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",
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