Couch #12 – Jess and Ben

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Couch #12 – Jess and Ben – June 11th, 2010

Couch #12 belongs to Jess and Ben.  Jess got the couch in Chicago at Marshall Fields during a huge sale.  This couch was discounted because it was missing a pillow and had a rip on the side.  It was originally probably $1000 and she got it for around $200-$300.  When the doors open for these sales, a sea of people flow in.  She had to run in and plant her ass on it to claim it while her friend or family member went and paid for it,   It is a sleeper and it weighs a ton.  Last time they had to have the ex-Marine who lived next door help move it. It is comfortable, but it does need a new mattress.  There is a sag in the middle.  They have slept on it as a sofa and as a couch.   Ben and Jess live in an apartment in Historic Filipinotown.  They don’t live in Beverly Hills.  They live in “the ‘hood”.  It’s also a Hispanic family neighborhood.  There is violence, but there are also kids.  They have lived in these sorts of neighborhoods much of their lives.  Jess is a freelance vocalist.  Ben works in digital asset management for a major studio and is also a musician.  They are married and have been for nearly two years.   Jess and Ben  have a dog, Orson.  He is an integral member of their family.  Actually, he is the star.  Jess likes to play music and is learning bass right now.  She also likes to go hiking and spend time with Orson outdoors.  She enjoys listening to music and going to the movies.  She is a closeted artist too.  She draws in her notebook.   Ben plays music alot.  Mostly Jazz.  He is a bass player.  He reads vintage science fiction among other things.  Ben spends time with Jess and Orson and shops at thrift stores and book stores.   Jess is possessed by Art the Clown when she is serious about some art she is working on.  He turns up in her work quite often.  Art kind of looks like Bozo.  Jess believes that he is telling her she is taking things too seriously.  Art the Clown has a myspace page.  Ben was a punk ass son-of-a-bitch when he was younger.  He was a smoker and hung out with scuzzy people on the fringes of society.  He had an edginess and a chip on his shoulder.  Ben was pretty angry back then.  Ben is also somewhat of a compulsive personality and collects things including a bulk lot of purportedly 20,000 ties.  Ben was wearing one during the interview. Ben and I worked at MGM together.  He was my coordinator for a short time before I got a full-time coordinator.  Jess believes she met me at party hosted by our friend Marlene.  I recall meeting her at Zen Sushi when their band Chicken Fat was playing.  Ben has been to 2 out of 3 of my art shows, but that is all Jess’ doing. She likes supporting her friends and appreciates the hard work of creative labor.  Some of Ben’s favorite songs are “Time” by Richard Hell and the Voidoids, “Good Pair of Hands” by the Country Teasers, and “Waters of March” by Tom Jobim.  Jess likes “Horse with a Frieze” by Eddie Bo, and “Show It” by Betty Harris.  Ben enjoys pizza and Jess likes spaghetti squash.  Ben likes the film “Never Too Young to Die” featuring John Stamos and Gene Simmons.  Jess likes “Night of the Hunter”.   Jess is really excited to see how this project unfolds.  Will there be an iconic image from each couch?  How will I whittle things down?   Ben wants to know if I will reveal statistics at the end, like how many people I had sex with.  Will I release a commemorative glass cup?   Who will write the academic introduction for my Taschen book?  And who will be the artists who’s work will be used to represent the work of Dean MacKay?   They do have guests periodically and have an open door policy.  They would let me stay there any night, so I may be back.

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