How Juicy Got All The Boys (Peter Saul painter of terrors)


We have a point in our childhood when we start to have sexual feelings even desires. It makes baseball seem so childish compared to skirt chasing. I was in a high school art's program left over from the Smith-Hughes Act a war time measure to help vets with high school by making high school more like trade school. So it was very diverse group very geeky in a school with 5000 boys and no girls. My old Artpolice pal Andy used to always insist that the gay population was 10% although when I got to art school I was convinced the ratio was wrong. The high school had a few flaming creatures but art school the gay boys were much more aggressive they'd give me fancy art books on Breughel for the pleasure of my company. I was bewildered I was getting no where with the art girls whilst the boys were giving me presents! It did seem as if being queer might be smart for the arts- Larry Rivers the famous painting wrote something in this area, I had a teacher after my lil'17 year ass, he was calling my house - he was having trouble with no as a final answer. In California the queerness let up a little. On the coast race was more in the art schools and Asian in particular. Ray Yoshita and Arthur Okamura were friends I had as professors I studied  with Ray in Chicago and Art in Oakland - maybe I was just Art's t.a. it's so fucking long ago. Ray was nice and popular, he left people alone which is what we wanted. Art was nice darker thinking than Ray, more bitter. Art's students seemed to be tripping when they painted. Quiet most on acid. Bad paintings But you do feel like your in Asian area in San Francisco - it's like a minature  Manhattan, or like those little Japanese Bonsai trees  - San Francisco is a theme park in parts and areas. In Oakland in those days 1967-8 we had the Black Panther Party (for self-defense) as our neighbors. So for my last seminar Peter Saul (one of my favorite painters alive) just put the Cramps on I'm A Garbageman )- Peter really came down on my work hard, he felt it was too rich too middle-class - too orderly. Saul just thinksz he's so cool cuz he sells the rich man the Viet Nam Mural for over the big tv.. And he was right and wrong, at first I lurched towards Peter's work then over time I saw how he sucked up all the air in those stylistic territories. I evolved into a much more complicated artist and a writer after a fashion.I wish I could frame the things Peter said to me back then walking up Broadway avenue towards my place near MacArthur Park. He is ten more years older than me but in those days he made me feel so naive. Peter Saul is a treasure and still I'm glad I was'nt around him much. He taught for a long time in Austin Univ.of Texas, he was a great teacher very smart and inspiring and he is a less appreciated master because he was political and spoke his mind. I'd say that conversation with Peter Saul walking home after an MFA exam was a very critical experience for me as a young artist. And his criticism always was helpful even sometimes when it was painful.