Archive for the The tortured artist Category

“…Tell your wife you love her. This is what it’s all about. Otherwise, you’ll be painting and looking at pictures like this. Your days are numbered, clowns. This is the end of the line. The end of beauty. The end of hope. What is art anyway? Decorations for museums.”

–Chuck Connelly, in the extra features on the DVD for The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale, A Film by Jeff Stimmel

I realized about halfway through Jeff Stimmel’s 2008 documentary about Chuck Connelly that I had met this person before, several times. I’d heard his rants before, I’d seen his behavior, I’d witnessed in person how he lived. Through my years as a writer on art, I interviewed and wrote about a number of aging artists — perhaps 6 or 7 in sum — who were very similar to the way Connelly portrays himself in the film. They were so much alike, in fact, that it seems there must be a personality type: The Delusional Shut-in Artist, perhaps, or maybe the Quixotic Quack Painter.

Here are some of the character features of these men (all the ones I’ve met are men):

They are painters, most often.
They have a heroic vision of themselves (as a Great Artist, a warrior fighting against the cultural tides, a man on a holy quest for beauty, truth, etc).
They are so focused on their art — their quest — that not much else matters to them.
As a rule, they don’t care much about their appearance, and they often let themselves go.
They live in a kind of contained squalor, most often surrounded by the messy trappings of their art practice and the accumulated junk piles of the congenital shut-in.
They tend to believe that they’ve been cheated, somehow, out of the rewards (fame, wealth, attention) they feel is rightfully theirs.
They are misogynistic, abusive to their loved ones, and generally fail at interpersonal relationships.
Evenso, they can be very charismatic, attracting a succession of short-term acolytes, supporters, and co-dependents who eventually end up fleeing in disgust from being used.
They tend toward substance abuse.
They are verbally brilliant, though they think and speak in non-linear, associative ways.
They exhibit flashes of brilliance and great command of their own self-directed learning, but they tend to be, at best, emotionally adolescent.

I thought now would be a good time to check back in with Gabriel Combs, the artist whose descent (into homelessness, substance abuse, and near-incarceration) I have covered here and elsewhere. Fortunately, Combs keeps a MySpace page, on which he has been updating his blog fairly frequently of late. Below are some interesting tidbits from his blog:


Date: August 16, 2008
Post title: sepulchral beatitude of a heartstring fugitive
it was a love story first, now a tale of unending loss. sometimes i don’t want the day to end, as i don’t want to face another night alone. sometimes the night seems more fruitful in its suffering dread. got to this point giving away my heart to fools and liars. i always believed and was so dedicated. so in love and so blind, regardless of my mistakes and short-comings. so in love with the world, a world i now cannot find…two stories, one loving and one hating, one living and one dying.




Date: August 20, 2008
Post title: narcissism prevalence; prima donna persona non grata
i hear there is a handbasket suitable for my transport to hell. …i checked in to the ER for many, many problems exactly three weeks ago to the day. they ejected me several hours later as i had no “actual plan to commit suicide”

i have a fistful of friends, lets call them friendly pariahs. outsider is still alive like a cultural stitch will mend a fashion trend. i harp on this issue like an instrument with passion…

…slowly reading lord jim, as after a maddening push on reading am suffering a maddening push on art making. all you generations are xyz, fool. its already been established and if you can’t follow the patterns you needs to back the fuck up because its all old news…

i’m looking for my lee krasner but i want her to be lee bontecou…




Date: August 27, 2008
Post title: Alcoholic Altruism/Augean Artiface
twelve pack goes down like gravity. falls like an anvil, falls like autumn. i can feel it heavy, more than last year. dropping further and faster. another day passes, un-named and unknown. got up half dead today, morose and numb. nose numb and red. i love how it feels to have that haze. saves me to live another day on the slow suicide savoring how i die. one with a perpetual death but still lives to tell about it. there is no pre nuptual to marriage with this ritual. i’m not sipping, just stammering and stuttering under lifes’ trauma. i don’t seem to die regardless of my planning. i wish i had some advice for someone to not end up here or to alleve some friends concern i’m too far gone. you see, i don’t have hope to make it anymore and so i have’nt a care in the world. i don’t expect to live and i can’t seem to die. i slit the wrists but the blood just keeps coming. i’m going to go lay down in the gutter amongst my filth…its an empty round in a full chamber game of russian roulette and i wear the crown of shit. hands down, quit askin questions. i got an answer for your suggestion. i’m sweatin while you’re restin. calloused while you’re guessin. curse everyone while i’m blessin.




