The Conduit

Danny Allen, 1967 - Pen and ink with wash. Collection of Eva Weiss

Danny Allen, 1967 – Pen and ink with wash. Collection of Eva Weiss

A kind of chain reaction has begun, which I expected. The conduit for this chain is of course the book. It has been inevitable that art would surface. My friend Eva Weiss sent me a scan of a very atypical Danny Allen drawing, which for whatever reason didn’t make it into the book. The drawing looked more like something done by Dan’s friend, Ramon Martinez—who with his Latin American heritage found himself interested in Mayan images and faces. I don’t know if Ramon had any Mayan ancestry but that wasn’t the point. This piece is signed by Danny Allen in 1969. It’s pen and ink with handwriting that reads: “Carmen Apostolides the ass.” Who knows what that means….

Danny Allen, 1969. Pen and ink with white Placca, mounted oj board. Collection of Leah Warnick.

Danny Allen, 1969. Pen and ink with white Placca, mounted on board. Collection of Leah Warnick. There’s writing on the drawing too, but I can’t make out what it says.

Then another Danny Allen surfaced that looks very similar to this drawing and is also dated 1969. Again, it looks more like a Ramon Martinez than it does a Danny Allen. But it also looks like a parody of a Rembrandt self-portrait. Artists definitely borrow from each other and take on influences. I don’t know if Dan was influenced by Ramon or vica versa.

Danny Allen's headstone in Hilton, New York. Photo by Art Wheat.

Danny Allen’s headstone in Hilton, New York. Photo by Art Wheat.

More stories have surfaced and some mysteries have been solved. Albert Robbins has reminded me that Danny Allen and I were married in Mount Hope Cemetery in a mock-service that was officiated by Albert, himself. Dan and I later “legitimized” our relationship by opening-up a joint checking account. We wore English ivy wreaths in our hair, but did not enter the bank wearing them. Our witnesses were other stoned hippies—which we also had the presence of mind not to invite along with us to the bank either. As far as I know the account it still open, if I dould only think of the name of the bank…. It’s an embarrassing state of affairs when your friends have to remind you that you were once married. I was a wife/husband who had a husband/wife. You’d think a thing like that would have stuck in my mind, but it didn’t until Albert brought it up at a cocktail party back in Rochester. Lord knows what else will surface between now and my next return to that peculiar little city on May 16th.

A final revelation. It turns out that there’s one surviving poem from Danny’s lost folio of writings Diana pinched from me. I made a copy of that poem when Dan died, and sent it to his parents. That poem survives chiseled on his grave marker.

  • “I’m waiting for the maker of the lord to reveal to me, how he became the one to create the God who created me.”
The entrance to the carriage house/art studio that I shared with Danny Allen. Contemporary view. Photo by Eva Weiss.

The entrance to the carriage house/art studio that I shared with Danny Allen. Contemporary view. Photo by Eva Weiss.

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BookJacketAngledI have a limited number of book available. Anyone who’d like to purchase a copy contact me at billandedna@hotmail.com. Put the words “Sunny Ducks” in the subject heading. $34.95 includes shipping and handling. $29.95 if you live within walking distance.

An Early Work Late in Life – Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DannyAllenArt?ref=hl

Books are on sale at the Memorial Art Gallery’s Museum Store for $29.                  It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection

March 17–June 9, 2013 500 University Avenue · Rochester, NY 14607-1484 585.276.8900 · 585.473.6266 http://mag.rochester.edu/

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