When the Roosters come home to Roost
People continue to ask me what is occurring with Jack Smith’s work, which has been under threat for four years since one of the strangest sagas of my life began.
It started as the cab pulled up in front of my building in 2002. I was returning from the most harrowing tour of my life with a group of young women who were all with the exception of Scarlet Harlot ,Leslie Bull ,Carol Leigh and myself under age 30. It was the Sex Workers Art Show Tour . This idea like the idea of ‘gay role models’ fills me with distrust and a kind of embarrassment. I mean, why not have The Plumbers Art Show Tour? It makes as much sense. but as we know SEX SELLS SOAP. At the time however I decided to give the ringleader of Sex Worker Arts Show , Tara the benefit of the doubt in the face of my complete bitter paranoia which is based on repeatedly being fucked over by women my entire life…I had been booked on to the Sex Worker Art Show Tour without being asked if I wanted to go , if I was available for the dates etc AND booked across country in 30 cities by this Tara who parades as Annie Oakley ( managing to hide her identity publicly while outing everyone else) At the time I thought itwas simply a mistake, that she had been excited about having me on the tour and simply didn’t know (????) that you have to book someone BEFORE you book the gig. Later I realized , she just used my name to book her tour, since she couldn’t book anything on the strength of her own NON-Performance skills. At the end of the 30 city tour which turned out to be an inhumane and emotionally dehabilating experience, where I had to watch fragile women who had lived and survived sexual lives of extraordinary abuse, which they managed to transform into art, be used and manipulated, marginalized and discarded because Tara (Annie Oakley ) found them too hard hitting for the kind of Up With Sex Workers feeling she was trying to project..the reality is that three of these women, Ariel Lighting Child, Leslie Bull and Emmy, were the artists with the most emotive weight on the tour but they were marginalized by either as in ariel’s case NOt having her films show (too depressing concluded Tara) or having thier time cut Like Leslie Bull , who had something to say that NO ONE else was going to say because FEW if any whores survive what she survived and she is so wonderously articulate about her experience, and Emmy , whose abusive background was triggered on the tour and who almost immediately started to decompensate (She who as an ACADEMIC) had the most to lose by revealing herself, was continually treated not as an emotionally fragile and ill girl but as an inconvience. These unique women were marginalized, while those who bounced about cheery with a Saturday Night Live Lite style “Isn’t Sex Work Powerful” vibe were continually given more time. To be blunt it was a Popularity Contest. I had to face that this was the reality and the basic foundation of all relationships of women in groups…it had changed little since junior high school. The failure of feminisn is the reality that women seem to always betray each other.
In this cabal on wheels I had to contend with women who wanted to promote themselves as daring prostitutes while putting down the men who had been their clients , aggrandizing themselves for their ‘courage’ but at the same time making it very clear that they wanted to be performers, artists NOT prostitutes. So the message was pathetic..and weak as well as focused on a pseudo queer premise (note the small “q”)since one can’t actually be queer and be willing to marginalize ANYONE.
I also had to contend with the agesim that is rife in the under 35 year old world of women (and cnstantly be introduced with the caveat that I had the best and firmest breasts of the lot) Then there was the rampant careerism and lack of empathy and respect that hordes of priveleged tattooed twats across the country ooze while claiming to be feminists. But that is a different story than the one I am telling today.
As the cab driver chugged out the receipt in front of my house on my return from 30 days on the road with a few of most self congratuatory, self absorbed truits (Dutch for evil cunts) I had ever encountered in my life. I leaned back in the cab..suddenly I started up and thought out of nowhere..”Oh my god , I hope Jack Smith’s sister doesn’t decide she wants Jack’s work after 13 years…I brushed the feeling off and walked up the 5 flights. Upstairs I greeted my loving partner Chris, who gleefully allows me the freedom and adventure I need to feel right in myself..after embracing he frowned and handed me an open envelope. “I’m sorry “he said,”I wanted to check if it was important and it was ..but I didn’t want to worry you while you were already under so much stress. I thought it could wait till you got home.”
I looked at the envelope, it was from a law office..the first page read..that Jack Smith’s sister wanted the art work of her brother Jack, the work and debts of the brother she hadn’t seen since 1953…because she hated his homosexuality and he hated her values.