Date: August 30, 2008
Post title: minnesota mediocre; fair game midwest manifesto
five months homeless now. sold everything just about. i think i can make six months. trying hard to set shit up to go back to ohio (cue pretenders song) for a minute after september. wur um frum, lotsa folks in graves there. never seen my moms grave yet. might find where abouts some other family, down in kentucky, virginia, ect. back in them mountains…when a fly comes in my studio my tendency is to maim it and offer it to my pet spiders. i did so today but busted it open and it fell thru the web and the maggots came out and consumed the corpse. i imagine they began to die and there was like one fat one left in the end. i did’nt bother to observe the end of it. reminds me of the art world.

i’ve enjoyed the recent thoughts of mr. fallon, for the record. at times the thoughts stray from the track i’m on, but we seem to converge here and there as i do with a number of the other under rated minds around here. i like the new thousandth word vicious guest article. funny how the consensus is growing that this art scene needs to change and one needs to talk about this *shit*, or it will stay in the hands of those that need to *go*. get out now, or get kicked out hard. i gots boots fool. …

i know exactly who i am in my time and while i’m actually still alive. just like those before me did. fall down drunk and don’t get paid for the art i do but you gotta make prints to get out as much work as i do. 85 or so pieces sold in the last sixty days plus a couple give aways. this is’nt ego this is the facts. i’m just building up, still humbly following the tracks of pollock, van gogh, ect. those that went to fucking hell for this shit without a flinch. i’m not leaving it for you to decide. hell no, you’ll tell me piss in a jar is it.




Date: September 4, 2008
Post title: troubled water torrent/noli me tangere via tantalos
woke up on the sidewalk the other morning. i lose days here and there. if you’ve seen the jackson pollock moving picture the scene where he wakes up on the (as i remember it) cement platform underneath a window with some kids looking at him. dirty and deranged. i was in a block that was mostly a school, lying on sidewalk that was paralell to black asphalt. i remember drinking with a couple of guys from tibet. learned a thing or two before the blackout set in. things about my thinking and spirituality while speaking with a buddhist. (one guy i think was not speaking english and was deaf anyways) …sold the engagement ring yesterday, took it off my key-ring. got ripped off for gold but freed from a trap of sentiment. being in my mind is being a cat herder. i keep up and multiply ideas like bacteria. beneficial parasites. yo, you got the sun in your eyes in this show down and am i an artist or a writer. leave you guessing as your eyes narrow and mine grow wider.

bring it to fruition, notice i’m quiet but my knuckles are swollen and scarred.
cut my eyekon teeth and my art comes up in you rough and hard…

you ignored the artists like us in the past and now we are aware. you’ll wait for us to die like vincent but we will teach you like hoffman.

you fucking a hole.

FU

Today’s edition of the Bullet Points of Failure (B.P.O.F.) gives up following, for now, all the local artistic hand-wringing that has of late been something of a preoccupation. Instead, today I strive to expand both inward and outward by bullet-pointing a few personal issues, as well as a few national ones.

  • On my other (yin) blog–about happiness and sunshine and art and drinks all around–I wrote a piece nearly a month ago (yikes! I’ve got to update that blog!) about the Nature of Happiness (and its Connection to Art). My motivation was responding to the artists who had been complaining about changes to a local artists exhibition program. I quoted former NEA chair Bill Ivey who suggested that art is best when not deemed a career-building enterprise, but instead is seen as “a way to pursue self-realization without forcing us to deny the materialist and competitive drives that pass for human nature in the West…” (See www.arthappyhour.com for more of Ivey’s thoughts).
  • Perhaps inspired by these two points, an alert reader, Louis Allgeyer, wrote the note below (which alerted me of a recently published Peter Schjeldahl review, which I hadn’t seen, that touches–much more eloquently–on notions put forward in my recent writing):

    admin/M.F.

    Down towards the end of your nature of happiness piece you sort of ponder,where is it all going art-wise, which I think many do. Esp artists themselves, so that they can jump on the-next-big-thing (just like a stock
    broker). Esp artists who are tired of their usual self-gratification that isn’t gratifying and isn’t art.

