Posted by pancho from pool0265.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (184.108.40.206) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 11:35AM :
+++This one needs commentary...or I need to make it.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: convention
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 23:54:13 -0700
From: Jacklin Bejan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Jeff Atto <email@example.com>
> Jeff,(He Asks Her)
> I was just curious because he claims that you asked him to bring his
> and I noticed that even on the assyrianconvention.org web site one of
> the events
> includes "arts & sculpture". Is there another sculptor coming, or are
> you and
> him in such a large argument that you took back that invitation? Or,
> is he
> lying about it and you never invited him at all? (more below)
Would you invite some one to your house, if that person insulted, abused
and ridiculed you and the entity you represented??? How would you react
to a person who is trying to bully his way in by issuing threats and
ultimatums?? Does that not bring out the absolute worst in you???
+++As you can see by the date...she sent this letter about two weeks before the convention. Till then she and I had been working together just fine on the monument as well as the show I was to have at the convention. The only "threats" and "ultimatums" I "issued" were that I was coming to the convention as I had for 22 years...that it wasn't her convention and wasn't up to her to invite or dis-invite artists, that I had done nothing to the Assyrian community to warrant this abrupt dismissal...She neglects to tell Jeff WHY I was so pissed at her.
world does not start and end with Fred Parhad, and yes, we do have
another sculptor, a beautiful young Assyrian woman, Lorinda Menchavez,
who does magnificent ceramic sculpting and is on the list of exhibitors.
+++They were three clay pots...things Jackie wouldn't display in her home if you gave them to her. Instead she has thousands of dollars worth of my sculpture there...it was for Jackie's home, not for you peons to see...three pots to piss in was good enough for you. No disrespect to Ms Menchavez, the "great" Assyrian sculptor.
I did not have any arguments with Fred.
+++A whopping lie. We didn't "argue" only because she wouldn't respond to anything...except to send more lying e-mails to Atour Golani, who should have known better as she's called him and his wife, Janey, every vulgar name imaginable, in my presence, to see if I would drop my "loyalty" to them.
What I tried to do for him and
our community, myself included,
+++For public consumption she places them in that order.
was to try and get the Summuramat
installed in San Jose in a very short period of 4 months, and God knows
I tried with all the connections and leverage that I had at the city,
++++In the first place, it was five months, and she only attended one full meeting of the San Jose Arts Commission, in April, and one sub-committee meeting soon after that. Then she disappeared...missed every other meeting, all the while telling me, and others, that she was working dilligently etc. The Director, Harriet Traurig sent me a letter, which I can't find now...but it's in the public record, stating just that. Jackie decided somewhere along the way to simply stop working on it...why, I'm not certain. I think she found me increasingly less willing to do it her way...and of course I wouldn't take the ample opportunities she was laying out there to make a grab at her. Not, I repeat again, because she was hot to trot...on the contrary, my impression of her, like most frigid, controlling and manipulative women AND men, is that she derives no pleasure from sex...that she uses her charms, such as they are, only to trap and ensnare...uses it as a policy device and to get the upper hand over men stupid enough to believe she is smitten by them, no matter how temporarily...and starved enough themselves to even contemplate such a yucky thing.
+++(In this context I can't help recalling a most weird exchange between myself and Dr. (prison psychologist) Norman Solkha in the lobby of the hotel at the Detroit convention before this last one. Bless Norman...he'd constructed what I was impolitic enough to call a "Plywood Palace"...a reproduction in poster colors and glue of a room in the palace of an Assyrian king, with giant reproductions of the Budweiser Calendar paintings of Assyrian hysterical scenes...and all of it being passed off as worth $750,000. He was looking for anyone who'd take the damn thing as a "donation" so he could get the IRS tax write-off. There was no way the silly thing was worth even $5,000...but Norman believes in "great" Assyrian deeds. Anyway, he started loudly chastising me for denigrating his Palace...and somehow we wound up with him telling me he has a special whore in every city he travels to...that he can buy any woman...that I was "jealous" because I didn't have the money etc. Other people were listenning in as he was quite worked up over his prowess with the ladies of the night, and at one point his unfortunate escort for the evening came up and asked what the matter was. I was so enthralled and puzzled by it all that all I could think to say was, "Norman, have you SEEN my wife"? Meaning that even if I was a short and aging bachelor forced to buy women, I sure as hell wouldn't BRAG about it to someone as blessed as I am in a gorgeous wife. Grab Jackie... WHY???)
but the reality of working with any city government is that the system
is very bureaucratic, and these types of projects can not materialize in
4 months. Fred knew this from his 18 months of struggle with
Ashurbanipal in San Francisco
+++It was this effort by her's to alert every friggin official in the city government that took four months. I asked her once why she was having lunch over the Shumirum, why she was involving the mayor, the supervisors. It was obvious she was using the Shumirum to increase her own profile,,,and power to her, so long as she didn't put that in front of the monument, but that's exactly what she was doing. It took HER four months...and again, because it took her that long to achieve absolutely nothing...she comes back to tell us HOW LONG she worked for us.
