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About Edward

Active in the 1980s-90s, East Village performance art, theater, and rock scene, his serial, The Onyx Fool ran for three months at the legendary club 8 BC . In 2016, its archive became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Archive of American Art in Washington DC . Later years have a seen a turn towards visual art and music. His work as a performer, and/or creator, has been shown at numerous venues including: The Pyramid Club, CBGBs, Luna Lounge, The Kitchen, BAM, La Mama, Theater For... more

East Village 1980s Memory Series

The East Village 1980s Memory Series is a look into my past. Using gouache and ink on watercolor paper, with decoupage, calligraphic text, and handmade, gilded, distressed frames.

Moving about a year ago stirred a lot of emotions, especially when I came across photos, letters, etc. from a long time ago. In middle age, there is a poignancy in coming across the artifacts of youth. A simultaneous feeling of intimacy and alienation, possession and loss. Intimacy and possession – because I possess the richness of memory. Alienation and loss – because the person I one once was is forever lost; and the places and people I once knew, are forever changed (if they still exist). This series is an attempt to visualize that state of mind.

Delirious Baltimore

Wandering around Baltimore, I couldn't help notice that often you see things in the city doesn't seem exactly real. I bought a small camera that I could carry around to try to capture that phenomenon and this is the result.

The Forgotten History of Staten Island

Funded in its initial phase an Original Work Grant from the New York State Council of the Arts, The Forgotten History of Staten Island, was/is an interdisciplinary public arts project. Its subject is the unreliability and mutability of history.
In the piece, the history of Staten Island, a location which is (oxymoronically) famous for its obscurity, became a metaphor for the ambiguous nature of history itself. The project took the form of a celebration of real and imagined historical events told through the eyes of the mythical, Dr. D. I. Kniebocker (Staten Island’s self-described “greatest" and most controversial historian), in a series of on-site installations, a pamphlet, a website (fhsi.wordpress.com), and a live performance at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center (A Smithsonian affiliate institution) on Staten Island. Onsite installations were maintained on the streets of Staten Island, from that point, until the end of the year, 2011. There was an additional chapter (Alice Austen) that was introduced at The Wonderland Show at the Staten Island Museum – Dec 10, 2011. The Forgotten History continues to live on as a website and a free downloadable PDF. Future physical manifestations of the project can never be ruled out.

What I was trying to do with the Forgotten History, was to find an entertaining way of making a serious point: That history is malleable, unreliable and should be read as such. “Fact” and fiction are interwoven in the The Forgotten History in the hopes that it will provide the viewer with an approach to reading history and sorting out what is fact and fiction that can also be applied to so-called “real” history, which is in reality also a mixture of fact and fiction.

Baltimore City People

I have lived most of my life in one city or another. I'm obsessed with streetscapes, and feel edgy and slightly lost if I'm not around concrete for extended periods. But in the end, it's the people who are in those streets that make a city what it is. Although I didn't move to Baltimore until 2012, I visited my Grandparents here going back as far as the 1960s. And I feel that history informs the pictures. Although, I'm not sure exactly how it informs them. But the people of Baltimore City have always seemed effortlessly colorful to me ever since I came here as a small boy, and I think you can see that in the photos.

The Modern Venus Series

In short, the Modern Venus Series combined pin-up art with the modernist compositional structures that led to abstract painting at the beginning of the 20th Century. As I put it at the time "my goal was to combine a modernist abstract compositional sense with the fervent representationalism of classic pin-up art." For a more complete understanding of what I was up to, read the PDF, "Modern Venus, a Context," which is in the details section, to the right. It places the Modern Venus series in the context of 25 thousands years of art, and references everything from the Venus of Willendorf to Michelangelo and Tom of Finland.

Peter Pigeon of Snug Harbor

As an unpublished manuscript, Peter Pigeon of Snug Harbor won the 2006 COAHSI (now known as Staten Island Arts) Award for Literary Excellence sponsored by JP Morgan Chase and Poets & Writers. It was published in 2009 by Rocky Hollow Press. At that point, the book was illustrated by me. It is still available on Amazon.

Keep Baltimore Inexplicable

Keep Baltimore Inexplicable is public art piece based on the concept that Baltimore is inexplicable and should remain so.

It was inspired by hearing a number of notable figures appropriating the famous Austin slogan and suggesting that we "Keep Baltimore Weird." I thought this was terrible idea and that the slogan did not sum up the city at all. Although I haven't lived here for many years, Baltimore and I go back a long way. My Grandparents moved here during WW2 and never left. I first came to Baltimore over 50 years ago and have developed quite a complex vision of it in the intervening years.What slogan would sum up Baltimore, I wondered? Then it struck me that Baltimore could not be explained in a simple slogan, and that was a good thing. So instead I created a slogan that wouldn't attempt to explain things, but would emphasize the fact that Baltimore can't be easily pigeon-holed

These days, much of the high end of Art Market is leveraged with sophisticated marketing campaigns to maximize profit. I wondered, if at the other end of the market, where I dwell, I could create a cheerfully unsophisticated marketing campaign that was a piece of art in itself. That was selling nothing other than a consciousness about the city which I feel other people share, but have not yet found the words for.
I became intrigued with the idea that an art project could do a better branding job for a city than advertising and marketing people, because there wouldn't be anyone in particular to answer to, and there wouldn't be a profit motive involved.

