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BALTIMORE – You better be here. That’s all I’m saying. Martha Cooper has a show at Gallery 788 on Feb 4th, at 7pm – 3602 Hickory Ave / Hampden / 3602 Hickory Ave

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#TBT 23 years ago I took this photo. I was going to college in Baltimore and came up to New York for the first time. The city was new and I wandered around endlessly and took hundreds of photos. One of the photos I took was of the chairs in this cafe I loved. I don’t remember much other than it had great coffee and classical paintings on the walls. Recently Lori Zimmer told me about Caffe Reggio. It was the first cafe in the US to serve Cappuccino’s. It also has a 16th century painting from the school of Caravaggio and a bench from the Medici Family. So went there and true to her word, it was/is amazing. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d been there before. So I came home and I dug through my archives. Sure enough, it’s the same place in my photo. Took me nearly 25 years to find it again, but I finally did! The picture is actually a xerox transfer that I made from the original negative. The last ‘real’ job I had was in Kinkos Copies in Baltimore on Charles Street (RIP). I was a terrible employee and I was on the verge of quitting and starting my own business. I’d spend my entire shift printing stuff for myself and friends. I can remember Bill Stevenson coming in and asking me to xerox tattoo flash for Seth Ciferri. When I wasn’t doing stuff for friends, I’d take my old film negatives and make prints on the color copier. Back then it was expensive to get color copies made, and ink jet printers weren’t that readily available. So I’d copy hundreds of 11×17 prints. Then, At night I’d sneak into the Maryland Institute College of Art print shop and use their litho presses. I had graduated a few years prior, but I guessed the combination one night and got it, so I kept sneaking in. To make xerox transfers, I’d sandwich the color copy in-between two pieces of archival paper. Then douse it with xylene or lacquer thinner. The solvents would start to dissolve the ink and I would run it through the litho press. It would transfer the dissolved ink to the paper yielding a print. I would use up to a gallon of xylene to make hundreds of these transfer prints. Since I was technically breaking into the print shop i never knew when I would get caught or what would happen if I did so I would work till the sun came up. I heard from students that in the morning the smell was so obnoxious from the xylene that they’d have to delay the start of class. Whoops. Who would have thought that after nearly a quarter of a century that things would come full circle and I’d find myself in the same Cafe that I went into on my first trip to New York. good times.

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Keep keepin’ on I don’t care what they say #TMNT

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For the New Years Eve party that I co hosted with Lori Zimmer Natalie Kates and Ron English I did a series of laser cut tyvek lamp shades that incorporated all the names of people involved with the party. Here is a close up of one of them.

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around 1998 an 18 year old skinny graffiti kid who went by the name CEK emailed me asking to work at my screenprint shop in Baltimore. We worked together for a year or two but I hadn’t seen him since then. During the New Years Eve party that I was hosting with Natalie Kates and Lori Zimmer a guy came up to me and said hello. I drew a blank until he introduced himself. It was Chris Keating (CEK) from Yeasayer. It’s been nearly two decades since I’ve seen him. Back then I was doing portraits of many of the people I was friends with, including Chris. This is a painting that I did of him. I can’t explain how much I fucking love seeing people pursue their dreams and passions and finding a way to make a living off of it. That feeling is compounded when it’s someone from Baltimore who has done well. I feel lucky that I was able to see the beginning of the path that Chris has taken. If you are not familiar with YEASAYER check them out. They’re pretty fucking amazing – www.yeasayer.net

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COME CELEBRATE! tomorrow night with a slew of amazing artists and people like Ron English Crocheted Olek Jon Burgerman Lori Zimmer Natalie Kates Buff Monster and tons of others will help usher in the New Year. Less than 50 admission tickets remaining Pick up tix at: http://grandlifehotels.myshopify.com/

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Found this while ‘rural’ exploring today. Yes, it’s what you think it is. No i have no idea of why it was there or quadruple wrapped in black plastic and waterproofed. WTF

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If your son gets “night vision spy glasses” for Christmas. you should probably expect him to use them all the time. like when reading before sleep

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Party people in the house. Join me New Years Eve at the Tribeca Grand Hotel with Natalie Kates, Lori Zimmer, Buff Monster, Ron English, Jon Burgerman and Crocheted Olek

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FB friends please enjoy this 50% off coupon to buy my Respirator design from Indivisual Clothing. Use code “HOHO2014″ at checkout. Good till Thursday for the entire online catalog. Nog Cheers!

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