+++It didn't take us 18 months to get approval from the city of San Francisco, or Chicago...two of the toughest cities to get art into. And we didn't waste our time, or try to get recognition for some other agenda, from mayors and others. Arts Commisions are very wary of anyone trying to muster political clout for what is supposed to be a work of art. Not only do they resent people going over their heads, they have to wonder why you don't just let the piece speak for itself. No one, no one, can influence art commissions...they are independant for that very reason and the jealously guard that independance from even the appearance of political influence. It was just the wrong way to go about it...unless your main objective was to let the city know that YOU were doing this thing. So really all of Jackie's self-serving attempts in using the Shumirum to get herself noticed, hurt us in the end.
+++In San Francisco Narsai and I attended all ofone meeting, showed the commissioners the maquette of the Ashurbanipal, I'd just begun work on the actual monument, and they gave us their instant approval...at that meeting....subject of course to viewing the completed piece before final approval. Had I completed the piece already we would have gotten final approval at the first meeting. The rest of the work took four weeks...meeting with the Library Commission to get their approval...where again, only some Assyrians appeared to try and derail the thing...another meeting with the Board of Supervisors to settle some financial concerns, at which yet again some Assyrians showed up to try to kill the monument, stop it from being installed (we have nothing to fear from Muslims)...and the actual building of the pedestal and preparation of the site. It took 18 months to MAKE the monument, NOT get it approved and installed. And in Chicago it took two letters and some photographs and we were done...got the approval by mail fer chrissakes! There was no need to to have meetings with mayors, lunch with assistants to mayors and committee heads...no need for postcard campaigns to resolve "difficulties" because we placed none in our path...our objective was clear, "get the monument installed"...not, "get ME noticed".
, and I told him that we can only try, and
if not by convention time, then we will do it at a later time.
+++It was her idea to stick it in San Jose. I only agreed because Nimrod, the MidWest version of Jackie, was blocking it from being installed in Chicago. I told her I would go along if she did everything she could to get it installed in time for the convention, something she at first was eager to do as well. (I think later she briefly had fantasies about me just leaving for Mexico and leaving the whole thing up to her) We delayed our move to Mexico and our new home for six months to see the project through to completion...only to get shafted by her heinnass two weeks before the convention.
took it upon himself to make a deal with the owner of the foundry to
have the work completed for $5,000 more by the deadline of August 15th,
or the owner was going to get the statue.
+++There was some final structural work that had to be done in order to fit the monument with reinforcing and stainless steel bolts, that couldn't be done till we knew what sort of pedestal the whole thing would rest on. Also a patina had to be applied to the queen and lioness...something you do at the last minute...and some detail work on her tassles, sword and name plates for the pedestal.
+++Jackie had asked me several times if I would make a Chariot casting for a friend of hers and I'd always refused. I agreed to do it finally as a way to get the money to pay for the last minute work. She said she wasn't ready yet...that first she wanted, "all her horses in a row"...that there would be time later to get the money.
+++As time went on and we got closer to the convention deadline, I was concerned that by the time Jackie got her horses in line and the guy bought the chariot, there wouldn't be enough time to complete the work on the Shumirum. I can't just ask the foundry to drop other work and rush on mine because Jackie's horses lined up...other people have deadlines too.
+++I felt Jackie was taking far too long as it was...and there were hints that she was getting pissed at me because I wasn't as appreciative as I should be...ahem. I finally decided that if, for whatever reason ,we failed to get the Shumirum installed in San Jose, I wasn't going to move to Mexico and leave the monument in storage, and as the owner of the foundry had a contract from the city of Marina to create a sculpture garden...I'd rather have it installed there than nowhere.
+++I asked him therefore if he would do the final work at his cost...do it immediately. If I wasn't able to get him the $5,000 by August 15th, a date by which I was sure Jackie's horses must be in line...the monument was his to place in the sculpture garden at the city of Marina...Joe DiMaggio's birthplace.
