Posted by pancho from customer-148-233-78-77.uninet.net.mx (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 6:34PM :
I´m having a ball. Just finished a protrait of Don Qixote for my lawyer down here. What a difference a country makes. The level of appreciation for the Arts in Mexico is refreshing beyond words. I´m reminded that the Iralians have representations of their great artists on their lira, or did...while we have some staid old fogeys.
I took it to her office today to show it, in plaster. I´ve never seen someone light up like that...so open and free. Now mind you this is one powerful woman in this city...she has art all over her office and more at home. Being broke I offered to do a trade...she agreed to consider it...I made the portrait of the Don, she has him all over her office, paintings, prints, sculptures. There was an attractive older couple in her office when I sat down in the waiting room but the lawyer came right out...I was a day late...and asked to see the sculpture...I took the plastic bag off and held it up...she loved it...you could tell and she was a little startled cause it had only been the week before that I´d made the suggestion.
She called the couple over to see it...the woman turned out to be a painter and sculptor and she was very generous with her comments...gave me her card etc. It´s much more interesting to me to get to know the Mexican community here than the Gringo and European one...more like out people. Frida said the white Gringos look half-baked and act it...like they weren´t done yet, taken out too soon.
I told the lawyer that she´d inspired me...and she had. I´ve got a portrait of Emiliano Zapata almost finished and just got some good books on Frida Kalho, who will be next. Right now I´m waiting for a mold on a bullet to dry so I can cast several to put on the bandoleros crossing Zapata´s chest.
There´s a foundry at the art college where they´ll be cast and they´ll let me use their tools so I can do the finishing myself...the best of all worlds. There are around ten portraits in all, all of them Latin personalities...can´t be any worse than doing Assyrians and getting villified for it.
I feel so light and free...though broke, I mean really broke. But a weight has fallen away from my shoulders, something that was depressing me and pressing me down. It was working with the dimmer bulbs in our community. I don´t think I´ll meet a single "Golani" or Nimrod here...and any Bejans here are all working on their backs so that shouldn´t be a problem cause I don´t frequent those sorts of places.
I don´t know if I can keep this pace up...but I can finish three protraits a week...Don Quixote took two hours of actual time but thirty years in real time. It´s always the way I wanted to work...FAST but right on...but it has to come, you can´t force it. I literally let my fingers and hands loose and they do it...I really feel out of control in the best possible sense.
I had to serve a long apprenticeship...I went to the source, to the Assyrians and studied by copying...the best way yet...for years and years. I even managed to make a monument or two and provide a living for my family by supplying Assyrian art people wanted to buy...then the Long Knives came out...the amateurs, the part-time Grat Leeders got wind of what I was doing...what I was REALLY doing...which was to lift the bar...raise the standard...that TEARS OF BLOOD coupled with SAPPY YAPPY art just wouldn´t do any longer...wouldn´t be the "best" we could do any longer...no more using art and everything else to fuel our hatred and bigotry...and they got their wish...I´m Mexican now...Latin...of the world. That´s the real legacy of being Assyrian in the modern age...the world is mine...I am of the world. And I´ll make a point of telling my story of how a good portion of what passes for an Assyrian community did when confronted with Assyrian...NOT Christian "execellence" and "pride"...they panicked, the lied and cheated and broke faith and did anything they could to gewt rid of me, keep us on our knees begging...and killing our own children...
I´m doing Pancho Villa, my lawyer suggested that...Fidel, Sancho Panza, Dulcinea, Che, Anais Nin and Mark Twain...always Mark Twain,,,the single best example of what was best in America...and he was Assyrian.
There is one other heroic figure from the Revolutionary days here in Mexico I want to do. She was a whore, no one has a picture of her, but she fucked them all and even helped out the Revolution by sidetracking some impoirtant people. She later moved to California and ran one of the best whorehouses ever. I figure Jackie Bejan is a natural fit...has the mouth for it and certainly the morals.
If anyone can get me some photos I will immortalize her as the "Puta de la Revolucion". I´ll also tell the name of the model...whores are universal...they transcend borders and nationalities...they have one thing in common...they can fuck you.
Shawn...can you do "International Whore" as well? If the whore fits...wear her.
So please...any idea on how I can get photos? I can wait till the trial and snap her with my "John Nimrod Memorial Camera"...purchased with the settlement I got out of that other rat bastard cause he wasn´t about to go to court and swear to his lies. I´ll use a telephoto lens...there isn´t any crime to photographing whores on the streets that I know of...Shawn?
See...the Arts are very powerful. That was part of my message. They can be used to our benefit...something I think Hanna and the boys sort of think they´re doing with their Tears Of BooHoo show...but of course they´ll get it wrong. I could have done this for Detroit...for LA...for lots of places...but a show in Latin cities would be just as fine...it all serves the Arts and Humanities.
Jackie will learn to respect the Arts for real by the time I´m done with her. If not one way, then another.
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