After Jack died in 1989 many of the people who had been his acolytes gathered and wanted to operate by committee. I had been caring for Jack like a child, like a brother, a father and a lover and he had made his wishes completely clear to me. Shortly after his death despite my trying to include then as best I could, my life became a living hell as slander and lies and misinformation poured out about me from certain of the people who couldn’t control Jack during his life and now wanted to control him after his death.This is not the only time this has occured to me,I experienced the same thing when Jeff Buckley died, and when Quentin Crisp died.
Year and years ago when I was 21 ,living on the island of Formentera in Spain, I found myself first placed high on a pedstal among the expats there ( a motley band of drug dealers, hippies, social rejects and recluses)and then without even being aware I had been on the pedestal, I found my self thrown down. “Why ?” I asked my friend Richard Hanneman , after he retold teh rumors taht were passing arond this tiny island about me “Well, Penny ” he repled, insightful as ever, “People think that you are too smart to be good.”
There were certain people who had long and complicated relationships with Jack. Jack had love/hate relationships with everyone I can think of except Margot Howard Howard the great drag queen…he was mesmerized by her..perhaps because in her he found a match for his cruelty. His friends and acolytes included Charles Alcroft, Ivan Galietti, Bill Niederkorn, Michael Oppedisano, Uzi Parnes and Ela Troyano. All of them were from a different generation than I and had known Jack in a different way than I, who had met Jack when I was a teenager in the late 60’s when Jack was younger and a good deal less paranoid and bitter, and part of a varied scene of artists from all mileurs, every bit as talented and unique as he was. I had experienced the special relationship that one has when one is very young and is beloved by much older people, when one is in awe of the the older, more confident enties and clearly accepts that these magical creatures are giants and one, like a human Toto becomes a mascot of sorts…perhaps HM Koutoukas said it best when he called out to me at the Jackie Curtis film premier..”Look! Here comes Penny Arcade, the little sister of the Avantegarde.”
Things were quite different in the late 70’s and 80’s when Jack was isolated from the community of his peers and his life became more and more filled with younger people,naby fresh out of art school,many who were trying to become artists and who as enamoured as they were with the glamour of Jack’s legendary but now publicly passe glory, couldn’t really tolerate Jack’s cruelty, disinterest and paranoia about their real motivations in knowing him.
“I refuse to fertilize these brain pickers” he would often say about no one in particular..or “They’re sweet but their work is hopeless”
I have thought many times through the past 3 years as I suffered from the campaign of disinformation and out right lies that Mary Jordan and Irving Rosenthal spread about me after my years of toiling with Jim Hoberman to build the legacy that Jack Smith, deserved , that could be passed down to generations of artists, of writing to Charles Alcroft, Ivan Galietti, Bill Niederkorn , Uzi Parnes , and Ela Troyano as well as to Michael and Mary Sue Slater, Jack’s sister and nephew, about what was going on with Mary Jordan and the virulent lies that were being spun. Occasionally I found myself speaking to the very dead Michael Oppedisano , who had spread endless rumors about me and had after Jack’s death been the ringleader of paranoid delusions about me. Michael had continued his demented relationship with Jack, by projecting his hatred and paranoia to me.
Mary Jordan came into my life telling me how much she admired my devotion and committment to Jack Smith’s legacy. She had waited after a performance of New YOrk Values, my 1992 autiosy on the death deathh of Bohemia that was built around my understanding at age 50 of what Jack Smith had tried to explain to me and make me undertand when I was 32 and he was 50. Jordan started out ingratioating herself but soon set about to destroy my reputation and erase the history of my friendship and committment to Jack using the resentment towards me by some of Jack’s friends and acolytes as a shovel to pry open an endless Pandora’s box of insinuations, rumours, and out and out lies about me and my role in Jack’s life and death.
Most of this time since the initial court case and since the day that Jordan came ostensibly to interview me about Jack’s work, proferred a lit joint to me and proceeded to ask me inflammatory questions about why I hadn’t called Jack’s family to tell them he had been in the hospital, I have been in a position where I had no public platform against a campaign of disinformation aimed at undermining the only thing I have ever really cared about, my reputation for my personal integrity. Being ambushed in an interview, while being gotten stoned is a bizarre experience.Then suddenly being asked questions about events that had occured 14 years out of the blue WHILE on camera , was one of the most evilly premeditated experiences of my life.After about three minutes of questioning ,I rose to my feet screaming at Jordan, “Who are you? You are not a real filmmaker! Who are you trying to collect this material for?”