+++He was a little surprised...but jumped on it. The work was done...and ten days before the deadline for the cash, I called Jackie to see if she had told her friend about the Chariot. She wouldn't return my calls, or told me she was busy, would I call back? I finally told her I'd wait 24 hours to hear from her, and when she didn't respond, I mailed her that the Shumirum wasn't going to San Jose...and that's when she fired back that I was not welcome at her convention.
+++But my immediate problem was to get the Shumirum back. I didn't really want it in Marina, still felt I owed it to all the donors, especially Helen, to install the monument in Chicago. It had been part out of desperation and partly out of a desire to get the Shumirum ready in plenty of time...or else guess who would get blamed...that I made the deal with the foundry. Luckily, Narsai returned from a trip to China, and when he heard what had happened, cut the check right there and I was able to keep possession of the Shumirum for us...for a community of devoted and weepy eyed Assyrians who have no interest in anything that requires activity from the waist up.
He was going to give the
statue that was paid for by donations from many Assyrians, especially
the late Helen Schwarten to an owner of a foundry, hence, putting
pressure on me to get him the money for something that should have been
finished long ago.
+++This is a good time to remind everyone that I pay for these monuments from the sale of my own sculpture. No one, except Helen and Narsai, Dr Vallo Benjamin and Dr. Milton David has ever "donated". If I needed more money to finish the monument, it was only coming from the sale of my own sculpture...it was my own "profit" and I have every right to spend as much as I feel I need to make it the best damn monument I can. My family has had to get used to this... screw everyone else if they don't get it. I suppose I should have bought a Benz with the money...for Assyria.
+++And another thing, you adenoidal half-breed...how do YOU know when sculpture can be finished...or what's involved? You're so sure you get full value for your German cars, but that I'm ripping us all off when it comes to sculpture. Dummy. There is no profit in these monuments...I wind up broke every time at the end, lucky to get enough to finish...just finish.
Work that was supposedly paid for last year when he
was yelling and screaming to have it installed in Chicago.
+++You were there...you know I wasn't yelling and screaming. In fact I was the only one who DIDN'T raise my voice. Once again...if I say the piece needs more work...that final details can now be completed, now that it is to be installed and not stored...and since I pay for the work myself...and as in this case was finally and only willing to sell the Chariot to a friend of yours as per your request...and use the money to to finish the monument...what the fuck business is it of yours? This additional work would have been necessary for Chicago too, if Nimrod had gotten out of the way...it was postponed because the city of Chicago shelved the project due to another Assyrin asshole of ours...although he's a full blown asshole and Jackie's is only half-blown. Take it up with Lincoln.
Then came in
another surprise, and that was additional funds needed to manufacture a
bronze base for the statue at yet some additional funds!!
+++I worked for a year carving a base for the Shumirum. It measured nine feet, by five feet by one and a half feet high. YOU go try and get that kind of work done and see how much they charge you. Once again...I was getting nothing for the art work...only for the casting costs. I carved five diffeerent versions of Shumirum's name, one of them given me by Isaa Benyamin, glory to his name. There was a delicate bas-relief motif of palmettes around it and the history of our people, handcarved...as well as a history of Shumirum and a dedication to Helen Nimrod Schwarten.
+++On my return from Chicago where the Arts Council and I had worked out installation details for the Chicago convention...I drove the pieces of the base to Tempe, Arizona because they were too delicate to ship...to a foundry that specializes in sand-casting...which is best for thin, flat pieces.
+++It was on my return that I learned Nimrod had threatened to sue Chicago and the project had been shelved. The base that took a year to do was finally tossed out in the alley by the foundry...all I could salvadge were the five carved versions of Shumirum's name.
+++What Jackie is referring to is the PEDESTAL...thr concrete and granite pedestal that the monument, including the bronze BASE, would ultimately sit. Out of appreciation the city of Chicago had TWICE agreed to pay all costs, only to wiothdraw the offer TWICE because of Nimrod's inexpolicable behavior...in grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.
+++What you people fail to understand is that when someone gives you a quote for a job, it's only good for 60 or 90 days....come back after that and the price will be higher due to increased costs. The Shumirum took 13 years. had I been able to do it in two or even three, the costs would have remained stable...but drag it out for 13 years and then get pissed because it 'costs more"...when it simply means I have to sell more of my sculpture to pay the increased costs, and get pissed at ME for it?...and you wonder why we have only volunteers and wear them out...and why we have so few young people really interested in getting involved?
