Back in the heatwave of June, I told an acquaintance on the nightclub side of the hill where I lived. Van Nuys is the Devil’s asshole, he announced without hesitation. He was referring to the heat, but his tone suggested something more.
Every kingdom has its Lord, I replied, half-joking.
If not I, what shape would this lord take? Who would be the definitive representation of our sun-splashed, slightly noirish Brigadoon? He might have a weapon protruding from underneath him, like a tail. He might have his fist around a bottle of Jack Daniels, crisp jeans and a gold watch. He would be rusticating in the middle of the day, which is how I found him after I dropped $1100 on maintenance for my trusty Honda CRV, which makes me very much an un-Lordly figure.
Ziggy, on the other hand…he knows who’s the boss.
Stoker has no sense of irony, and zero pity. If you want a portrait of dominion, look no further.
Lords, all of them. I welcome submissions and nominations.
King Ziggy moves slowly because he doesn’t have to move for anyone. He watches and waits, fat and pleased with himself.
In related news, the most commercially successful artist at the Brewery Art Show yesterday may have been Pudge the Cat.
Pudge’s “work.” He sits inside of empty delivery boxes and nibbles them into “sculpture.” His parents bring the carcasses to the gallery and affix price tags. No joke. They sold this box from West Elm for $1500. Allegedly.
His “leavings”, which they also sell. Allegedly. When I saw this I assumed it was all a put on, until two cat ladies entered the studio, greatly excited, and asked very furtively if Pudge was “up”. He was napping, they were told, and left disappointed.
Ziggy’s work: ridding the yard of vermin, and bringing the remains into the house as tribute. We pay him in kibble. In Van Nuys, we call this the chain of nature.
What if we framed his kills in little plexiglass containers? Put them under spotlights atop plinths? Titled it Rosemary’s Kitty: Cat Work and Intersectionality, (Re) Imagined. Could we pay the mortgage? Isn’t that the dream of talentless hacks across the city?