My name is Alan Lasser. I never did any art in my life and I had no interest in the subject until I was eighteen and started smoking marijuana. I did three big paintings in 1970; they were really hard to make and I didn’t know how to sell them so I quit and got a job. Inspired by my girlfriend, I started painting again in 1994, and soon I was discovered by the artist Jared Koehl, which led inevitably to my first one-man show, “Beauty and the Blacklight” in December 1997 at Dan Bishop’s Gallery Thirteen in Danbury, Connecticut. The show was so popular that it was held over for the town’s First Night New Year’s celebration. The gallery had been slated to go out of business, but my show turned their fortunes around and they stayed in business for another five years. Just like that I was an art-hero.
Thus encouraged, I invaded the legendary artsy town of Woodstock, New York in the summer of 2000 with the “Woodstock Night Gallery”. Once again, I startled a community. I was such an important tourist attraction that the Chamber of Commerce featured me on their home page; nobody else, just me. Unfortunately, my success only caused my landlord to raise the rent, so I left to try the big city. In 2004, I invaded Chelsea, 27th street in Manhattan, with “Weapons of Mind Destruction”; but I received invisible press attention, my advertising campaign was hit and miss, and I had to leave town when the finances bleakened.
I am collecting Social Security now and my maze-making career is finished. It’s too difficult to keep the path in my head for the week of construction and my eye-hand coordination is no longer sufficient to keep every line where it’s supposed to be. I can always make decent sculptures and sand paintings, but my blacklight mazes(“my paintings are smarter than your paintings”) are now in limited supply.
Now that Covid-19 has brought us social-distancing, it looks like I won’t be opening up another psychedelic art gallery in some college town anytime soon; not until crazy crowd scenes are possible again. My dream was that mind-blowing psychedelic videos of the gallery would appear on YouTube, perhaps enticing some entrepreneur to recognize the distribution value of the entire collection and buy me out; after which I could retire to Woodstock and spend my ancient years teaching the pilgrims how to make sand paintings. I can only hope that I’ll still be buzzing with energy when another opportunity to make some place glow arrives again.
I can put you on the mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com I have access to Apple’s FaceTime app, so you can see some of the art if we video chat. For now, I only have affordable($30 and $40) reproductions of two posters, 9/11/2 and 8/26/2, printed on genuine, long-lasting posterboard, not flimsy paper. They could light up your walls for a couple hundred years.