The horror of this situation , this game I never planned to play with Slater,Jack’s homophobic sister the lawyer Podell, Jordan and in the background always , Irving Rosenthal, has wratched up it’s pressure in the past three years. I have also been too sick, and too resentful towards the people who were slandering my name and casting aspertions on my motivations while the tried to enroll people who didn’t know me or even people who had never met me into a suspicious and distrustful view of me, to ever publically address my side of the story.
It was at the court case, instigated by Jordan using the contract she signed with Hoberman for the use of Jack’s films in her documentary ( a documentary I championed Jordan to make after she presented me with phoney information about her non-existant human rights films..She has, in fact NEVER completed a film until this one on Jack.Try googling her name…all you get is her work on this film of Jack and her self aggrandizement as an award winning filmmaker but with out one shred of proof.Inagine an award winning film maker without one review or credit anywhere on the internet )It was through Mary Jordan that I became aware of evil as Jack defined it.Some people like Jack continue to teach you and torture you from beyond the grave.
The stress I was under with that court case and the slanderous lies circulating about me and my partner in the archive Jim Hoberman pushed my health over the edge as it did Jim’s . We both had serious illness in these past few years, in my case Hepatitis C , previously dormant became very ,very much AWAKE when i started dealing with Jordan, always ready to bring a fivolous lawsuit since she has endless finacial resources to hire lawyers .When I returned from court Jan 30th 2003 after a hearing in front of Judge Eve Preminger that lasted 6 minutes where our side of the case wasn’t even heard, I had to go to bed for 3 days…with what my immigrant italian mother Anotinette Parisi would have diagnosed as the EVIL EYE. I had felt fine before I saw them at court and then after court where i ws exposed for an hour or more to their direct evil vibe I felt as if I had been in a car accident..every muscle in my body seized up. That was the level of the stress and the palapable feeling of evil in the court room.
Later in the press, in The Village Voice and on NPR , like everyone else we learned the history of the court case . Jordan took the contract for the use of Jack’s films , which the Plaster Foundation archive signed with her (for $13,000 for up to 40 minutes of film,) and Jordan gave the contract to Irving Rosenthal ( Jack spent the end of his life in fear over Rosenthal getting his hands on his work which is the main reason why Jack left me in charge of his work)
Rosenthal then contacted Jack’s sister, Mary Sue Slater , who Jack hadn’t seen since 1953, and whom he had hired a lawyer to represent him against in the settling of heir Mother’s estate in 1977…the rancour Jack felt towards her was well known at his death bed …Jack didn’t even want her notfied of his death, it was I who I contacted her out of compassion)
Rosenthal told her that Hoberman and I were , according to research done by Mary Jordan , SELLING Jack’s work. Of course, the fact that we had never in 14 years sold ANYTHING of Jack’s photos or anything considered his art work, and that the only people we would consider selling to were people who would buy Jack’s work and donate it to major museums, The one person who wanted to do this was collector Kourosh Larodosh of LA..(a major collector of artist Mike Kelly) and he only wanted to spend $7,500 in 2000 for three major pieces of Jack’s work, We had asked for $25,000 , hoping to be able to cover storage for sometime , with the hope tha twith the publicity after teh PS 1 show , a museum would soon accept Jack’s work .. Every cent of rentals and any other monies that came into The Plaster Foundation, went only into restoration or storage fees but this idea was beyond Jordan’s or the people that she was interviewing’s understanding..anyway these are largely people who spread rumors, and jump to the conclusions of what they would do if they were in a similar situation rather than CALL AND ASK either me or Hoberman. Naturally I know the pool of people whom Jordan says she got this information from. Since I have been slandered by this same pool of people for years it wasn’t a big surprise. Now I think people should know where their slandering , rumor mongering and self interest has gotten Jack ‘s legacy .
As of right now, a sale is pending to only ONE person which will leave Mary Jordan in charge of Jack’s work…by the time the cabal of people who thought they were protecting Jack’s work from me by supporting Jordan figures out the reality of the situation…Jack’s work will be completely compromised.
Why this situation , which can only be called an ART HEIST is not publically announced , and why there is not an open bidding among not -for -profit institutions for this body of work that I scraped the cat shit, and human excrement off of is very depressing to me. I saved nearly every piece of paper out of that hovel and as the saying goes, no good deed is rewarded.
I managed to hold on to that space and protect it from demoliton s for two full years while trying to to save the apartment and the walls which Jack had modified and painted.
