CANDY CANES by Geoffrey Greene


Japanese Rice Paper, Acrylic & Oil on Canvas in 2 pcs - 78" x 36"

1996 - Collection Michael Hirschorn, NYC

Unstretched & Unstrung

Mike Hirschorn, legendary tastemaker of VH1 & Atlantic Monthly fame (now head of Ish Entertainment) bought this and another, larger, picture called "The Red Indian Painting" back in the mid-90s. One afternoon he appeared at my studio on a surprise visit and picked them out - one for himself and one for his girlfriend at the time. As neither would come anywhere close to fitting in a cab, we took them right off the wall and carried them a few blocks through the streets to his place. "Candy Canes" found a cozy nook on the far side of the loft with no problem - but the enormous "Red Indian" painting would not fit even the expansive main wall, so he was forced to go back and chose a smaller picture. I unstretched "Red Indian", rolled it up and took it back to the studio.

Mike gave a lot of parties, his parties were (are?) famous. After months of invitations, and everyone telling me (rightly) that there were people at his parties who might be good to know, I finally gave in and showed up... and ended the night shitfaced. I mean smashed, sozzled, totally incoherent - slobberin' drunk! I made a mighty ass of myself, insulting people, pouring all Mike's whiskey down the drain (don't ask why) and groping any woman who couldn't manage to get out of the way fast enough. It's amazing somebody didn't break my face or call the cops or something. After that everyone agreed that Geoff was sho nuff his own worst enemy, I have to admit they were right that night.

Mike and I were pretty good friends then and he was cool about it; we patched things up and everything was fine again, just without the party invites - until I did the exact same thing a year or so later, when his new wife Liz took a shine to me and convinced Mike to give me another shot at the big time. Funny thing is I'm not really a drinker at all; I guess the company of New York A-listers intimidates me. I'm no networking expert but I can advise you that it's really difficult when your tongue keeps blurbling through your lips and your legs are liquifying underneath you while you're trying to make cocktail chat.

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