I thought that the best way to put forth this proposition was with a multi-media campaign that would highlight the complexity of this fascinating city centering around the crazy quilt of personalities that have made it what it was today. To that end I've created the website http://keepbaltimoreinexplicable.wordpress.com/
Also in the works are a music video, bumper stickers and posters. The song for music video is already written.

The website has one page that will catalog various Baltimore Inexplicabilia. Another page shows celebrity endorsers of the project. (So far only deceased Baltimore celebrities have signed on, but we will solicit live ones before long). It also has a poll where people can cast their vote as to whether Baltimore should remain Inexplicable. And the following manifesto is posted there:

“A city that has been called:“the southernmost city in the North and the northernmost city in the South;” that goes by the dual nicknames “Charm City” and “Mobtown;” and is best known nationally for fictional TV series about crime (The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street) and a non-fictional series about cake decorating (Ace of Cakes); is not easy to sum up, or even explain.
In fact, there’s a long list of inexplicable things about Baltimore and Keep Baltimore Inexplicable intends to compile it! And why not? Evidence of a multi-faceted, diverse, and (often) contradictory city is not something to be stifled. Instead it should be celebrated! And indeed, Keep Baltimore Inexplicable is an organization created to do just that.”
We call upon the citizenry to ignore the implementation of simplistic labels such as the lamentable, oft- floated, ‘Keep Baltimore Weird’ slogan, or the ‘Greatest City in The World’ tagline featured on the city’s public benches. Baltimore defies this kind of simplistic explanation and you should too!

Too aid us in our cause, we have enlisted luminaries (past and present) to endorse our campaign to Keep Baltimore Inexplicable in a series of posters – Men and women who have either lived, or achieved greatness, in Baltimore. Watch this page in the upcoming weeks for announcements of the Great Baltimoreans, past and present, who have joined the campaign to Keep Baltimore Inexplicable!”

Hampden (The Avenue) Series

At first I wasn't sure if the Hampden Series was a part of the East Village 1980s Series (which then of course would have had a different title), or a response to it. Without the present, there is no past; and without the past, there is no present. So they can be viewed either as separate entities or part of a continuum. In both series I was directly reacting to somewhere I lived. The East Village Series 1980s was stirred up by the photographs and other historical debris I uncovered when I moved to Hampden in 2012. But when I finally got time to paint, after working on my fixer-upper home, I was already immersed in my new surroundings. I live a couple of blocks from "The Avenue" in Hampden. It's very much like the Street I grew up on (in Brooklyn, New York) was back in the 60s and 70s. Full of people pouring out of local retail businesses; walking down the street; screaming at each other, as if the background noise was a blaring TV their own living rooms . I felt immediately at home. Or, at least as at home as I have felt, since I lived in the East village in the 1980s. At the same time, there was the thrill of the newcomer. When you are new to a place, the same street events that will eventually be viewed as irritating roadblockers , seem exotic and exciting. I wanted to capture the energy I felt in my return to street life, after a decade of living in painful isolation, in places where there wasn't such activity. To create something that would reflect what it was like to still be alive after all these years, living in a world that was alive. As I worked, I realized that's a very different mindset than looking at the past. And the series should be separate.

Bleach House

Bleach House was a band I put together with Steve Shiltz (Main Guitarist), Dave Marchese (Bass) and Chris Krippas (drums), and myself (songwriter, vocalist, and second guitarist), around the turn of the century in New York. (Not to be confused with a similarIy-named band that appeared in Baltimore a few years later.) We gigged a lot around lower Manhattan and did go into a studio to lay down these recordings. But they were never given a real mix as I having some vocal problems at the time and hoped do redo those tracks, while in the meantime the band broke up. I played my songs over the years in various contexts thoughout the 80 and 90s. But they never sounded better live than they did with Bleach House. These recordings though rough, are a document of what we did, and remind of when I thought the most perfect manifestation of art was a 3-4 minute rock song.

  • Desolate Land

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • Where We've Been

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • Whiskey Road

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • Pink And Blue

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • Carnaby Street

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • The End

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • Sweet Gone Girl

    Written by Edward Weiss, performed by Bleach House
  • Bleach House

    From left to right. Steve Shiltz, Edward Weiss, Chris Krippas, Dave Marchese