I looked all through my archives and was depressed to
find I had damned few Kleinbergs. Jim Wrinkle says this guy _will not_ trade
paintings for paintings (there's been some adament back-channel discussion on
this topic and I'm not going to get into it...) and he sure as hell isn't about
to give them away. I can only hope that Jack is going to become wildly famous
because otherwise I'll never get to see most of his work. I feel privileged
to have seen as much as I have, and apologize for only being able to show you
what I have in the way of photographs he's sent since his move from the wildly
diverse and socially disadvantaged areas of Long Beach CA he formerly haunted
to his new home in a century old icehouse
on the outskirts
(Jack has taken a look at this page and says that his domicle "is in the
throbbing vibrant heart, or somewhere close enough to the French Quarter so
that you can hear its alcoholic beating - of New Orleans, Louisiana.")
Jack would also like y'all to know that "You are as apt to see a mule drawn cart full of tourists in my neighborhood as anywhere else in New Orleans." He says the Icehouse roof leaks, and from the amount of plastic draped over everything in some of his photos, I believe him. He also says the walls are so thick a bomb could go off and you wouldn't hear it. Jim says Jack is writing poetry and declaiming on the perfidiousness of fate that made him the miserably able and brilliant artist he is. I sometimes wish I had half his handicaps. The rest of the time I'm glad I don't.
As Jack settled into New Orleans ambiance, culture, and society and parlayed his dark good looks
( I sent Jack a postcard from Montana, and he replied with a photo-card showing a recent self-portrait. Looks Absinthe-tinged to me, you know how those French Quarter bar painters are...)
(ok ... it wasn't a recent self-portrait, it was just recently sent to me. Jack says it was about 1983. I'm not gonna ask why he sent me old portrait. Ah hell, i know why - Jack is a dissapated reprobate at this point and is probably a little vain about the degree of the degeneration caused by hanging out in such a swinging town. )
into the perception that maybe he wasn't a damn yankee after all, he started to hang out around the N'orleans cafe, bar, and coffeehouse scene - sometimes in the thick of it with his hand wrapped firmly around a tumbler of JD, and other times remotely mysterious from across the intersection - painting at warp-speed in the gathering twilight as singles tentatively became couples and went on their way. This piece - which i again came by as a "postcard" - besides screaming "Danger! Neo-Fauvist on the Loose!" - gives you that "the evening's still young and full of possibility" feeling...
(ok - I was wrong about that too - Jack says this was a Long Beach California coffeehouse sometime around the end of the 80s. I dunno Jack, I think you're screwing the mystique here, maybe you should just let me make up these romantic lies about this stuff)
I'm looking at the above painting and thinking that it doesn't look near as good on either my PC or Mac screens as it does on the photo Jack sent, and the photo has to be a pisspoor representation at best and we're all losing out here big time. If you're in New Orleans, why don't you look Jack up and see if you can get a peek at some of this stuff. Call the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper - I saw from an article at friend Jim's house that they'd done a nice spread on Jack - even going so far as to call him a "positive force in the community" or some such. Jack - how you've fallen...
Did I mention Jack sculpts? Yes indeedy, all kinds of stuff, whatever you have. In the period this was done, his method seemed to be to hire a bunch of women to take off their clothes and lie around on a sofa and get drunk while Jack watched the stock ticker on CNN and chainedsawed the hell out of wads of scrap lumber he'd previously glued together. I must say, it was all quite jolly and I have been more than once the beneficiary of Jack's unstinting hand and excellent taste in cognac.
Jack has a computer, but I doubt that he's bothered to get a modem or hook it up to anything, let alone something so plebeian sounding as the World Wide Web. I've got his snail address, but you'll have to email me and I'll have to snail him and ask him if he wants to hear from you and then I'll have to email you back. Mind you, this would all be collect to you - but rest assured that if large amounts of cash are involved things could speed up most gratifyingly.
I got a letter from Jack today. He says that, much to his complete mystification he has become better known in New Orleans for his poetry than his painting, and sends along a sort of prose-poem about falling in love with an idea - maybe it was a girl - and the process of creating a series of paintings that came from that concept. Here's the text from Jack's hand (he was kind enough to type it so that I wouldn't have to try and read his writing):
I was Painting on the Esplanade at night and a young woman on a bicycle stopped and admired the picture. I thanked her and told her,- I had a long way to go before I was finished. Oh, she answered, You have it vibrating already. I looked at her as she looked at me. She told me her name and I told her mine and then she rode away. I resolved to start a bunch of new paintings and learn more about her. During the next weeks I began these paintings. Six nights of each week I was out working on the Esplanade between Bourbon St. and Dauphine St. One night I looked up and she was walking towards me, crossing Bourbon St. She was taller and seemed more mature. We exchanged greetings and she looked at the picture I was working on. Then she stepped forward to where I stood and looked at my point of view. I can see it!, She said and walked away towards the French Quarter. It is my habit to work on a painting for an hour and then rest my eyes. I allow the painting to dry for a week before I work on it again. It takes me months or even years to complete a painting. On another night, I was working on the same picture as she and another woman were walking along the Esplanade. She said to her friend without breaking stride - The master painter of the French Quarter. -, and they both giggled and skipped on down the street. The next time I saw her she was with another woman friend walking out of the Quarter and I was working on a different painting on the same corner. We exchanged greetings and her friend looked at the painting and began speaking with enthusiasm.- That's beautiful. Those colors are beautiful. I love it! I pointed to a group of windows on the third floor of the building with a walled garden I was painting and said - Sometimes it glows red and sometimes it glows blue. I had painted the window glowing red. - That's my room!, she said. Her eyes looked at me with suspicion and they walked across the street to the garden gate. Her friend left and she went inside. I continued painting and in a short while I saw her emerge from the side door and as I watched her walking away I could hear her in my head saying - Who the hell are you and what the devil are you doing? Soon afterward I noticed she'd moved. I saw a For Rent sign and the windows no longer glowed either red or blue. I finished the rest of my work, though I left the painting of the large tree in front of the garden that obscured parts of the building. One day more then a year later I decided to complete the picture. As I worked I saw a figure walking carrying a boom box behind me across the street. This person then turned and walked away into the Quarter, then turned back and there she was standing six feet from me. She looked at me and the picture and at the building and I watched her and then she walked away. I haven't seen her since.
Here are the painting images Jack sent along with
the above text. He didn't tell us what size or medium they were in (we can assume
it's oil on canvas, since that's what he does), but after he reads this maybe
he'll see the error of his ways and sort us out.
Later... (991115 ) Well - Jack didn't sort us out, and we still don't know what size they are, but for now we're showing you 6 of the 10 paintings.
Maybe Jack has a new poem, some other paintings, that he's been wanting to show us.