Posted by panchmaster from host-148-244-221-138.block.alestra.net.mx (18.104.22.168) on Monday, November 11, 2002 at 3:37PM :
Certain of the boys, and certainly their forums and rostrums and nostrums too...have chided me for blaming other people for my own failures, much as they do. Which failures?
I didn't fail when I went to New York intent on working in art foundries to learn bronze casting. I didn't fail when I asked for permission from the Metropolitan Museum to bring in clay and copy from their collection.
I didn't fail when I tried to build and install the first Assyrian public monument placed anywhere in 2500 years. I didn't fail when I came up with the unimaginable goal of raising over $150,000 from our own community, for Art no less. Hell no...THAT was the real monument.
I didn't fail when I started a second one that took me 13 years to complete. It wasn't I who failed to get it accepted by or installed in Chicago at an excellent location. I am not the one keeping it in storage for the last five years. On my own, without the interferance of the same cast of characters, the monument of Shumirum would have been up there now for five years already.
It wasn't I who failed to get the Shumirum installed in San Jose...it wasn't I who neglected to go to meetings with the Arts Committe there, all the while maintaing that I was.
It wasn't I who failed to display my sculptures at the San Jose convention, as I had been displaying at conventions since 1978. I wasn't asked to leave the hotel for anyting I did, but for what I would not do.
It wasn't me who failed to get the funding for the Hammurabi, the third monment I attempted. I was the one who got the first three people to support it, and none of them lived in Detroit or was Chaldean and none of them knew at the time what the sculpture would look like...and neither did I. I didn't fail to raise $90,000 from the sale of my own sculpture. I didn't fail to do the work on the piece, even when the Golanis couldn't come up with the money, I went out and got more of it on my own. I wasn't the one who wanted to stop work on it...why would I when it was my idea to begin with, as all the monuments were? Because I was "impatient"? It took 13 years to finish the Shumirum...and even while it sat in storage I had the will and the patience and the faith to start another...and another in the Lamasu. I am nothing if not patient. It is patience for the stupidity and pettymindedness of the Nimrods and Golanis and Bejans that I lack...in spades.
I didn't fail when I made the king's portraits for Helen Schwarten...not even to getting it "right" on Sargon the Great and his horned helmet. I didn't fail at getting Assyrian sculptures placed in public...everywhere I tried to do it, I succeeded...unless stopped by a handful of our own people.
I didn't fail to get support from our community...to get people's trust. I'm the only one of these rat bastards who managed to inspire our people to GIVE money...the rest of them have to bring their own into it or no one wants to hear from them...as Lincoln told Jackie, much to her displeasure at hearing such an obvious truth. I didn't fail to get the endorsement of Dr. Vallo Benjamin the great neurosurgeon who found himself hawking sculptures alongside of me at a hotel lobby...of Anna Eshoo, Helen Schwarten and most of all, Narsai David.
My failures began...not because of anything I did, or failed to do...except for one thing...I wouldn't let the likes of Nimrod, Bejan or Golani dictate by own business to me. I wouldn't let these rank amateurs tell me how to sculpt, write or think. I wouldn't let them use me or my work to polish their resumes, make me "one of them"...someone they could "understand" or approve of...for then I never would have had what it took to succeed at all I tried to do, as much as I was able...even with them dragging on me. That was my failure...but even then I was right, for to have succeeded on those terms would have meant failing at everything else..of really and truly failing. And for that I WOULD have had only myself to blame. But as it developed I can safely say, "they failed us, they failed me, and they failed themselves"
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