JIM RISWOLD | Portland, OR
I was born. I did some stuff. The aforementioned stuff includes but is not limited to the following: spending a great deal of my childhood fascinated by vacuum cleaners; spending an equally great deal of my childhood swimming around the floor as a skin diver, complete with a mask, fins, swimsuit and a makeshift oxygen tank fashioned from a belt and a Quaker Oats box; asking my first-grade teacher to stop getting older so I could catch up to her in age and marry her; doing poorly in math, baseball, basketball and stopping hockey pucks; doing more poorly with girls; getting beat up; wanting to be David Bowie; wanting to be Lou Reed; wanting to be Andy Warhol; wanting to be David Bowie, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol all at the same time; consuming more than my fair share of alcohol and drugs and displaying the poor behavior that comes along with such activities; golfing; stealing a golf course; spending an inordinate amount of time in college; Hegeling and Nietzscheing it up in pursuit of a degree in philosophy to go with each of the ones I got in history and communications; dealing with premature male-pattern baldness; getting mistaken for Freddie Mercury after a visit to the orthodontist and before the aforementioned premature male-pattern baldness; making a lot of ads selling shoes and other things people didn’t need—which included, meeting my childhood hero, Bugs Bunny, being fired by my teenage idol, David Bowie, getting a Christmas card from my teenage idol, David Bowie, seeing Michael Jordan naked, urinating next to Miles Davis, being called a role model for morons by Charles Barkley, being called wonderfully retarded by Terry Gilliam, being called an idiot savant by Joe Pytka, being called one of the 100 most influential people in American culture by now-defunct Newsweek magazine, being called the progenitor of more American icons than anyone since Walt Disney by now-defunct George magazine, being called a dead ringer for a professor of 19th century German philosophy and/or an assassin by a now defunct Canadian magazine, being called a hardworking mule on crack by Spike Lee, being called Bo Jackson’s favorite hemorrhoid by Bo Jackson, having an unintelligible half-hour conversation with Lou Reed and buying Tiger Woods lunch at McDonald’s; beating cancer and then beating another cancer; and foolheartedly foraying into the art world with my own movement called Absurd Realism that included the likes of Hitler, Hitler as an Oktoberfest waitress, Napoleon as a paper hat, Marie Antoinette’s head, Mao as cookie and other menu items, the puppet head of John the Baptist, Jesus as a star in a Fellini film, Caesar as a salad, Kim Jong Il as a really big sucker, Jeff Koons as a really, really big green rug that makes him look like a really, really big balloon, Jeff Koons as a piece of gold-flecked chocolate, me as Cindy Sherman, me as Cindy Sherman again, Damien Hirst as steak tartar, Christmas at Damien Hirst’s house, Roy Lichtenstein as a big Benday dot, Andy Warhol as a robot, a toy World War I French soldier, a toy German World War I sniper hidden in a real German chocolate cake, Sartre as a bath mat, Kant as a clock, Foucault as a pile of Foucault books and Don Quixote fighting cancer. Someday I will die and stop doing stuff.