This is all
well and good, after all, "there can be no debate over matters of
taste."(although an honest attempt at it can yield interesting results.)
Bob however, seems to have expressed considerably more in his commentary,
and your responses to that have been, what I would characterize
as, "passive aggressive." For example, "I am trying to appeal to
the widest possible audience, internationally (not to cynical atheists
only)." In the context of your letter's dryly polite tone, this
is a rather quick and dirty characterization. In one fell swoop
you have intimated that you (attempt) to appeal to an audience broader
than the (e.g. presumably) mind of a "cynical atheist."
this is the point where you really lost the shred of credibility
you had with me. Up to this point I have been working under the
assumption that you are an annoying speck, but you have actually
managed to piss me off. I thought you were simply one of the untold
number of people who "attempt art" and fail, and who in their time,
fade and die without leaving a scar upon the world. The bare fact
is, until this letter, all you had going against you in my eye's
was pretension and ignorance, but now, you got nasty, and furthermore,
you stepped out of the realm of art (a notable refuge both for the
unrecognized genius... and everyone else.), and into the much more
objective realm of language, and logic. In one word you ceased to
bore me, and began to make me rather cross. The word was "cynic".
Ask your wife, who you say is an atheist, how often people have
discredited her belief as mere "cynicism" pessimism, used another
in a set of dismissive catchalls.
you fail to recognize is the difference between a cynic, and a skeptic.
A cynic automatically assumes that "something smells fishy" whereas
a skeptic will not buy a "Rolex" from a lad on the street for 50
dollars. A Cynic, when presented with the question of religion may
well draw the same conclusions as a skeptic, but upon examination,
their opinions will be as unfounded in thoughtful analysis as a
on the other hand, will not accept a claim without reasonable evidence.
Yes, there can be an endless debate over what is reasonable evidence,
and yes, some people will claim to be skeptical, when they are simply
deaf. It does not take long for someone who is even marginally bright,
to realize with whom they are dealing. Cynics do not allow for the
opinions of others, and do not recognize them. Skeptics do not necessarily
accept the views of others, but can acknowledge them, even if they
may seem outlandish to him or her.
that the primary appeal of Bob's site, the appeal that really drew
me in, was his response to hate mail. Lets face it, he trashed the
people who trashed him, but in a manner that showed a better way
to trash, and that set a standard for dialogue. Of course, people
continue as they will, but it gave the viewers a notion of where
Bob was coming from. There was a stress on grammar, the quality
of thought and the ability of the individual to express that thought
in writing. As time has gone on, his responses no longer contain
grammatical reprimands, and indeed, the hate mail he posts tend
to be more based in a genuine reaction to his site, rather than
a "Die you devil worshiper! Take down the site or the pope will
declare a crusade..." threat. I think that Bob still has the same
dim view of grammatical error, although I am only guessing here.
I think that his point however has been made, the humour in that
subject spent, and a more genuine note of inquiry has risen. This
is not a guy who is looking for targets to paste. He has put together
a delicious piece of satire that is humorous, and gives the honest
opinions of an atheist, in response to the beliefs of others who