First a student, then an instructor at Otis College of Art and Design, Gold shares stories, professional tips and rare photos in this scrapbook-style memoir of his Otis Experience.
Also it's handsome enough to stand alone as a coffee table book, it also offers some professional insights for the inquiring artist.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a member of the Cedar Bar art movement, witnessing the wild days and notorious stories of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and later published books with New York Beat Poet Margaret Randall, John Cage and others . . . I sprung out of the 1950s Downtown Community School where Pete Seeger and Bob deCormier were music teachers, managed a number of coffee houses, both in the Village and uptown in Harlem and ended up working with Tommy Kelly in Greenpower, organizing Happenings and feeding the hippies in L.A.'s Griffith Park. I was best friends with Harry Nilsson and Jim Morrison, helped Vito paint bodies for freakouts and was a habitué of the Hollywood Blvd. scene, the Strip and the Canyon scene. I worked with the Airplane in L.A. and did gigs with many now unknown bands that some remember well.
My Otis years were tucked into a world of diverse freedom and creativity, providing great artistic models like ?Uncle Bentley? Schaad, Fritz Schwaderer, Rico LeBrun and Bob Glover. Currently I teach art classes in painting, drawing, charcoal and sculpture. I find myself giving to my students the inspiration and many secrets I received, some even by osmosis, from my Otis teachers -- some of whom were the most powerful influences on contemporary 21st century modernist art.
Upon these rich years stands my recent body of work -- JazzArt® -- which in January of 2008 was hung as banners on the streets of Toronto, as it was my sixth year of providing large stage mural backdrops for jazz greats -- Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Nancy Wilson, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Ravi Coltrane, Roberta Gambarini and more -- who perform at the International Association of Jazz Education annual conferences. On the West Coast my JazzArt® opened the celebrated Jazz Heritage Center / Yoshi's San Francisco inaugural show.
To give back to all those who profoundly helped guide my artistic work, I am publishing My Otis Experience. With gratitude, E.J. Gold.