He needed all
the money in less than 30 days time, and he expected me to find donors
for him right away. Only when I could not deliver the money to him, and
I personally would not pay it was when he showed his real face and got
himself in a confrontation with me.
++++I never asked you for a thing. YOU asked to have the Shumirum installed in San Jose. YOU asked me to make a Chariot for your friend...like you pleaded with me to make the "tiny" bull for another friend of yours. Any additional money was going to come from the sale of my sculpture...not your pocket. All I asked you to do was get your friend to buy early enough so there would be time to finish the monument and have it ready to install because I believed you when you said you would do, and were doing, everything possible to get it installed by the convention. I never expected you to pay the money. I believe I DID ask you if you could front the money if you weren't able to get your friend to do it fast enough...but I only did that because you assured me he was waiting and thrilled to get a Chariot...which at $15,000 would have given us all we needed. It was never for YOUR money I asked...not once. If I needed the money that way I would have asked Narsai...who is a lot more out of pocket than you will ever be, and who's never ONCE asked people to know how much he "does" for us all...like you do every chance you get...or make sure other's do it for you. Not all of us are as stupid as you think we are. And if you didn't pay Shawn handsomely, he wouldn't "believe" you either. In fact...everything you have in the way of approbation, you paid for...and over-paid I'm sure. Like Lincoln said...take your money away and no one would give you the time of day. That's what really pissed you all off so much...that I had something people would pay thousands for...while you had to PAY OUT to get something from those same people. That's what burns your black little heart.
I know now that all he wanted was to take advantage of the convention
crowd to promote himself, and then have his exhibition so that he can
sell more statues for his personal gain so that he can finance a year or
two of his life in Mexico.
+++What a terrible thing for an Assyrian artist to do...and something I am sure Ms Menchavez and Hannibal Alkhase DIDN'T want to do...they come to conventions out of a love for Jackie...like she works in the Silicon Valley for love and not cash.
+++When you decide to be an artist for this community, you've consigned yourself to a lifetime of poverty and abuse...if you're lucky. I mean lucky because at least you'll get some kind of attention...the rest die from neglect.
+++Just as you pay your bands, because you want serious music...the artists should at least have the chance to sell something...just to cover costs. Tell me...would any bands come if they knew they'd have to count on hand-outs, or sales of CD's...or even ticket sales? hell no...you have to pay them up front, or they don't show. In my case I have to move hundreds of pounds of sculptures across country...for which I don't ask the Federation for anything...should I also be robbed of any chance to get something back in return? You see any hundreds of Assyrian artists out there? is there any support for them...and must they also have to bear all the costs without even a chance to recover part, or god forbid, make something too? Are we supposed to be cursed for ever wanting to be artists?
+++I took seven wooden crates to the Chicago convention, filled with the plaster sections of the Shumirum and lioness. the bill was $5,000 to ship them out and back. I spent days lugging those crates around the hotel, setting up and dismantling, renting trucks to get them to the train depot and back,,,while the rest of you were drinking tea and walking the halls...and all so you'll have something slightly meaningful to see...should you understand such things...and not for you so much as for your children.
+++I don't expect anyone to pay for it...my pleasure, if I can do it at all. But on top of that, to have someone like Jackie make it seem that this is all done in some deep and clever bid to make money...for a "lifestyle" (like eating maybe?)...is just so unjust...that you all deserve her.
I was good until I could no longer benefit
him. It is funny how just last week he came to my house and sold me and
my girlfriend a small tiny little statue that he priced at $500.
+++I'm not goping to provide her girl-friend's name...I'm sure she's mortified enough. But I will say that this delightful woman had been asking me for years to cast the small Lamasu for her...something I never got around to doing. Jackie involved herself in this, telling me that this woman was suffering from a lack of self-confidence, and proceeded to tell me things told to her in confidence, things I had no business knowing...and didn't want to hear. She asked, as a special favor to her, that I cast the lamasu for her...and make one for Jackie too, while I was at it.
+++I was happy to do it finally, and I shipped the piece. I also sent Jackie her's later...only I removed the balls from hers...she would have bitten them off herself anyway. I didn't write "fuck you" on the underbelly...that's ridiculous and not very "Autistic"...a gelded Assyrian lamasu said it well enough.
left my house with a $1,000 check for two of them,
+++Well, you GAVE it to me...was I supposed to leave without it? Should I have thrown it away upon leaving? Is a check for a thousand bucks THAT big of a deal to you?
and all along I knew
that he desperately needed the money for his trip to Detroit. The check
was cashed the very next morning!!
