para todos los callejeros y sus protectoras... para mi perro MILO... estes donde estes mi amado... cualquier pista se agradece y se recompensa:           


chateaubriand moments

Chaque homme porte en lui un monde composé de tout ce qu'il a vu et aimé,
et où il rentre sans cesse, alors meme qu'il parcours
et semble habiter un monde étranger. 
- Voyage en Italie

Which is the inner world, and which the strange outer one I only seem to inhabit? I find it hard to say, but this morning I stepped out of a dream in which you had come back only to lose you again
straight onto our misty hillside, on which my dog flashed in and out of the gloom like a fiery little deer - and it was a fairy tale all the way through....

the three ages of man/le tre età dell'uomo

5 years old: If a bad guy comes along Stef... just call me with your cell phone, and I'll come flying, LIKE SUPERMAN! And I'll knock him out - LIKE THIS!!

19 years old: You really do my head in Stef - can we get together? I know all there is to know about love.

46 years old: It's the feminists' fault all the men turned gay - not me though - I can handle a liberated woman like you.

5 anni:  Se arriva un cattivo Stef… mi chiami col tuo cellulare e io arrivo volando, COME SUPERMAN! E lo faccio fuori…così… guarda…. COSI!!!

19 anni: Mi fai stare troppo male… posso venire a casa tua? Sull’amore non ho niente da imparare.

46 anni: Colpa di voi femministe se adesso sono tutti gay… tranne io, quelle come te le so gestire.

the personal is political part 2

my American sisters voted my man Barack Obama back into the White House, plus all the would-be and have-been Republican rapists got voted out of office, I'm happy, hope you're happy too and remember: Equality Is Relaxing


my willem dafoe interview, in the current issue of l'optimum

Yes it's in French and no I won't translate (for now), but suffice it to say, the man is every bit as inspiring to talk to as he is on stage and in celluloid... a true artist, a fighter and a thinker. Photos by the talented Satoshi Saikusa, styling by the lovely Yasmine Eslami, creative direction by Aldo Buscalferri, who reminds me so much of John Lurie, and a huge thank you to the one who made this happen for me: Alessandro Russo!

new york icons

debbie harry at coney island 1976

klaus nomi and cookie mueller by anthony scibelli, thank you peter nolan smith for the photo

kim gordon walking on her bass, sonic youth show in the netherlands 1991, photo by rien post

and the beauty of the material drew me away

photo by miles aldridge  (21st century)(gracias a fabiana barreda)

painting by piero della francesca (1415-1492)

I saw before me the world of his world
The bright fields, the birds in abundance,
All nature, of which he sang, singing of him
All the beauty that surrounded him as he walked –
His nature, that was Nature itself –

And I heard him
I heard him speak
And the birds sang sweetly, and the wolves licked his feet.
But I could not give myself to him.
I felt another call, from the basilica itself:
The call of art, the call of man, and the beauty of the material drew me away.

And I awoke, and beheld upon the wall
The handiwork of Piero della Francesca...