Jack asked me to destroy his work, not metaphorically, but specifically in the month before he died, because he didn’t trust the strength of the people who knew him to stand up against Rosenthal. I convinced him otherwise and now in many ways I am sorry I didn’t just take everything for myself as I have been so often accused of doing and even I can now see why Jack asked me to burn it to avoid it falling into the wrong hands.
We at the Plaster Foundation learned through CCarr’s article in the VV how this court case had come to be. The obvious case of Mary Sue Slater abandoning her brothers debts as well as his apartment and work was never considered in the 6 minute arraignment, and we were never able to present our case, reasons stemming no doubt from the actions of the Probate office to whom we went to for relief in 1994 and which is part of the Surrogate’s Court.
Since Jack’s death , I have had to put up with every kind of false allegation for the same reason..no one ever calls and asks..they just spread rumors, for instance, in 1990 when with the fear that the landlord was going to destroy Jack’ apartment, which I spent almost one year then trying to save as a museum..(and I have the paperwork to prove it,) We very delicately attempted to remove the main mural of the salon. Afte hours of painstaking work we discovered that it was painted on two seperate sheets of rubber and plastered around and nailed on all 4 sides, the holes are still visible.
When some of the people who think they knew Jack best saw the two parts of the mural put up at Lincolm Center, (hello displayed at Lincoln Center as the honored art work, less than ONE year after jack’s death after Jack was living and dying for nearly 20 years in poverty and obscurity) no one called me and asked why it was in two..they just immediately started saying I had vandalized it and cut it in two because I was what??? stupid ? no they said I was greedy and wanted ‘two ‘ Jack Smith paintings.
So rest assured I was used to be treated in this way , despite my real attempts to recognize jack’s friends and acolytes, despite the fact that Jack himself DID NOT WANT to recognize anyone else and only acknowleged me and Ira Cohen because after we suggested everyone he knew..we were the only names we HADN”T suggested to him..
I am accused of ‘taking stuff out of Jack’s apartment’ , even when people knew full well that the slides and Jack’s films HAD to be removed and were done so in front of Hoberman and with the help of Uzi Parnes. Mr Parnes then WROTE a letter to Hoberman , telling Hoberman where we had taken the film cannisters etc , despite the fact that Hoberman KNEW where Parnes and I were going when he left Jack’s building.
No one mentions my letting Bill Neiderkorn copy all Jack’s records, letting everyone and anyone document the space, or more tellingly, distributing Jack’s ashes to his friends, something I had suggested and which he agreed to when he didn’t know what he wanted done with his cremated remains. Lets take a poll and see who among these people had the nerve to ask Jack what to do with his body after his death???
. Nor do they ever talk about my opening the door to all who were his friends, whether they liked me or not , after Jack’s sister took what she wanted out of the apartment, and then his friends took Jack’s household effects. or my giving Patrick Pardo, the archivist at PS1 the names and numbers of everyone who were his friends and my distrbuiting Pardo’s number to all is also forgotten.
Meanwhile , even Michael Oppedisano , eventually had to change his opinion on both my motivation and my actions after he saw the extent of what I saved and what was presented at PS1 1997-1998 and my dogged preserverence in getting Jack this recognition within ten years of Jack’s death.
Some went around saying to anyone who would listen “Penny Arcade is building her reputation on Jack Smith.”..as if that is even possible since the art world doesn’t respect anyone who saves another artists work, from Baudelaire with the work of Poe on down, there is nothing in it except the satisfaction one derives from upholding ones own principals. Well, I shouldn’t say that no one can make a career off of Jack Smith, as Mary Jordan is trying to do just that…Many have started to refer to her as “Jack Jordan” as she distorts Jack’s ideas , creates ‘art’ of her own from Jack’s work and changes some of the basic reality of his life with statements like “Well, we don’t know if Jack was gay because he was very private..we know he loved women.”
but I digress…the reality of the response to my accepting Frank Moore’s offer to honor Jack at Lincoln Cnetr at Serious Fun in 1990 and recreating Jack’s salon, with no commentary from me other than finding the where with all to create a beautiful high quality printing so that the art world would take Jack more seriously resulted in my being disparaged…even though I replicated Jack’s salon on the very day my show Bitch!Dyke!Faghag!Whore! OPENED ..as it was the only day it could be done within union rules…as if ANY other artist would put their own work second, put more effort into a friends show than into their own, to create PUBLICITY for a dead artists or even a live artist!!!!