+++Yes I did...so I was "desperate" and I made a sale...where else is that a crime? haven't I sat in your office while you called people who owed your company money and asked them when they were going to pay? Were you just playing around or were you "desperate' as well? Don't YOU cash the checks when you get them? Do you stare at them, contemplate them for days? Where is the wonder of a person taking his pay and using it?
+++I needed the money "desperately" because I had to fly to Detroit to attend an art show at CARE, at which we were trying to raise funds for the Hammurabi Monument. I'd sent several sculptures ahead of me...I paid the freight...and needed to get myself there and stay for a few days, at the same Roach Hotel Jackie did (yes, that e-mail is coming too). It was a business trip, an additonal cost not factored into the cost of the monument, and like many such costs, I have to sell sculpture to make it happen. Why is that so unusual...except that it makes me that dirtiest of things...a professional...whereas Jackie wants a world of volunteers where her cash makes it possible for her to be the "best" volunteer...while I am a professional, who is poor by definition as an Assyrian artist...who has to sell sculpture in order to do his work and feed his family. This is worthy of condemnation? of course it is...we are a "Grat Peepil". Great people who get to where we are...worked long and hard to get that low.
+++See...we didn't start out low...hell no. We were at the top of the game...and it's been nearly impossible to get us even to THINK of climbing anywhere...and it took a whole lot of dilligent work by a whole lot of midgets and addenoidal people to get us this low. You have to climb back DOWN a mountain too, you know.
He owes many pieces to people who have pre-paid him for statues that he
has not delivered, including people that you probably know in Detroit!!
+++To my everlasting sorrow, this is true. But not through any devious machinations on my part. I'm most proud of the three Assyrians who paid full price for a maquette of Hammurabi they, or I, hadn't even seen yet. Thank Ashur I was able to get them their's. That was the high point for us...the lowest for me, personally, was not being able to pay for castings of sculpture that people already paid for. But the reason was because all of this stuff began to work on people...and those who'd promised to buy, backed out one by one.
+++In the past everyone understood that the monument was the main issue...knew thy'd get their own maquettes in time...and they always did.
+++I have a tough balancing act to do, and it only works if people are of good will and act as they say they will. When someone buys a maquette, the cost of casting it is deducted and the rest put to work on the monument. With the Chicago convention approaching I used most of what I had to get work done of the actual monument of Hammurabi , ...so i would have something impressive to show at the convention...to get more people to donate. I held back on casting the models purchased till after the convention when I thought I'd have the additional donors to pay for all the castings, old and new . It was a gamble, and in the past it always worked. But starting with Chicago and Nimrod's threats and his own letters to Detroit...coupled with what Jackie did in San Jose...meant a sudden drop off, not only in new donors, but a falling away of those who'd promised the check was in the mail. I don't blame them...there was enough going on to scare them...as we're always so unwilling to trust each other. Still...it was my fault in the end.
+++I will say that I've tried to get the names of those I owe in Detroit, but Janey Golani wont provide the information. I will get their castings to them, plus an additional piece at cost...when I get back up.
+++To our credit, to know we have people like this among us as well...I will say what a good man in New York, who paid for his sculpture and didn't get it for over a year, said to me. I'd called him to apologize for the delay...told him I would make it up, told him I never intended to cheat or rob anyone, but that things had gotten very weird and it would take me some time to regroup. This man and I had met at the Chicago convention...right at the moment the thugs there were trying to get me arrested, so he saw the whole thing go down..anyway, we were talking on the phone just before I crossed the border into Mexico...and as I was trying to apologize and explain...he interrupted me saying, "Fred, this is (his name), you don't have to explain to me." I almost cried then and there...it was such a welcome sign of trust and confidence, even after all of Jackie's vicious lies and Nimrod and the rest of them...it felt great!
He can claim that we are all liars and everyone has an agenda, but the
reality is very different. He can say whatever he wants and he can
fabricate and twist as much as he wants, because by now everyone has
pretty much figured him out for what he really is......
++++Those who have figured me out as she has...are welcome to stay away. Members of her own club have been fair and supportive...by which I mean they've been willing to decide for themselves...give me a fair hearing, which is all I asked for...even with her lying up one side and down another...just hear me out and decide for yourselves...which is why I am eager to get to court.
Take care, and stay away from this please.
+++Her repeated calls for Jeff to "stay away" are a piece with her refusing to allow me near her club...she can only make it work if people don't hear my side...hence her heavy handed attempt to scare us into dropping the whole thing. She's just bright enough to not realize how stupid she can be.
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