    I hope you read the article “feeling blue,” by the other great midwestern art critic, Peter Schjeldahl, in the august 4th New Yorker magazine ( a swimmers head on the cover). He also seems to be having similar ponderings and seems to think he may see ( in a much bigger picture than the little show he is reviewing ) a “fashion auditioning as a sea change.” He goes on to predict what the next-big-thing might be, if history is any guide and if, “our particular civilization is (not)spent.”

    Naturally I like it because my stuff falls right in line so I am gratified.

    Anyhoo, I think it is an important bit journalism.

    Louis Allgeyer

  • Finally, Schjeldahl’s review–of “After Nature,” currently up at the New Museum in New York--is itself well worth bullet-pointing. He says the show “proposes a saturnine new direction in art…. Something is happening in artists’ studios: a shift of emphasis, from surface to depth, and a shift of mood, from mania to melancholy, shrugging off the allures of the money-hypnotized market and the spectacle-bedizened biennials circuit. (In fact, the underappreciated recent Whitney Biennial hinted at the mutation.)”

    And he continues: “the futility of artistic technique in the face of world conditions may constitute a subject for art as substantial as any other, and rather more compelling than today’s stacked-deck models of success… Existentialist standards of authenticity may be back in force, however fleetingly. How much can we bear of art that, like Sebald’s writing, glories in bottomless malaise? I expect we’ll find out.

    You suspect that a big change is coming when sensitive young people project (and, because they’re young, enjoy) feelings of being old. This has often signalled a backward crouch preceding a forward leap. I think of Picasso’s world-weary blue period, T. S. Eliot’s “Gerontion” and “Prufrock,” and the budding Abstract Expressionists’ wallows in Jungian mythology. The syndrome announces the exhaustion of a received cultural situation, whose traditions are slack and whose future is opaque. It typically entails nostalgia for real or fancied past ages that dealt—successfully, in retrospect—with similar crises.

    Viva la artistic failure!

“The lives of artists are as a rule unsatisfactory—not to say tragic—because of their inferiority on the human and personal side—there is hardly any exception to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine gift of creative fire.”

—Carl Gustav Jung

Just to check back in, below is pasted the most recent online forum post by Gabriel Combs, the artist who self-destructed (and went homeless) a few months ago.

Note: I haven’t seen Combs since just before he was evicted from his apartment. He was not particularly pleased with what I wrote about his experiences, so I don’t imagine he’d have any interest in meeting with me again. Therefore, unfortunately, the only way I have of knowing how well the now-homeless artist is doing is by reading the scant words he writes on this online forum. (And these words don’t paint a pretty picture.)

i sold my soul for a bowl of soup, and there was a fly in it.
cuts don’t heal
slow seeping blood
its death and it creeps

testosterone and adrenaline mixed with alcohol
my senses have gone animal. survival explicitly dictates it. its a fine line from here to hell, and i’m aware of every instinct, sight and smell. dreams are theatre and threatening and nostalgic nightmare with beauty and godpleasesomeonehelpmeplease. sleep face down arms crossed in a coffin with the process of suffocation. radiate light in the day, solar cell (prison) becomes anemic until after midnight shadows confiscate lack of contrast.

an ideal balance of alienation and abstracted nostalgia.

“i don’t care about my bad reputation
never said i wanted to improve my station…”

choooke…. my body is afflicted with this heartttttt…… brokenbreakcrookedandstraight

“runnin through the field where all my tracks will be concealed

and theres no where to go…”

nothing is making much sense. i don’t know where i am.

here are three 3″ x 4″ statik kinetic tortoise, now up on ebay for only .99 cents. i gotta get out of here soon…

(posted on mnartists.org by Gabriel Combs, May 18, 06:35 PM)

Gerald Prokop blogged yesterday, in response to my previous post on These Regressive Times (for the arts), about something I’ve often thought about. I’m talking about the ironies of a city growing drastically poorer while having to support big and greedy art institutions–like the Guthrie Theater, MacPhail Center, and Walker Art Center–which have recklessly built multimillion dollar new buildings in recent years even as artists and average American workers and families and wide swaths of the community are left to suffer and decline and disappear in silence.

