Standing shoulder to shoulder as our kids sprinted down field last year, I casually mentioned to a fellow Miami soccer/surfer dad that we were looking to move to Playa Grande, Costa Rica. “Whhaaaat!” he blurted … then grabbed his phone and started punching numbers. “My oldest, best friend lives there,” he said, as he raised the phone to his ear. A few seconds later, he barked, “Hey Frank! My good buddy’s moving to Grande; you gotta talk to him,” then thrust that phone into my
“A distressingly large portion of the world doesn’t do you any good whatsoever. In fact, it does you bad. Casts static between your ears, drowns out who you truly are.” — Charles Frazier, Nightwoods Something changed in me recently. Perhaps it’s being north of 50, but gratuitous inconveniences have become unbearable: traffic, message board vitriol, pollution, loveless marriages, political absurdity. I’m over it. So over it that I left the room … and by room I mean country … a
Moments after the car honked and we kissed the kids goodbye for another school day, backpacks on their shoulders, I heard excited voices outside and opened the door. In the bright Costa Rican sunlight stood my soft-spoken/board shorts/no shirt/six-pack-abs/carpool-driving neighbor holding his flipflop and swatting repeatedly at the back of Kai’s red uniform shirt. He then bends over, raises the flipflop like a hammer and smashes something on the ground with a crack. Scorpion!
More precisely, as reminded by our local friends, we left the United States. We still live in America, Central America. Playa Grande, Costa Rica, to be exact. Our home sits atop a mist shrouded mountain in a dense jungle above the Pacific. We wake with the sun to a symphony of Congo monkey roars and birdsong madness. Sip our coffee gazing out over dense green into endless blue beyond which nothing exists. At dusk, the sky drops its golden pebble into the sea to the west. Ours
The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library. Albert Einstein I just spent a year as a ProjectArt resident teaching young kids in a wonderful, tiny, beat up, inner-city library. Here is what I learned. The public library remains one of our last optimistic spaces, a refuge of focus, exploration and escape, no matter your age, wealth, race or education level. All hail the nerds! Each Wed and Thur afternoon, as I set up
A friend called me excitedly last year out of the blue. “I have an idea for one of your spiral paintings. What if you did all of Trump’s craziest tweets?” Reading every one of Trump’s tweets was the equivalent of being ball-gagged at a punishingly loud speed metal concert where all the musicians are naked junkie hookers screaming renditions of the Star Spangled Banner through terrifying face tattoos. Your sense of balance, humanity, decency and the future is destroyed and yet
Burnt, Acrylic, American flag and inkjet book cover on canvas, 35″ x 19″ 2017. AVAILABLE. “I’m jus’ pain covered with skin.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath My Beautiful America …
What has come of our utopian experiment?
Our chorus of voices? New paintings sing old songs.
Shocking songs. Each a wish.
A soft light
In a dark corner. Easy on the eyes
Robust, complex, yet
Grieving, burnt and forlorn. Dystopian American novels.
Shorn of novelty.
We each have a song inside. We just need a bit of courage to sing it. I co-founded the Worldwide Artist March because, in our so-called post-truth society, talk is cheap (read worthless). So how do we penetrate the minds of the masses and move the needle toward our common decency? Enter the creatives! Believe it or not, that means YOU. On June 14th, Flag Day and Trump’s birthday, we’re asking you to perform any small action – make a poster, write a poem, song, dance, etc. Tak