fifteen seconds with andy warhol

peter nolan smith and klaus nomi by anthony scibelli

by Peter Nolan Smith

When I was a kid, Campbell’s Tomato Soup tasted almost homemade, especially if milk was added as suggested by the directions. Everyone ate it in 1964. The rich, the poor, the in-between, and twelve-year-old boys like me, so I was pleased to read in LIFE Magazine that a New York artist had painted large portraits of the popular soup can.
My mother thought that Andy Warhol’s works were funny. My father wasn’t as appreciative of his reproductions.
“I bet you could do better with your crayons.”
My father had said the same about movies without ever letting me touch his Bell & Howell movie camera, but adults have a funny way of never remembering anything bad that they tell their children.
That evening my father bet our next-door neighbor that I could replicate Warhol’s painting with my crayons.
“$5 says he can’t.” Mr. Manzi shook his head with bemused conviction.
“$5 says he can.” My father looked at me for assurance. The priests had awarded my entry to the Boston Parochial Art Contest with an honorable mention and the sisters of our Lady of the Foothills had given me an A in Art.
“I think I can.” 
The LIFE article stated that Warhol’s big soup can paintings cost $1500 and an autographed can of the real soup was priced at $6.
“Think isn’t good enough.” $5 was a tank of gas for his Delta 88.
“I can do it.” 
I had $2 saved from my paper route. Winning $5 from this bet had me thinking I could afford my very own Warhol. The supermarket at the South Shore Plaza had to sell them. The Stop and Shop had all kinds of foods in the specialty aisle.
“Good boy.” My father was gambling that my A in Art could translate into money.
Mr. Manzi limited the contest to an hour. He sat with my father at the kitchen table to watch the Red Sox game.
My mother handed me a soup can from the pantry and I went upstairs to my bedroom with several sheets of white paper, a ruler, and a compass. I pulled apart the curtains. Sunlight swarmed through the windows and I took out my crayons. I examined the can for several minutes and then sketched its outline onto a clean sheet of paper.
Andy Warhol had used five colors to copy the soup cans: red, black, white, silver, and gold. Getting the curve of the top and bottom right required the aid of a compass. Coloring the bottom half was simplified since it was the same color as the paper. The font of the lettering was tricky and the gold fleur de lis required a glib hand, yet I copied the symbol of the Bourbon Monarchy with guillotine-like precision.
“Only five more minutes,” my father yelled from the kitchen.
The clock was ticking away in my head as I hurried through the gold medallion. My rendition in hand I reached the kitchen with 20 seconds to spare. I showed my father my attempt. I was sure that my effort would pass their inspection.
My father shook his head and gave Mr. Manzi $5.
“Close, but not close enough.”
 My father was an honorable man.
“I don’t know.” Mr. Manzi reached for the paper. “Let me be the judge.”
“What for? No son of mine is going to be an artist.” My father had much more austere goals set for his second son, and threw the paper into the trash. He wanted me to be a doctor.
“You should have taken more time,” he said.
“I only had an hour.”
Warhol had friends helping him. They were members of his Factory.
“It wasn’t so bad.” 
My mother rescued the drawing from the garbage. Her father had worked as a trolley man out of the Forest Hills yards. She had a great singing voice. Art meant more to her than to my father.
“Maybe someday this will hang in a museum.”
I hugged her and retreated upstairs to my bedroom, where I tore the picture into pieces. The Andy Warhol soup can at the South Shore Plaza was safe. Art wasn’t as easy as my father said. It took skills to be a Warhol, although many magazines vilified his paintings. Once a reporter had asked the Pop artist what he thought of Art.
“It’s a good name for a man.”
Even my father found his response funny.
His Factory was the rage in the mid-60s. The bohemian entourage shot movies about nothing. Sometimes the girls were naked. Other times the men. One long-haired poet wielded a whip while he danced to electronic music. 
None of their films appeared at the South Shore drive-in and I conspired to join his circus, as did many other Catholic school students, for teenagers were rejecting the ethics of church-work-family-heaven.
It didn’t matter to us that tough kids called Andy Warhol a “queer.” He was something else. None of us were sure what, but I knew Andy could use me for his movies. There was only one problem, and it wasn’t that I was only 13.
The sad truth was that Andy Warhol was never coming to the South Shore. His kingdom was in Manhattan, which was 200 miles to the south.
Boston remained off Warhol’s beaten track throughout 1965, 1966, and 1967, but in May 1968 the Velvet Underground were booked to perform at the Boston Tea Party. Warhol was filming his protégés’ concert. According to the artist everyone deserved 15 seconds of fame, and I planned on getting my share.
“Let’s go see the Underground,” I suggested to my girlfriend, Kyla Rolla. She was probably the prettiest girl in my hometown.
“I’d like to go but the Doors are playing at the Uptown Bus.”
Kyla was in love with the lead singer.
“Yeah, but I really like the Velvet Underground.”
My ambition to be a star without any reason for fame was a secret, which I had never confessed to Kyla.
“Jim Morrison’s sexy, but if you want to see the Velvets, then I can go see the Doors with my girlfriends.”
Kyla unbuttoned her shirt. She was well-developed beyond her age. The boys in town were enough competition without opening up the field to hippies in Boston and I said, “I’ll go with you.”
That night the Doors performed to about 40 girls and me. Everyone else was at the Boston Tea Party, although Warhol never showed up to film the set.
Less than a month later, Valerie Solanas tried to assassinate Warhol and the Factory slowly disbanded for security reasons. Kyla and I broke up in 1969. I became an anti-war college student with long hair. Beer replaced pot. I graduated sine laude from university and taught at South Boston High School during the Busing Riots of 1975. The students fought daily, despite the presence of state troopers in every classroom. 
The purgatory of the present was mirrored by the limbo of my future, then on a trip to New York I fell in love with a young painter from Brooklyn.