As he put it: “In these dark times, why are these places growing and getting better?”

Well, not to fear GP, according to a recent Associated Press article, big arts institutions are also beginning to feel the pinch of failed economic policies, poor public policy decisions, and just plain bad government.

Like homeowners and stockholders, museums, concert halls, dance companies and other arts organizations are feeling the pinch from the faltering economy.

Museums and symphony halls that financed renovations with seemingly safe municipal bonds saw interest rates spike in recent weeks; other arts institutions are suffering from low returns on investments; and some arts executives are worried that recession fears could take a bite out of donations and ticket sales.

“What turns my stomach every time I turn on the news is the current perception of what’s happening in our economy and whether people will get nervous and cut back on their charitable contributions,” said Charles Thurow, executive director of the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, which used a $5 million fundraising campaign to renovate in 2006 an old Army warehouse into its first permanent home since opening in 1939. “That would affect our annual operating budget.”

“We should not forget that 99 percent of all art-making attempts are failures.”
-Phillip Lopate, Portrait of My Body

My favorite story of artistic failure happens to be among the first such story. Honore de Balzac wrote the long short story Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu (”The Unknown Masterpiece”) in 1831. It was first published in the newspaper L’Artiste with the title “Maître Frenhofer” and tells the quintessential story of an artist driven insane by the failed pursuit of his art.

Plot summary: Balzac’s story takes place nearly two centuries before, in the early 17th century, when the young and still unknown artist Nicolas Poussin, visits another painter, named Porbus, in his studio. With him is the famous old master Frenhofer (who, unlike Poussin and Porbus, is fictional), who comments that a painting by Porbus seems unfinished. Frenhofer picks up a brush, makes some slight touches on it, and transforms the figure in Porbus’s painting so she appears to come to life.

The two marvel at the mastery Frenhofer has over his technique, but the old painter has to admit that he is frustrated in his own work. He has been unable, for the past ten years, to complete his one great masterpiece, which he calls La Belle noiseuse (”The Beautiful Troublemaker”). To help the old master, Poussin offers his own lover, Gilette, as a potential model, and Gilette’s beauty is so great that it inspires Frenhofer to finish his project quickly. However, when Poussin and Porbus visit Frenhofer’s studio some time later to view the painting, they see instead a mass and swirl of crazed brushstrokes and mishmashed colors. In fact, despite Frenhofer’s belief in the great beauty of the painting, all the two young and bemused artists can make out in the work is part of a foot. In the end, their disappointment in the painting drives Frenhofer over the edge into madness, and he destroys the painting and kills himself.

What I like most about this story is its absolute truthfulness and keen perception in examining certain key features of the artistic drive. While Poussin and Porbin are the rare workmanlike and analytical artists, especially when it comes to their own work, Frenhofer is stifled by an absolute desire for greatness, the hubris of wanting to create a true and historic masterpiece (importanitis). He is blinded by his creative urges to his own failings and the (lack of) quality of his output, though not of others (artistic delusion; artists are their own worst enemies). He is so driven by some his internal artistic urges and his conviction of their greatness, that he is unaware what his work is unappealing, inept, and a complete mess.

Like many such blind, proud, and deluded artists, when he realizes the depths of his failed vision for himself and his work, when he learns that all his burning efforts to create the great masterpiece he is sure he is capable of are in vain, Frenhofer is devastated, driven to insanity, and he can no longer live.

Does this sound like any artists we know? (Hint: To some degree or another, every artist that CAFA has profiled is, in his or her own way, a modern Frenhofer; indeed, it’s quite likely that 99-percent of all artists are.)

As a follow-up on my previous post about artists hitting inevitable career/existential hurdles, I’m posting an email from an artist I don’t really know. She got my email address from the Art Happy Hour! site (that I run as a counterweight to all this Artistic Failure gloom and doom), and she sent me a copy of an email she had written to an exhibition coordinator voicing frustration about being rejected for an art exhibit at a hospital in Minnesota, suggesting for some reason it would be grist for conversation at the happy hour.

(The message is included below, with identifying details X’d out for purposes of confidentiality and privacy, because it provides an interior glimpse of the wounded psyche of an artist hitting an artistic hurdle.)

