neon park
neon park 1971/05/21 FREEP interview

From "Los Angeles Free Press" (The FREEP) May 21, 1971 in an interview of NEON PARK [NP.] by PAULINO FONTES [V.]:

Neon Park is a gavacho who can't make up his mind. He digs vatos and surfers, bicycles and 54 Chevys, Rembrandt and Crumb and invincible logic.

So I set out to visit him armed with some reds and a compadres welcome.

V. Que paso, Man? How's Art?

NP. He's fine. Just doing it in fine style, bending my knees with the spray can an' all.

V. You've got a great feel for the script.

NP. Sure, low hand comes from experience - doing it on ripple or tequila is different from one another, not to mention dope. There's some fine work done in this town like El Druid and a Baba Bullet has some choice B's.

V. You encourage low hand?

NP. Right, it's therapeutical, existing in the city is difficult. One needs an artistic release and adorning the megalopolis walls is healthy; besides, it cultivates interest in culture.

V. Are you a recorder of culture?

NP. No, taxidermist. But low hand does offer an excellent chance to work out turfs and other primal instincts put under stress by conditions of city life.

V. Maybe you should set up a convention for an exchange of ideas?

NP. Good idea, get a lot done - maybe KPPC and the *Freep* will donate some walls? Or maybe we can use the Grand Canyon?

V. How did El Gavacho become Neon Park?

NP. Some poet in Menocino anointed me that. It came out of a rap about country boys being underprivileged because they never had anywhere to hang out. So we decided to buy an acre of virgin redwoods, clear it, asphalt it and fill it with a million neon lights. You could charge the country kids a buck and let 'em hang out all day.

V. Still a low rider at heart - how about Joaquin Jardin?

NP. Not bad. I might need an alias some day?

V. You wear them like shelter.

NP. Shelter's necessary; during the whole earthquake I hid under Dr. Seuss. Shelter's a key to sanity in the city.

V. Dr. Seuss and his mystical counterparts - such as your work?

NP. Yeah, they're valid shelter. Also the good fairy - that vivacious, buxom blonde Disney character, which was created by a bunch of old drunks in attics - nothing against their being drunks they can't help it - still, the stuff they fed the public was incredible. Now the public is ready to correlate the different levels of reality.

V. For instance?

NP. My work - I put the good fairy - a sort of pop mystical symbol - being a cousin to the tooth fairy distributor of quarters - right - I put her together with the Spirit of Death watching by Gaiguin, which is a little more nitty gritty cuz he's into the whole island mysticism trip; well they got along great.

V. Is that what you'd call taxidermy?

NP. Right, taking stuff from a variety of cultures. But more too - it's bringing shit back from that other place - an Aladdin or Sinbad trip - people call me clever but it's more like cosmic jottings. That's the machine I got.

V. Sounds like random association?

NP. Right, everything from Giotto to Carol Doda's tits - which look far out  - they might feel different.

V. Be interesting to find out. You like existing creations?

NP. Yes, that's art as a rip off - a form only - though T.S. Eliot might call it objective correlative. But then the Pope might call Carol Doda's tits something else -

*After which we quickly lapsed into the free association portion of the interview*

V. Why do people do interviews?

NP. I figure it as some bizarre type of hustle.