Our love was destined to last forever.
I quit my job and drove to New York in a stolen car. Ro and I made love three times that night. The next day she left to study art in Paris. My heart was shattered to shards, but not enough to force me back to Boston. 
I moved into an SRO hotel and found a busboy job at Serendipity 3 on East 60th Street. The restaurant was decorated with Tiffany lamps and the menu offered frozen chocolate ice cream sodas.
Mr. Bruce, the owner, took one look at my semi-Neanderthal features and said, “Our clientele likes rough trade.”
Rough trade was not really a compliment, then again Mr. Bruce wasn’t Bruce Lee. His moustache curled upward like a pair of scimitars and his lisp hissed like an over-boiled teapot. He was looking south of my waist.
“I’m not gay.”
“No, neither are all the boys on 42nd Street.”
The block was famous for hustlers.
“I’m not that type.”
“Too bad.”
Mr. Bruce sighed as if he was used to playing the waiting game with young men. He was barely 40. “You have trouble with famous people?”
“Warhol comes here. He likes the double chocolate frappes.”
My misery was erased by the momentary hope for fame.
“Yes, but you’re not really his type. He likes prep school boys, but you never know. When can you start?”
Ten minutes later I was in a white shirt, black tie, and black pants. All the waiters and busboys had female nicknames. Mine was Pebbles. I never saw Andy Warhol.
One afternoon Mr. Bruce caught me checking the reservation book.
“Andy doesn’t need a reservation, Pebbles. Why you looking anyway. I told you before that Andy like preppy boys. Blue oxford shirts, navy blue blazers, khakis, and penny loafers. Not really your style. But I like black leather.”
Mr. Bruce was a sucker for punks in leather, but Serendipity 3 wasn’t 53rd and 3rd, the infamous hustlers’ block on the Upper East Side and I refused his offer to visit the back room.
“You want to be a busboy the rest of your life?”
“It’s a living.”
Busboy wages barely paid the weekly nut for my room on West 11th Street, but life was cheap in the Village.
After work, the pastry chef and I would go to CBGB’s and Max’s. Klaus Nomi wasn’t Andy Warhol’s type either. We wore black leather and torn jeans. I accompanied Klaus to the back rooms of the West Village. Unlike Candy from the Velvet Underground’s WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, Klaus was far too perverse to be anyone’s darling.
One night some gaybashers tried to attack some queers on West Street. I stopped their assault with a broken beer bottle. A nightclub owner on West 62nd Street heard about the incident and asked if I wanted to work the door at Hurrah’s, a punk disco. The pay for a bouncer was $100/night and all I could drink. Opening night featured the Ramones and the Police.
I gave my notice at Serendipity and told the boys to come visit me. They liked straight boys just like Andy Warhol. Hurrah’s owner found out Klaus sang rock like a castrato and promised him a gig.
“I have to think about it,” said Klaus.
Hurrah’s was not Studio 54, but big names from rock and cinema came on big nights. I was too common to catch the eye of anyone powerful enough to rescue me from being a doorman. Klaus on the other hand attracted attention from photographers, fashion designers, record execs, and talent agents. Each contemplated how to make money from the Josef Goebbels look-alike with the voice of Maria Callas. Few were smart enough to see the obvious.
Klaus was offered the opening act for Divine at Hurrah’s. His repertoire was two songs: Lou Chrystie’s LIGHTNING DOESN’T STRIKE TWICE, and a classic aria from Mozart. He showed up in a pink suit with stark make-up on his face.
“Here’s my list.”
Andy Warhol’s name was at the top.
“You really think he’ll show?”
“Divine said he would.”
Divine was the most famous transvestite in America. She was fat too, but funnier in John Waters films than the Flintstones or anything on TV.
“I’ll make sure he knows you personally put him on it.”
“Viele Danke.”
His Nazi salute was very discreet.
Andy Warhol had never visited Hurrah’s. Studio 54 was his nightly haunt, however Divine and Klaus were his kind of people and I scrounged through the cloakroom to change my leather jacket for a Jaeger blazer some preppie forgot the week before. It was a tight fit, but as close as I could get to Warhol’s ideal. Everyone working at the club was surprised by my wardrobe, and asked if I was going to trial.
“No,” I lied hoping to score a position at Warhol’s monthly, INTERVIEW. I wrote poetry sometimes.
Klaus laughed at my changed appearance.
“You clean up real good. Why the change?”
I couldn’t tell him about my aspirations. This was his night and I wished him luck. My anxiety rose, as it seemed like Andy Warhol wasn’t going to show up at the club. Studio had a big party. Maybe Klaus and Divine weren’t enough of a draw.
I helped Klaus to the stage and returned to the door with a beer. Drunkenness was my favorite treatment for disappointment, but as I lifted the Heineken to my lips a Lincoln town car stopped at the curb. Three blonde boys got out of the back. They looked like Groton seniors. Andy emerged after them. His wig shone as white as a full moon in a smoky sky. People stopped on the sidewalk in awe. Cars braked on 62nd Street. Time was coming to a stop and I broke out of my star-struck paralysis to put down my beer.
Everyone in the foyer opened a path for the White Mole of Union Square. No one said a word. Andy ignored everyone but the three boys. His eye fell on me and he said, “I’m on the list.”
“Plus three.” I opened the velvet ropes. “Klaus put you on it.”
He walked inside. The three boys followed him.
The entire incident lasted 10 seconds.
After the show Klaus exited with Andy, the three boys, and Divine. Everyone at the entrance exuded raw jealousy. Andy Warhol saw none of them. I was the only person with something to say.
“Mr. Warhol, I painted your soup can as a kid. It wasn’t easy.”
He regarded me with a plastic lock of hair blocking one eye, then left the club.
Total time with Andy: 15 seconds and I remained a nobody, but I was good at being a nobody too and that skill has lasted more than 15 seconds.
I still like Campbell’s Tomato Soup too. Without Andy Warhol’s autograph it’s less than a dollar and I can always afford that price.
Andy Warhol once said: “What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”
Oh Andy, when you’re right you are so right. (PNS)

