CLAYTON BAILEY IN WISCONSIN DURING THE SIXTIES

COYOTE HUNTERS OF THE QUESENBERRY PART TWO COYOTE HUNTERS OF THE QUESENBERRY INTRODUCTION:  RIDERS OF THE WRECKING MACHINE PART ONE: RIDERS OF THE WRECKING MACHINE PART TWO : RIDERS OF THE WRECKING MACHINE WALSH  RANCH AND SOUTH BEXAR COUNTY THE MULTITUDE, SCORPIONS AND SERPENTS IN REVELATION 9 CLAYTON  BAILEY IN WISCONSIN DURING THE SIXTIES BERNARD PYRON PHOTOS MORE BERNARD PYRON PHOTOS WRIGHT'S SMALL DIAMOND MODULE HOUSES: PATRICK KINNEY HOUSE AUTO  GENERATED SPAM LINKS ON SEARCH ENGINES?

My Association With Clayton G. Bailey In the Sixties

Bernard Pyron

Outrageous Entertainment By Ceramic and Metal Crafts

http://www.halfback.4t.com/custom3_3.html

 

http://www.claytonbailey.com/chronology.htm

 

"Bailey's friend, Bernard Pyron, who was teaching Art Appreciation at

Wisconsin State University-Whitewater, informs Bailey that Whitewater

is looking for an artist-in-residence. Bailey applies for the

position, and gets it. He receives a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant, and an American Crafts

Council Research Grant to support his work with salt glazes, and

builds a salt kiln in Pyron's back yard in Whitewater. They discuss

zen and dada, drink ginger brandy and bark at the moon while their

kilns are firing.

 

( We didn't drink ginger brandy or bark at the moon. One of

my students who was a house painter, Jerry Bell, used to come over at night and

in the winter I fired up my wood stove in my pottery studio, and we often made

reel to reel tapes of us making noises and playing on mouth bows. Rarely we had

beer. Once Bailey made some cardboard cut outs of heads that we put in the

window of my studio above the garage. Bailey later lied that the

neighbor across

the creek, Silvernail, said he was going to have us committed)

 

(Bailey is talking about salt glazing here. In the winter of 1963-64 we often

fired the salt kiln and when it was up to near 2300 degrees we would

put wet table

salt in small paper cups and throw them into the white-hot kiln. There was

a small explosion and then clouds of gas would billow out all over the area.

I had rented an old house in Whitewater with maybe a quarter of an acre of

land along a creek. My article, The Night of the Great Salt, was about these

salt firings at night. It was published in Quixote, a little literary

magazine,

in 1965.

 

In that article I say that a University is like a mad dentist, which

opens the mind

and then slams it shut. Later, Bailey made some Mad Dentist ceramic

sculptures.

 

I also like Bailey's ceramic and metal objects from the late sixties

or seventies that are part of his satire

on doctors called, "Secrets From a Mad Doctor's Laboratory."

 

Also in the late sixties and seventies Bailey made ceramic skeletons of

monsters, hodags and other fantastic critters found by his fantasy self,

Dr. George Gladstone, a mad Scientist. I liked these works and the

story.

 

In The Night of the Great Salt I wrote about the University seen as a Wrecking

Machine, a metaphor which I have used since then in more than one context.

I see surrealism as a Wrecking Machine, a dark art, along with most of

psychology, which is another dark art. A mysterious occult alchemist

figure simply called Fulcanelli,"

is said to have influenced the Paris surrealists of the twenties with his book

Mysteries of the Cathedrals. William Cooper did a broadcast on

Fulcanelli and the Paris surrealists just a few days before he was

killed by the police in Arizona. I have wondered if Bailey knew about

that influence

by Fulcanelli, or if Bailey just saw photos of gargoyles, demon dogs,

and the like

as sculptures on Gothic cathedrals, and started making them himself.

 

Bailey clearly moved into an occultic area in his thinking and crafts.

I broke with him in 2000 when he sent me photos of his Satan

sculptures and said he

was going to use them in his book, Happenings in the Circus of Life (2000).

He said he was going to use excerts from my published article in

Artforum (1964)

called The Tao and Dada of Recent American Ceramic Art in his book.

