Wednesday, November 9, 1994

Satan Claus

ANNOUNCER: (ridiculously cheery) Yes Children, it's Christmas time again! Time to visit the winter wonderland of Santa's workshop!

We see a row of elves--miserable, sweating elves--working frantically to produce toys. Santa appears with a bullwhip. He kicks one of the elves off a stool and begins whipping him.

SANTA: WORK! WORK YOU MANGY ELVES! CHRISTMAS IS COMING... (Santa notices us.) Christmas...yes. Ever wonder about Christmas, eh? Buy buy buy! Sell sell sell! The pressure! The insanity! All the time ignoring you-know-who...

We see a lonely, sad, old-timey preacher in an empty church.


SANTA: All the time celebrating materialism! Greed!

We see a shot of frantic shoppers at the mall.

Santa: Christmas has become MY HOLIDAY. When all the world worships ME, hahaha. Ever wonder who I am? Who I really am? Isn't it obvious? Ho-ho-ho.

At a blackboard, Santa points out the anagram of SANTA and SATAN.

Santa: Ho-ho-ho! I've been working...steadily WORKING, yes. For two thousand years I've waited. I have built my following. My Kingdom grows. Now the time has come...

SANTA leaps into his sled, which flies into the air. The reindeer have a hideous, glazed, undead look in their eyes.


Cut to ground level. People are looking up at the sky as in the old Superman show. We can hear SANTA's voice filling the world...

SANTA: WORSHIP ME! I BRING YOU PRESENTS! I BRING YOU YOUR HEART'S DESIRE...ANYTHING YOU WANT IS YOURS IF YOU ONLY WORSHIP ME!

SANTA's helpers go out, ringing bells, chanting "Worship Santa...worship Santa." The Santa's helpers put up enormous Big Brother-like posters of SANTA on buildings everywhere. They enter churches, defiling them, placing statues of SANTA on the altar. Across the world the evil figure of SANTA appears on TV, calling out to the children to worship him. And they do.


SANTA: Worship me...worship me...

CHILDREN: We worship you!

SANTA: I will bring you presents...

CHILDREN: You will bring us presents!

SANTA: The Spirit of Christmas must live all year long!

CHILDREN: All year long!

SANTA: I AM THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS!!!

The CHILDREN scream with fanatic worship, devotion. The scene resembles a Nazi rally.

Cut to: SANTA flying through the air in his evil sleigh, flying over rows and rows of houses in the suburbs. He lands on the roof of a house. The hideous, demonic reindeer stamp. Inside, Dad with pipe looks up, sees hooves poke through roof...

DAD: Wha...

SANTA: (leering red face popping out of chimney) Merry Christmas, hahaha...

He grabs MOM and DAD, then ties them to the Christmas tree with the electric lights.

SANTA: Now, children, I demand...sacrifice!

DAD: No, Timmy...you can't! We're your parents!

SANTA: Plug it in. Plug in the tree!

We hear a hideous scream. In Santa's face, we see a reflection of the red light of the parents being electrocuted. Santa is grinning. Last shot: Santa's sleigh against the sky.

CAPTION: "And I heard him explain as he went out of sight...'Merry Christmas to all...and to all, a good night!"

Friday, November 4, 1994

The Clastic, Fantastic Deconstructions of Pseudo DiGiolino

Schweene Gallery through November 30

Polymorphously perverse, the ethnic deconstructions of Pseudo DiGiolino present, as it were, a fractured synthesis of peripatetic realization; a forced march through shattered glass synechdoche, visually realized in sequential synchronicity.

The viewer is astonished at the deconstructed entelechy; the matrix of surds, analog and digital; the holistic yet fractured fractals recalling Feynman diagrams or Coach Vince Lombardi's representations of football plays.

Atom or etym, pigskin or boson, the biomorphic abstraction within DiGiolino's work seems to multiply geometrically, advancing and receding in the picture plane; ultimately crawling out and devouring the inattentive viewer in one gulp, sending screaming, panic-stricken, art-walking crowds into the streets as the biomorphic abstraction grows and grows and grows, bursting through the roof, destroying the gallery in one enormous jet of flame, as the relentless biomorphic abstraction emerges to crush, to destroy, to grow, to feed.

Such imagery recalls the work of Caravaggio, with oblique references to Destroy All Monsters, as well. One sees bread sticks, biscuit tins, buckets and bears. This is a tickertape parade for newspaper people who tear themselves into millions of little bits; shards of meaning, blowing in the wind; words reduced to nonsense celebrating the triumphant arrival of the man who wasn't there.

But there is something to be said for nothing.

As the artist himself once said, "Art is like a baked potato, except the potato is made of dynamite and the microwave oven is a nuclear bomb."

DiGiolino acknowledges his debt to dadaism, not to mention his mounting credit card bill, which is now a five-digit figure. Other influences include: Caravaggio, Davide, R. Crumb, the Venus of Willendorf, dirty pictures on the bathroom wall, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Art Levine, Stella (the artist), Stella (from A Streetcar Named Desire), Jackson Pollock, Jackson Pollack, Chuck Close, Chuck Far, Chuck Norris, Chuckie the evil doll in Child's Play 1-3, all those paintings in Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Caravaggio, Norman Rockwell, Tristan Tzara, and a napkin drawing of the penultimate expression of aesthetic experience that existed on the floor of the Horn and Hardart automat in New York City which is now, unfortunately, lost. And, of course, Caravaggio.

I could go on. His work, in fact, reminds me of everything. Fittingly so, because everything which has existed up to the present moment has led, ineluctably, to the creation of his work. DiGiolino's work is also strikingly reminiscent of art work which will be produced in the future. As these pieces are unavailable to this reviewer, I cannot comment on these resemblances at this time. But what am I really saying? The question intrudes like a doctor's finger in a latex glove. To truly understand DiGiolino's work, one would have to see with the eyes of God, and understand with the mind of God all that ever was, is, and will be, as well as the penumbral matrix of hypostasized possibilities and potentials. Lacking this omniscience, my review clearly means nothing. But, I have reached my word count.