for a long time, this was my favorite picture

 by robert frank

I once interviewed a performer who said, "You know there's something sad about actors, because they need other people to do what they do." 
But it's the same with all artists really. Yes we need our audience, and our champions and our sponsors and our curators and collectors, but we also need each other to do what we do. 
And so to me some pictures are like a conversation with a friend. You look at it for a while, and you come away from it inspired. It's important to touch base... to renew the faith. 

mi nota en la DMAG n. 25

texto y foto por stef en la nueva DMAG... text and image by me, about our movie talking to the trees in the current issue of DMAG, now on Argentine newsstands   

los artistas

Encontrado gracias a la actriz argentina Adriana Salonia.... gracias por el recordatorio y hasta el arte siempre, con nuevo set para bajar por la DJ Whitney Weiss que queremos tanto:

srebrenica i do rebel

I’ve been writing about Srebrenica for my day job at the news agency, and crying. Today is the 17th anniversary of the slaughter, and several hundred newly identified bodies were laid to rest... New York Rabbi Arthur Schneier was there. Schneier survived the camps, but his family did not. 

He said, ''I did not rebel against God or against humanity because of my experiences.'' 
"Islam is submission," says my friend the Pakistani princess.
"Pride is a deadly sin," say the Christians. 
Just before I left Argentina, I went to a shrink. I said, "You live among vicious people too long, you get dirty inside. Please Doc... help me get this dirt off my shoulder."
Hate spoils the survivors. It's like acid, radiation - you get exposed, you start to rot. And all the religions transmit coded messages to help us overcome, evolve.
Well Doc like the Rabbi was a holy man. He debriefed me enough so I could make it back to my home galaxy more or less in one piece... but it takes a bigger woman than me to overcome. So yes I'm still a sinner... Srebrenica I do rebel.

the sheltering ground

My dog is digging. It’s what they do when they’re particularly happy; their way of saying: I’m so glad to be here, with you, sharing this patch of earth. Let’s dig together – it feels so good!

