Jack Bilander and I have a parasocial relationship. I stalk him on the internet like a cast-off lover seeking any possible shred of information about who he’s romancing. I suffer from bouts of borderline personality disorder, speculating about his thoughts and yearnings. Time and again, I look at a particular photo of him, and think back on the brief period that I knew him personally. He was incomprehensible then, like the many other adult treasures in that period of my life. Jack was a flirt. People who’ve sold me his etchings and who knew him from the neighborhood describe his charm. I witnessed this truthRead More →

This Jack Bilander print, named “Sammy,” has been for sale for a year, overpriced and lingering out of reach, and I have yearned for it. My want has surpassed the call of nostalgia. Perhaps my desire is simply from the mere wanting of it. I saw a performance at the NOLA Fringe Fest in which a character from the narrative dismisses his desire and lust for the woman he loves by admitting that desired objects are interchangeable. A hole, he states, is just a hole. Well, yes, that’s obvious, isn’t it. The point of a hole is that it remains incomplete, never filled. It willRead More →

I bought several Jack Bilander etchings. Bilander was an artist in Chelsea, my neighborhood growing up in New York City. Lately I’ve had this urge to go there. I’ve built up an obsession, really, to return to my Grandmother’s apartment, to be in her space, to see the cheap 1960s parquet floors of Penn South, smell the esoteric scent of Jewish working class intelligentsia, and view a wall full of images still strikingly memorable forty years later. When I found a suite of Bilander’s pictures on Picasa, I sighed audibly, repeatedly, at how many of them summoned a vivid memory. So indelible and powerful. SomethingRead More →