I was villafied..meanwhile many of Jack’s so called friends and acolytes attended the tacky shows which Mary Jordan advertised “as the greatest collection of jack Smith’s work since PS 1 retrospective, where she copied the scans of Jack’s work she was given to consider for her film, endangering further the value of Jack’s work, not to mention making ‘bad ‘art’ (and I use the word ‘art ‘ with great reluctance here ) she went on to ‘copy’ Jack’s signature and do things with Jack’s images that any one who ever knew Jack knew would have driven Jack into a murderous rage…yet there was never one peep from ANYONE from the group that villified me so often.no petitions were sent around to be signed, no one objected to what Mary Jordan did with Jack’s imagery ANY way, nor did anyone object to Mary Jordan saying she was a world authority on the work of Jack Smith, not one word from the people who jumped all over my name, who had legitamite insight into various periods of Jack’s work and in some cases his personal life and artistic and political philosophy.
Mary Jordan, in cahoots with Albert Podell, the lawyer for Mary Sue Slater who was Irving Rosenthal’s college roommate ,was able to go around NY and get people to cast many aspersions on my name and motivation however none of these people would go on camera with these charges, with these accusations, (the young man who originally worked on Jordan’s film but later suffered a breakdown apologised to me after telling his ex girlfriend that “Penny Arcade is the villian in our film about Jack Smith” yet the support Mary Jordan got from many of these people, not only verbally against my history with Jack Smith , most of whom, had no idea how long I had known Jack, but with claims that I met Jack the day before he went into the hospital, that I stole his keys etc but they also supported Jordan with free donations of videotapes, photographs and voice overs of Jack, as Jordan convinced peopel of her poverty meanwhile she is every inch the trust fund brain picker who instead of sharing her wealth , hides her wealth off shore, claimng poverty , and claiming socialist and anarchist philosophy, plagues the truly poor and threatens and brings lawsuits like others pay for coffee at the corner deli. Just the type that Jack despised above all others , and these friends of Jack allowed Ms Jordan’s rampant obsession of being the world authority on Jack and the sole true defender of Jack’s legacy…to grow and grow. Giving her greater and greater pwer with Mrs Slater who had absolutely no interest in Jack or his work once she revieved the $50,000 in bearer bonds which Jack gave me…which I turned over to her so she would not destroy the ‘homosexual work” that she thought was garbage and should be destroyed”…no one stopped to think…why would I , who had no money, who is from a working class and impoverished peasant background, why would I have turned over $50,000 in bonds worth well over $250,000 on maturation (2012) while still paying $750 in interest each quater…which NON ONE ELSE EVEN KNEW EXISTED …why would I have turned them over? why didn’t I turn over $1,000 or $5,000…why all of it????Because I wanted to insure that Mary Sue Slater in her rage toward Jack’s being favored by their mother, would not under any circumstances allow the landlord to regain the apartment to dumpster the whole place.
and I was right. She took the money and fled.
However, thanks to Rosenthal and Jordan, who convinced Mrs Slater that Jack’s work was worth over $4million dollars and that we, Penny Arcade and Jim Hoberman had hidden the reality of this EXTREMELY VALUABLE ARTWORK, from Mrs Slater and were selling Jack’s work left and right and had amassed a fortune .. offering as their proof the contract for S13,000 for up to 40 minutes of Jack’s film (anyone who makes film knows the reality is that someone making a documentary would use only a few minutes of film.) Jordan who was completetly naive regarding Jack’s work managed to convince Mrs Slater that Jack was a painter..and that I had removed all these valuable paintings that he had painted, as if Jack’s apartment at 21 St Ave was hng like the Louvre!
After nearly 16 years of The Plaster Foundation carefully restoring Jack’s work and never so much as buying stamps or buying a cup of coffee on money that came in from Jack’s art work , while we attempted to raise Jack’s artistic profile in order to attract the interest of a public institution in taking Jack’s work in it’s entirety while making it accessible to the public and to scholars, in comes Mary Jordan who was able in one year to create smear campaign that for some reason, once again , without any investigation , people who considered themselves friends and acolytes of Jack’s bought lock , stock and barrel into her point of view and story in an unquestioning and wholesale way, giving Mr Podell more grist for the mill with acccusations of The Plaster Foundation selling Jack;’s work, stories of my “stealing” stuff from Jack’s apartment etc. not to mention simply making accusation publically that were never made directly to us and consistantly undermining our integrity and reputations.
