'Self-Portrait, In Brown'
We were roommates for three years in college, and for six doomed months after graduation. In all the time we lived together, I can't recall a single argument or falling out --or even getting tired of each others' company.
He was an art major like me, but way more dangerous. In what we would now see as the twilight of print photography, he was a wizard in the darkroom and behind a lens. He was dangerous with a camera.
The tattoo, seen here on his leg, is based on a snapshot Tim took of a cowboy on a road trip in Texas. The photo was taken seconds before the cowboy attacked Tim's car with a baseball bat -- because Tim just wouldn't stop taking pictures of him.
Tim got to Texas from Virginia with this kind of planning. He and a friend bought an old lunchbox from a flea market, and drove up onto the interstate. They followed the very first car that they saw with an out-of-state license plate to its final destination, and then got out and asked the driver if they had left the lunchbox at the rest stop.
That's a sense of adventure.
Knowing how to use a camera is dangerous enough. But when you mix it with an exhibitionist streak, a vicious sense of humor and a serious anal fetish, you've got a near-deadly combination.
The photo below is Tim's personal 'Pink Flamingoes'. Take a good long look:
What do you think it is? Have you got it yet? Give up?
It's a self-portrait. Tim took this photo of himself with a glass eye inserted into his anus. He got the eye from one of my mannequin's heads. He did not ask if he could borrow my mannequin's eye, and certainly didn't ask if he could jam it up his ass for art's sake.
From what I am told, something slick and semi-spherical like a glass eye is either in or out. It does not linger over the threshold. I was in the room adjoining Tim's bedroom when the shoot took place. I could hear the sound of something hard bouncing across the hardwood floor, and hear him go "shit, shit, SHIT" over and over again, followed by muffled rinsing sounds.
We used to just hang out in the galleries where he showed this piece and wait. Eventually people would come along and say "Well, what do you think that is? Is it an elephant or something? What's happening with its eyebrow OH NO OH GOD NOOOooo!!!" We'd have to fight not to spit cheap wine on the walls. If the people had a good sense of humor about it, they'd join us. Sometimes there would be this huge group of people pointedly not looking at the photo and the whole hallway would erupt once a new person came along and figured it out.
So when Tim said "you know, we should start a band, dude," I HAD to say yes...