Never forget where you came from
I’ve heard this many times in my years of arts education. attending a university like CSU Monterey Bay – as one of the first dozen or so graduates of the Institute for Visual & Public Art – wasn’t difficult in the sense that the curriculum was impossible, but difficult because the pedagogy was framed around cultural identity and let’s face it … not only were the white boys the bringer of closed doors and those that shoved the margins off the paper, but we were now being asked to go back into our own families’ personal histories to find out which of us were nazis, which of us were kkk, and which of us had deep rooted racism in our lineag.
these notions were implied, not intended. and if anything, they should have shown the lot of us that we had come a long way from what our grandfathers and great-grandfathers had done.
in my research I found that the closest direct European blood I have is Dutch. my mother’s father came from Holland when he was a boy. I never met him as he passed away when my mother was only 16 years old … and just a few weeks ago, I learned that while working driving a delivery truck, he had turned a corner and struck a man who was enebriated from alcohol toxicity and had wandered into the roadway. tho not his fault, he was obviously a man of conscience and was never quite the same after that fateful day. so the stories of him being an angry alcoholic, fraught with problems that had him never finding a career and having to hunt and fish to feed his family, were not founded on the correct ideas – the ideas some still hold as a fantasy land truth about those who use chemicals to make their brains function on a level that is somewhat normal, as we now know the inability for the brain to uptake its own endorphins (dopamine) at adequate sustaining levels is the factual culprit in what we term addiction (and we must stop making some loop hole distinction between alcohol and all other chemicals deemed by the governing body as “drugs” .. seeing that alcohol causes more damage in lives lost and all other measurable tokens attached to all other drugs combined, it’s time to stop saying “drugs & alcohol” and start saying “chemicals” with whatever qualifier you like preceding the term) in fact, it was grief, regret, self-loathing, and possibly fear that drove him to seek a state of numbness to what had happened.
with this little bit of information, I have a deep sadness for the grandfather I never had the chance to meet. as well as a longing to gain more info from my mother’s brother – my uncle Gary Driessen to find out more than anyone has asked.
for now I will stick to the generals – the Dutch: Van Gogh, Rembrandt, … the middle class of the 1600s. as I adapt / appropriate Dutch Baroque paintings into 17th Century iOS re-prints. tho I do not know how I will find the prints without having gallery rep, I have plenty of other work to print to gain capital while waiting for the business plan becomes possible.