From: XXXX@msn.com
To: XXXX@allina.com
Subject: RE: XXX XXXX exhibit notification
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 08:57:03 -0500

Thanks XXXX,
I’m going to keep this rejection letter as evidence of how difficult it is to show work in Minneapolis. The pieces were exhibited at Augsburg in 2004, and since that time I’ve had them stored in my studio. NO one wants them because they do take visual and physical space. New York art critic Eleanor Heartney juried one into a competition at the Plains Museum in Fargo, she liked the work. But otherwise, I still own it and store it, which costs me money.

The galleries in Minneapolis have responded with the same words that you have used. They note passion…but no thanks.

I fully understand your position and have other work, but this was a strong emotional period of my life that really demanded healing my heart. What does an artist do with it? My colleagues wonder why I’m not showing, and the answer is I’ve tried.

The full insult is when galleries look at a resume and assume that the artist has not tried to exhibit because other galleries have rejected the work. I do find that my ideas fit better on the coastlines of our country, but that demands shipping expense. If I behave myself and frame it under glass, then I’d have that additional expense, but that doesn’t guarantee acceptance.
You see my point??? Coffee shops won’t even show the work. I truly need your prayers.

best to you,
XXXX XXXX


Subject: XXX XXXX exhibit notification
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 12:18:56 -0500
From: XXXX@allina.com
To: XXXX@msn.com

Dear XXXX:

Thank you for your interest in participating in The XXX XX XXXXXXX exhibit at the XXXXXXXXX XXX Health & Healing. I received many submissions, and was struck by the quality of work I saw.

 

I regret to inform you that your work has not been selected for inclusion in this exhibit. Your images are strong, the description of your experience moving, and I honor the healing that is a part of the artistic process for you. However, I had to make difficult decisions as I worked with issues of space availability and the desire to create a cohesive group show.

 

I thank you again for your willingness to share your work with the patients, staff and visitors of the XXXXXXXXX and XXXXX XXXXXXX Hospital. We very much appreciate artists, and the ways in which art helps to create a healing environment within our clinic.

 

Blessings on your continued artistic journey.

 

Warmly,

 

XXXX XXXX

XXXXXX XXXX Program Coordinator

I have a personal theory that all artists, no matter their stature, talent, social position, or personal history, eventually at some point in their career hits a big, chest-high, brutal hurdle that stops them dead in their tracks and forces them into, at best, an existential crisis, or, at worst, a spirit-shattering spiral into doom–either by a needle-fed OD or by a pistol in a field or by hanging oneself in the woods or through slow mental, physical, or spiritual decline.)

Of course, everyone in every career hits inevitable job hurdles. Maybe you don’t get a position you really want and have to settle for a second choice, maybe you’re passed over for a raise, maybe your new boss or another coworked is a complete douche, maybe you just wake up and realize you hate what you do–all of us face this stuff. We all, at some point, ponder chucking it all, scraping up as much funds as we can, buying a hacienda on the coast of Belize, and spending the rest of our days sipping One Barrel and running a cheesy and perhaps slightly illicit internet business of some sort or another.

For artists, though, hitting the Big Hurdle is different than for most other professions. This is because individuals who take on the mantle of the artist, for some reason, often develop deep identities of themselves as an indelibly crucial part of the culture at large. That is, artists are trained—either by the education system, the artistic culture, their peers, or just pure wishful thinking—to have a bloated sense of their own importance to the rest of the world, a sense of identity that is greatly out of proportion with what their actual role is in the culture. When artists realize, inevitably, eventually, that their sense of themselves (important creators of culture) simply does not match up with how others often view them (lazy, lucky, self-aggrandizing bums), viola! The Great Soul-Shattering Artist Hurdle is met, and the artists either A) tumble horrifically in the attempt to mount the hurdle and become soul-wounded to the core, B) are stopped dead in their tracks and forced to give up their race, or C) find some sort of long and slow way around the hurdle to continue onward.

As I mentioned, this is a theory. I have little quantifiable proof past a few anecdotes really, because, as the axiom puts it, it is generally the victors who write the history books. That is, the artists we tend to know are the ones who have taken path C) around/over the hurdle and have managed to find success (or at least a way to sustain them in their careers). We don’t know artists who at some point have just given up (taken path B), because they just tend to disappear into the blank ether. And we all know a few sensational examples of A)—artists who have killed themselves out of despair or illness—but that is only if they have, at some point, become famous for their art. (I wonder how many unknown examples of A) there are that we’ll never know.)