The reason why I went for two years trying to save Jack’s apartment and his work that was on the walls but stopped at the point where I would have to perjure myself in court was because I knew if I lied in order to save Jack’s work , one of these disgruntled, unthinking ,supposed friends of Jack would roll out the ‘law’ on me in a second , sacrificing Jack’s work in order to prove that I had some ulterior, self aggrandizing or self enriching scheme in mind.
This is the same reason I didn’t file the Will Jack asked me to write down as he dictated it,with Probate. The Will he dictated in front of Ira Cohen, which was later witnessed by Mitch Markowitz and Kurt Lavine, when Jack realizing he was truly failing in health and attempted to sign it, making his mark But here too people went after Lavine , causing him to question what he saw. Did people really want Jack work saved????
I knew that there would be people who would have issues that my name was in the Will . People did have issues that my name was in the will but these people never bothered to think through that the reason the Will sat around Jack’s hospital bed was because it was JACK’s WILL and he would decide if and when he signed it…while people went around afterwords accusing me , to Mary Jordan and others, of ‘trying to get Jack to sign this Will” they somehow missed the fact that Jack was completely LUCID till the moment he went into his coma . How did that completetely escape peoples attention?
Everyone was able to read the will that asked ONLY that his work remain together in a not for profit foundation was also lost on people who were looking for the type of low behaviour
that some people imagined would be the only motivation .
However, now it is all ready to be revealed. A few months ago Mr Podell told us that out of the ether arrived a ‘multimillionaire’ unknown to him , who out of nowhere apparently read the VV story and wanted to buy Jack’s work, there by satisfying Mrs Slater’s need for money made from the sale of this ‘garbage , of homosexual sexual content’. The story we had heard in CCarr’s article about how there was a contract on the table by Mrs Slater (apparently made between Rosenthal and Slater for Rosenthal’s help in going after The Plaster Foundation) that the work would be sold to the highest bidder of a not for profit and that the work must be kept together for the public and scholars . However over the past 5 months this agreement , this contract has disappeared ..this caveat that the work must be sold to an institution open to the public and to scholars has EVAPORATED. Just as the contract that Rosenthal apparently had with Mrs Slater for the work to be removed from The plaster Foundation Archive and placed in a not for profit museum has also evaporated.
Suddenly there is just one buyer for Jack’s work, a private buyer , who will own the work privately and instead of $4 million dollars, the price is $1 million …to be split between Mrs Slater, the Plaster Foundation and Mr Podell and the lawyers ……somethng that even the greatest dullard who knew Jack would know would throw Jack into a murderous rage.
Hoberman and Arcade stated that in filed papers that they would forgoe being paid ANYTHING if the work would be placed in a proper public , not for profit institution open to the public and to scholars , where Jack’s work would be featured not buried .However , this has disappeared from the public story of our relationship to Jack’s work and legacy.
Oddly it turns out that the ‘buyer’ is none other than the producer of Jordan’s film and Jordan’s partner, Ross Morgan or as he calls himself in his new role in these transactions Ross James. .The story behind this is truly a drama.Podell claims to not know the buyer, the buyer uses two names and well it goes on and on.
When Mr Morgan or MR James went to inspect the Archive’s storage for this ‘miliion dollar’ sale, he immediately wanted to know where Jack’s paintings were..when told by our curotorial assistant Lisa bateman that Jack was not a painter, Mr Ross Morgan or James looked confused and asked where the paintings that Jack had been given by famous painters were..this of course stunning everyone present..as if Jack had ever owned Warhol’s or any other work by any artist.
Here you have it..Life is a cess pool.We must never take for granted the angels one meets. Do I regret my committement to Jack? No, however I see how deep my idealistic nature runs…I think of this as The Curse Of Jack Smith.
Indulge me as I explain..when Mitch Markowitz struggled to remove the mural in Jack’s salon in 1990 when we were under te fear of having the landlord gut the apartment and Hoberman suggested I ren-mive everything I could while I could. The mura looked like it was painted directly on the plaster of the wall and Mitch stuggeled for hours and hours as MMSerra and I tried to help. Finally Mitch , covered in plaster dust finished. MMSerra perenially optimistic and cheerful chirped “See! That wasn;t so bad!”
“No ” replied the terse Mitch…”Just hard enough so you know Jack Smith had something to do it.”