It’s dark. The neighbors can’t see, so I don’t try to stop her. Tomorrow when they notice the hole in the lawn they’ll think a fox passed through in the night.

Instead, I watch her enthusiasm. Her sharp, busy movements – her nails, which I love: glossy and dark and neat on the ends of her wide, tawny toes, scrabbling. 

She pushes her muzzle into the hole, takes deep investigative breaths, digs some more. Sticks her muzzle in again, way in, snuffling and snorting, delighted. I run my fingers around the inside of the hole. It’s shallower and wider than I thought. A bowl: fresh and welcoming in the hot summer night.

I stick my nose in, exactly the way she did. The wide shallow bowl of earth envelops me with its scent, which is made of many layers. It is a wave – a melody; it vibrates along every nerve in my body. Going to ground. The memory of the cave, lair, den, burrow, safety, refuge, home.

The cellar dug into the flank of the hill under the house.

You climb down smooth, blunt loamy steps into the dark, still airs to reach the barrels where the wine is sleeping. It’s cool and moist and quiet; solemn and quite mysterious. A little scary but it’s OK, because grandfather is here – he knows the way. He is confident.

The grapes ripen in the sun, the wine ripens in the darkness: this is part of the mystery. We must descend, decant it, bring it back out into the upper world, to the light over the dinner table. Where the grownups will drink it, and my grandmother will scoff, Water? It’s for washing… give me a top up, there’s a good girl.

I inhale. And recognize, with every thread of my DNA, that here is my cave - ours. This is where we came from - the shelterer of water, keeper of seeds, guardian of ancestors. Grounding Hades, precious underworld, ship of Earth launched on the sea of a thousand galaxies. How beautiful you are… how marvelous you feel! Please forgive us –

My dog lies down next to me and rolls around on her back for a while. Paw to hand, we mock wrestle with our different extremities on the grass under the stars. (SF)


admiration inspiration love pride LOVE

courtesy occupy wall st.                                                          


Il vento d’Africa ha soffiato tutta la notte, lasciando uno strato di terriccio sulla mia tavola da pranzo.

Stamattina sono uscita con tutti e due i cani per i campi deserti, nel vento che arrivava a ondate, scompigliando gli alberi. La luce strana, i corvi che sfrecciavano gracchiando nei gorghi d’aria, i fiori che lampeggiavano nel giorno scuro, elettrico.

Al nord ci sono i terremoti. Nel parco, verso sera, le signore commentano.
“A Velletri c’erano le scosse.”
“Il vento ha buttato giù un pino a piazza Filattiera.”
“Oggi la mia cagna non voleva fare i bisogni… era stranita.”

E penso: Già, dobbiamo osservare le bestie… loro sanno presagiare le sciagure, tipo i terremoti.

Poi Alberta litiga con la nonna di Martina; le due fazioni – quella dei genitori di bambini piccoli e quella dei padroni di cani – si avvelenano ancora di più. Sento ribollirmi l’odio dentro e penso: “Così, un bel giorno, a Sarajevo, si scannavano tra vicini.”

Il profumo delle pesche in cucina, le zaffate di gelsomino e magnolia quando passo vicino agli orti dietro casa. Sul prato sono apparse distese di fiorellini gialli. Sono minuscoli, perfetti, tenaci. Così facili da calpestare, così misteriosi.

E penso: quant’è difficile, raro, improbabile, che nasca una passione. Forse per questo sono dure a morire. Da dove vengono… come fanno a crescere? Perché quella persona piuttosto che un’altra?

Un mio amico ha scritto che l’innamoramento succede quando, dalla sfilata di ballerine dello spettacolo plurale, quotidiano, anonimo della vita, una di loro fa un passo avanti, et voilà: è lei quella che amo.

Io all’amore non ci penso più. E quest’io che pensa di non pensare, anche quello, in realtà, è effimero quanto le passioni che lo abitano di volta in volta, e che sembrano così tenaci, misteriose... ognuna a modo suo perfetta.

Su youtube trovo per caso la canzone Slave degli Stones: è magica e perfetta, voluttuosa e tenace come la prima volta che l'ho sentita, circa trent'anni fa. C'è pure la foto della copertina, e allora mi ricordo che ce l’ho quel disco. Lo vado a cercare, mi faccio uno scatto con la webcam mentre ascolto. (SF)