Part of the mission of CAFA is to pay attention to artists as they meet the career-crushing, soul-smashing Artist Hurdle of Doom. This is in the hopes that artists might learn something essential about themselves and their relationships to what they do. It is to train artists to think in terms of finding their own answers for their problems, not blaming the rest of the world for their struggles. It is because I long ago grew tired of hearing the refrain of complaints from artists, and I’m turning the mirror around in the hopes that artists will figure it out for their damned selves.

All of this is to explain why I lingered too long over the sordid story of the struggling artist Combs, as he struggled with paths A) and B) through his own personal Artist Hurdle. It’s why I’ve kept monitoring ex-artist-cum-blogger Prokop, who has said in regards to giving up art (after I wrote about him):

I never expected success to be handed to me without working for it. I’m not sitting on my hands whining about my failure. What people don’t realize is that hard work does not get rewarded. I’ve worked as hard as I could in my pursuits. I’ve always had such a hard time just trying to make enough money to maintain my own survival. I have to choose between having time to make art and having money to make art. I opt for one, and three months later I need to shift the weight, and maybe sacrifice a flexible job for a consistent income. And I’m not giving up. I’m still writing songs, recording and releasing music. Yes, I quit making “visual art.” That’s a different story. I’m very critical of that discipline right now. I’ll figure out how to write about it eventually…. I’m waiting for something to pay off right now. I’m trying to take it easy and not stress myself out. I can’t afford for my depression to be driving me, so until something happens maybe a little apathy is the answer. I was all ready to make a routine out of bourbon-sours and Law and Order episodes on Netflix, but Michael’s blog got me thinking.

It is also the reason that I–long long ago before I even knew what I was doing–wrote about this overly insistent, but ultimately doomed artist, after he had hounded me to write about him–calling me at home, at my day job, at every number of mine he could find. This artist Kassel had started an amateurish gallery (called Eat Bugs), spearheaded an art “movement” (called New Expressionism), pulled together a pathetic band of followers, and he wanted attention. Of course, the attention I gave was likely not what he expected. Here’s a tidbit:

The conversation shifts again, and Kassel goes off to seduce other likely candidates, so I decide to make my own escape. The air outside is refreshingly cool compared to the oppressive air in the gallery, and the roar of Lake Street is somehow pleasant after the amplified singing and loud talking. Starting one’s own artistic movement is a terrible responsibility, it seems, and those of us who don’t suffer such a burden should appreciate how lucky and free we are.

In the end, like most any artist hitting the Great Artist Hurdle, Kassel closed his Eat Bugs gallery shortly after the story was published and eventually gave up making art. But note: Since then the artist appears to have gone on to a PhD program in political science and, recently, to serve in the Congressional Fellows program.

(Moral of the story: Though you will, like every young artist, eventually, inevitably hit the Great Artist Hurdle, there’s no reason your life has to be ruined when you do.)

According to United Press International, the English artist Angus Fairhurst—a founding member of the Young British Artists group—committed suicide yesterday. There is no indication of his reasons for doing so.

Artist Angus Fairhurst dead at 41

LONDON, April 1 (UPI) — Angus Fairhurst, one of the founding members of the Young British Artists group of conceptual artists, has hanged himself from a tree, police said.

He was 41.

Fairhurst’s representative told The Daily Telegraph newspaper the artist committed suicide Saturday on the last day of his third solo show at a London gallery.

Strathclyde Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Fairhurst’s death.

His body was found in a remote Highland woods near the Bridge of Orchy, the newspaper said.

“He always supported me, in fair weather and foul,” Fairhurst’s fellow artist Damien Hirst said. “He shone like the moon and as an artist he had just the right amount of ’slightly round the bend.’ I loved him.”

Fairhurst’s latest solo exhibition of sculptures and large-scale paintings was at Sadie Coles HQ in London.

“Angus was funny, ridiculously charming, a wonderful cook and great host, a crazy dancer, a radical gardener, a nature lover and an intensely intelligent artist,” Coles and her fellow director Pauline Daly said in a joint statement.

Fairhurst is survived by his mother, Sally, and brother, Charles.