By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Local boy makes bad: Since former Denverite JT Colfax assumed the name of his favorite strip and hit the road for New York City three years ago, he's been painting the town red--and now it's seeing red over his efforts. The street artist's preferred medium is the photocopier, which he uses to create fliers that he slaps across the city. Among his recent works: a poster showing a photo of a dirty country highway, headlined "Virgin Gay Sex" and carrying this message: "I lost it on this North Denver road...It was for cash. He was jaded and bitter."
So are a couple dozen other people who can thank Colfax for their brush with fame last month. All of them were actors who hoped to get parts in a New York University student film, appropriately titled Antipathy; their head shots wound up in a trash can outside Colfax's apartment. Oops. He quickly turned the portraits of the 28 hopefuls into a six-foot-high collage on a Greenwich Village wall that spelled out the word "reject" and included the artist's scrawled speculations as to why the actors might not have been cast. "Wants to be the next Matthew Broderick," read one caption. Pronounced another: "Low self-esteem."
Which apparently Colfax doesn't suffer from. In his first artistic outing since October's "reject" project, Colfax doctored a Westword review of the NYC band Unsane into a collage that suggested subway users commit mass suicide at the 51st Street #6 platform after the transit authority raises the fare to $1.50 in December. "Think Christmas," he advises.
Colfax has a message for the folks back home, too. "Just once I'd like my family, friends and other artists in Denver--most of whom I put through a lot of hell --to see one tiny thing about me," he says. "I am regularly exposing New Yorkers to mentions of things Denver. Otherwise, one hardly ever hears about Denver here...unless it's airport articles in the Times."
Thanks, JT. That commendation from the chamber of commerce should be coming your way any day.
Funny business: Another former resident's days in the Queen-sized City of the Plains days are recalled--not exactly accurately--by Roseanne's sister, Geraldine Barr, in My Sister Roseanne. The new book includes a tale of how the up-and-coming comedienne came to Westword with a tale about how the Comedy Works had "censored" her, which the paper was "delighted to tell." Writes Geraldine, "It would not be the last time Rosey easily manipulated the press to her advantage." Or, for that matter, the last time Geraldine herself did the same. Because contrary to what you may have read in the Rocky Mountain News last week, the October 29, 1981, Westword story previewing Roseanne's "Take Back the Mike" said nothing about censorship or the Comedy Works. In fact, the most incendiary quote was nothing more than this: "Sometimes club managers tell me to tone down my act--they're afraid I may shock some of the audience by using feminist material that's been around for years. Usually the audiences like it, though, because the subjects are things they're dealing with at home."
Roseanne should sound so pleasant today.
Actually, the accounts of Roseanne's former and current, if estranged, family members rarely resemble each other--much less Roseanne's version. Bill Pentland was married to Roseanne; like Geraldine, he wound up suing the star. After their divorce in 1989, Pentland "spent a year lying in a fetal position." He uncurled in time to return to Colorado, release the tape Diesel Dykes o' Dixie, and recently open the Full Circle Cafe in Georgetown. "I saw the inside of the machine and wanted to get out," he says. "I feel proud and fortunate that I had roots here and am able to get back to where people recognize each other and have integrity.