Cosmic Bird Mirror, 1973

This painting has always been in sight of my keyboard. For more than twenty years, the image has hovered at the periphery of vision.

A couple years ago, I got into Fimo, a polymer substance that you sculpt with your fingers like clay, and bake to a hard toxic chemical sheen in your oven. A few months ago, while I was in the middle of doing something else, I picked up a little piece of Fimo. You gotta work this stuff hard with your fingers before it softens. Then you get the sensual pleasure of rolling it into little balls.

I really didn't have any image in mind. My fingers just started piling small spheres of red on large spheres of blue, rolling out curly striped cones. It all went together into something faintly resembling an extraterrestrial ovum with sixteen eyes. Naturally, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it. I put it down on the desk, right under the painting, where it stayed for weeks. Then Lois Anderson, the Tibeto-Martian-Greco-Elvis gluegun artist of the neighborhood, came over and sat in the guest chair in my office. For some reason, the sight of her inspired me to pick up the extraterrestrial Fimo ovum, squeeze a big thick runny glob of liver-destroying-fumes glue on the flat side and stick the thing right in the center of the circle on Garuda's forehead.

E Pluribus Unum (198K)

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Last updated: February 1, 1995