stold my
public art shouldn't be too
garden variety series

selected series
stold my


stold my series
by wick alexander

several years ago, while i was walking along the train tracks in solana beach, i noticed a concrete wall covered with graffiti. on the wall was an aerosol image of a large cartoon head, cut-off above the eyebrows, with the revealing words ,"someone stold my brain". i was pretty sure that it was the work of an adolescent boy whose brain was probably stolen by drugs and alchohol. something about the crude sincerity of the image and the unintentional, but earnest, mispelling of the word "stold" appealed to my funny bone. not long after, i was a victim of a burglary. someone had broken in to my house and stolen my television, my vcr, my camcorder, my brand new nikes, my leather jacket and many other items. like everyone else who has been victimized in this way, i felt angry, violated and helpless. so i guess the first "stold my" drawings began as art therapy.

those first drawings helped me to get through the grief of someone stealing my stuff. in keeping with the graffiti image, i maintained the visual character of the cartoon complete with the missing brain and the incorrect spelling.

as i completed each new "someone stold my ........" drawing, i began to realize something unexpected. it was after completing "someone stold my t.v.", that i made a reciprocal version that read " t.v. stold my brain". this one was followed by others like, "t.v. stold my imagination", and "t.v. stold my children",etc. about this time i began an artist's residency at the banff centre for the arts. the thematic residency included about fourty other artists from all over the globe that were all investigating the topic of pop, mass and sub culture. in the first few weeks of the residency, i continued to explore and entertain ideas related to the "stold my" series. i noticed that what bonded the diverse group of artists within the residency was a collective complaint directed toward the perceived deficiencies at the banff centre. many of the privledged artists were eager to blame the banff centre's bad food (" banff stold my appetite") or the dormatory arrangments ("banff stold my sleep") or the weather ("banff stold my tan"). i realized that the "stold my" series could become an endless slogan about the subject of blame. the topic of contemporary art was also fertile ground, as in "art stold my life", "bad art stold my patience", "art school stold my confidence", "curators stold my fame", "critics stold my meaning", etc.

there is no limit to finding fault in something or someone and so there is no limit to this series. i have currently completed over one hundred "stold my" drawings and there is no end in sight. current events are a continuing source of fresh material, as in " republicans stold my election", or "religion stold my faith", or "war stold my peace". some of the best ones are suggested by my friends such as "lesbians stold my batteries"( from a lesbian friend). i encourage anyone reading this text to make up an original "stold my" and send it to me today. thank you.


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