Wednesday, July 14, 2010


it's good to get your ass kicked every once in a while.  it keeps you humble.  this evening, mine was kicked.

i went to the windmill/water tank near the 98/160 junction with the image of wesley ready to go.  i pulled up to the tank around 8 p.m., took the ladder, chalk and a tape measure out to identify my landmarks.  while on the ladder marking the tank, a truck from the home nearby came rushing up.  the driver demanded "what are you doing?" he was in a huff.

"putting art up," i replied.

"not here.  i don't want anything else on this tank.  i've called the police.  you need to leave."

it occurred to me that trying to explain the project to him wasn't going to get me anywhere.  he drove off saying "i got your license plate number."

i told him that if he wanted to find me i live and work at the clinic.  it didn't seem to register.  he was irate.

truth be told, this was the guy who owned the kiosk where i pasted the peyote mandala a year ago.  it was my 3rd pasting ever.  less than 24 hours after i'd pasted it, he'd taken it down.  by 36 hours, he'd taken the entire kiosk down.  something told me i should have gone back to talk with him but i never did.

mandala and kiosk before being dismantled

so, there it is.  not everyone loves and supports the project.  flustered but undeterred, i drove over to the cow springs trading post ruins to put another piece up there.  a youth named darien rode up on his bicycle and hung out with me while i pasted wesley.  (and by the way, i had the same experience of having super watery paste that i had in cedar ridge recently.  note to self:  in hot weather, make the paste with 4 cups of flour rather than 3.)  

darien, a navajo goth of about 17, asked why i was putting pictures up and if i get paid to do it.  i love that.  do you get paid?  anyway, i told him that the project was about sharing art, respecting elders and a way of life that's fading.  i asked him what he thought of the project to which he responded "...i've seen the pictures all over and wondered who was putting them up."  

yeah, i said but what do you think of the project?  "it's good,"  he said.  "not too much happens around here."  i asked if this was the most exciting thing that had happened all week?  he laughed and asked "have you ever gotten into trouble doing this?"

"funny you should ask, " i said.  

in truth, i've not gotten into trouble doing this but told him that a nice thing about wheat paste is that if someone doesn't like an image while it's being installed, you call always pull it off the wall.  he said he was going to take wesley's picture down so i could put a picture of him up.  i told him i'd hook him up (hoping he'd leave wesley's picture up).

so far, so good...


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