Richard Raxlen Introspective at OPEN SPACE GALLERY,VICTORIA FEB.8 2012

Writing on the exhibition by Richard Raxlen…

In my show at the artist run centre
I paid tribute to a Beat poetess, a midget bookstore owner in Boulder,
and others…

Rick Raxlen - Smoking

One person who i did not mention was an artist called Mashal
I lived with my parents off Avenue Rd below St.Clair in Toronto in the early sixties;
my dad collected bluechip art for investment purposes; I painted
mason board
in the basement of our duplex and tried to copy Ripelle’s style
under  a bare bulb i painted with the board on the floor going round
and round.

Rick Raxlen - Rix Pix

One day i noticed a sign in an Avenue rd. window –it might have
once been a storefront. I think it said

I rang the bell and the man told to come back that night and I did.
The flat was bare bones furnished and a couple of young snot nosed
boys were evident.
The man was Mashel. The story was he was giving lessons because
he had just moved
to Toronto after being fired from U. of Manitoba for glueing
a toilet seat on his abstract painting. He explained that action by
saying it was a gesture to the
Surrealist movement…or so I seem to remember

Rick Raxlen - Spooky

I guess he needed money…so he put a sign in the window and gave
I kinda remember his wife maybe played a cello.
Anyway I was told to paint a chair because Mashel said that what
Rembrandt or van Gogh
said was a good way to start.
I came for a few lessons and painted a few chairs in some
cheap paint medium on treated masonite…
and these lessons were the only official art lessons I ever took.
Official lessons outside of highschool.
At Upper Canada a small round Russian lady of great age gathered
us in the tower room and I guess tried to teach us something.
I think her last name was Berocovich and I later noted she was a
somewhat famous portrait painter who had emigrated
from Russia. She had little cupid red lipsticky lips and her hands
Now I am older I can kind of draw a likeness of a person or object…I
like my style enough.
so me, I am not exactly self -taught, which is ok

Rick Raxlen - Olive

2 Responses so far.

  1. Shelagh Hewitt Kareda says:

    I was just talking to my daughter Maia, age 39, who is down here on the East Coast visiting me, about sexy boys I had known in my youth and your name was mentioned.
    So.. I googled you; looked at the CTV news clip of your show and then read the above piece. I had also mentioned to her Mashel Teitlebaum and my visit to him with you. He had said to me at the end of the evening ” I am afraid that all I can say about your picture of the chair is that that is a very tortured chair.”
    I was actually in Victoria in April for the 50th reunion of my year at Neuchatel and wondered idly if you were still there.I ‘m sorry that I did not see your show. The work looks quite wonderful and I recognize some of your old self within it.

    Best wishes to you from The Atlantic to the Pacific,

    Shelagh Hewitt Kareda