He also said he was going to use an unpublished article of mine on his

appearance

at a ceramics conference in Madison, Wisconsin in 1973 describing his antics

on stage. I asked him not to use them because I did not want my name

associated with his Satanic sculptures. Bailey used both of my

writings anyway

in Happenings.

 

The San Francisco art critic Mark Van Proyen writes in a review of a Clayton

Bailey exhibit at the Joseph Chowning Gallery sometime at least

fifteen years ago

that one of Bailey's jugs bears an uncanny resemblance to writer

Anton Levey, a man who was designated as the "Neil Sedaka of

Satanism..." Van Proyen says

"But there are three other works in this exhibition that delve deeper

into the occult...these pieces are sculptural extrapolations from the

furnaces that are

frequently depicted in alchemical drawings from the seventeenth and

eighteenth century."

 

In 1984 I sent Clayton Bailey a draft of my book, The Great Rebellion. The book

is about the several movements that fed into the counterculure of the sixties,

including the drug movement, the hippies, the sex liberation movement, feminism,

the new left, self psychology and the art bohemians. Using Bible texts, I

criticize each of these movements. And so a person who was into the drug,

hippie or art bohemian movements in the sixties - or later in the seventies -

could see The Great Rebellion as a criticism of him or her. Bailey had used

drugs in the sixties and was certainly a part of the art bohemian movement in

the sixties and seventies. The art bohemians were important for the

creation of the counterculture because they established the bohemian

neighborhoods and communities like the Lower East Side which the followers

of the drug and hippie movements later enjoyed. I came to the conclusion

that the art bohemians as a distinct movement fizzled out mostly by about

1990 or earlier and merged with the far left, feminism and political

correctness to some extent. So by 2000 cultural Marxism appeared to

go along with the culture of the artists. The art bohemian leaders

like Bailey became professors

in universities.

 

I have here a handwritten letter of May 15, 1984 to me from Clayton G. Bailey.

he says "I have been reading the notes you sent,and in particular about the

paragraph you marked about..."the sin of pride, opposition to Biblical

morality."

I don't believe this is the same Pyron I knew in Wisconsin. Have you

become a Jesus Freak? Why? There's lots of mischief to be done. The

Bible is not relevant...people need outrageous entertainment."

 

Clayton Bailey became a good craftsmen in ceramics and metal. His crafts at times are

"outrageous entertainment" and "mischief." After a few decades the

 works of a shock craftsman become less interesting and old hat. So he has to

raise the level of shock in his works. He can go in the direction of the

obscene, and into the psychopathic, schizophrenic and Satanic.

 

Bailey, however, made robot after robot, which are similar to one another. I am not sure that he gave up on his occult bent and turned almost completely to making robot after robot. Maybe someone who knows his work since about 1990 can tell me. In The Great Rebellion I write about how the art bohemians, or artists

in general, have helped further image obsession in the popular culture, which is a form of

pride. Bailey has that kind of pride. His image is very important to him, and

that in part is why Bailey seems to be interested in the quality and number of

links to him in the Internet search engines. He seems to have control over

the links to him and there are now no spam links under his name. Interesting.

 

"There's lots of mischief to be done." What kinds of mischief did you

have in mind

Clayton?

 

Bailey was anti-Christian in the sixties when I knew him in Wisconsin

and at least

as of 2000-2001 he was still anti-Christian, if not more so. This

derisive attitude

toward Christianity and the older culture influenced by it is what has informed

some of Bailey's work. His "Ode to the Unconceived," for example, mocks

the anti-abortion stand of Christians, and he shows a lack of common morality

in his slander of Marilyn Monroe in his robot sculpture using her name. Bailey's

derisive attitude toward Christianity is what led him to dislike my 1985 book

The Great Rebellion. he lists it and my 1965 Quixote article on the Night of the

Great Salt in his 2000 book, Happenings In the Circus of Life.

 

I have thought that Bailey had five or six links to my association with him

put on the search engines. I first saw them in about 2002, and they are still

there. One is to the Night of the Great Salt. Another is to my 1964 Artforum

article, the Tao and Dada of Recent American Ceramic Art, which includes him.

There are others dealing with my association with him.

See the photo down below of Clayton Bailey as Flasher