November 10,2020


Monday is always a bit of a downer back to work back to normal life whatever that maybe during a pandemic spiking around us the day before Veteran’s Day. But this year we have a new fearless leader elected and we are done with the TV Game Show MC though the day of his leaving DC is still in the future. But he is a lame duck and apt to be indicted upon his departure and dare I say a flight risk and I would suppose the 5th District of Southern New York will impose a very high cash bail. Cyrus Vance Jr. has been pursuing Mr. T. In an attempt to make him accountable for crimes and taxes due. Like His friend Netanyahu in Israel Mr. T. Is leaving his position of influence and shelter for cold reckoning that is his due. Enough said. 
The criminal nature of his administration has had a profound impact on our country and citizens. More than anything he has wantonly injured so many people here and abroad, in the eyes of many he is a war criminal who should be pursued for his foreign policies which have cost countless lives and have made us a pariah nation in the eyes of the free world. More to come.

November 11 - My youngest son Maximilian Paris Gaard born today in 1985 , I was in the psych ward at Abbott Hospital , open ward I could get phone calls his mother called I said NAOMI she said Max. It was during the toxic spill over in Bhopal India, the news was overflowing with people dying from DOW chemicals. The ward was full of young people with eating disorders, my psychiatrist Dr, Ginsberg had me admitted because my ex was wailing on me and had triggered a manic episode. I wasn’t too far gone but I was not well. I did a chemical dependency program which was a trip. By then I had been smoking weed, hash and cigarettes for many years on and off. I didn’t drink much but I did drink a little, the counselor decided I had to be soberized.  Didn’t like cocaine the expense was way out of my league and the effect fleeting at best and triggering. So I was sober for a while til Uncle Bill came around with a fattie and I would trip off into the realms of the unknown and paint and draw all night. Night was the only time I could work then in an attic I had insulated on the second floor of a big old duplex near Nicollet and Lake Street. I loved that place I held on til about 1989 when the crack epidemic washed through the neighborhood and it was just too gnarly to stay there. I drifted from spot to spot after that first a warehouse in SE Minneapolis which was very creepy then a place in Elliot Park that was ok briefly, then To Longfellow then to Nicollet and 38th Street then to NE briefly then back to 38th and Nicollet in the rear basement where I settled to be nearer my young sons. It was a real unsteady time for a long while painted a lot of portraits from life very few sales but they were popular which was ok but I was doing everything to scratch together food money and rents. I was starting to fall to pieces, I had a bout of  vertigo that really was a low point wound up in hospital again. I didn’t think I was going to survive. But I had my sons and they were with me here there and everywhere and we had tacos and enchiladas and whatever every Friday night and sometimes whatever I could find at the food shelf. We had some fun but it was not good it was very sketchy . Max was very  young and Sam was lost at times and Peter the oldest from the first baby mama was so smart and lost in a different way, we had some fun but it was always on the run. It hurt us all, but it was what we did and it was very difficult for all of us. ( more soon).

 Later that day morning still November 10 tomorrow Veteran’s Day the holiday commemorating the war to end all wars, that war was followed by a horrible pandemic that killed millions of people. It was named the Spanish Flu but it spread rapidly and was killing people in Europe and the USA through The end of the war years into the early 1920’s. So many people died especially vets initially some suspect it started in the trenches, huge grief thousand of widows from the war and the pandemic that seemed to be part of the aftermath of the war.

 Now another pandemic intensifying as winter blows into town. Seems to be rising everywhere in Italy very bad again and here again after the elections it seems to be much worse as flu season begins. The political transition slowed down by the mad TV MC king of lies and theft, lying is of course stealing the truth.

I always thought Marcel Duchamp’s description of himself as a “mere artist” was telling. He was born into a world quite different than ours but by the time he was a young man the world had gone to war again the world to end all wars , that first great world war which killed so many and artists a plenty the horrors of the war engendered the Dada revolution through many European capitals and in New York. Dada was an anti-art art.  It was created in the vacuum left after the Great War. Duchamp was a key figure along with many others some who were vets like and draft dodgers etc. it was especially poets and writers. Important as it was it was a symbolic movement influenced by the dematerialization of art itself. For me it was during the great revivals of neodada in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that served as a backdrop to my own development as an artist. Robert Raushenberg’s winning the top prize at the Venice Biennale in 1964 signaled a coming of age for American art and neo dada assemblage collage multi media art it was a virtual explosion of art coincident with the post war period.  This then was when my first art works were created. ( this will continue later) breaks off... Under The Influence.

 Yesterday was hard not seeing Max on his birthday in most ways I have sacrificed everything for my artistic practice. My art has been the tread through all my life and my life experiences seem like beads on that thread. Since meeting Pamela my spouse, my partner my life has changed, I have lived a long spell with another artist whom I admire and respect and I have been able to process my experience more fully. Love has always been the central motif, subject and content of my art. The relationship I have with Pamela has been complicated and has been a deep dive into the ocean of time. Much of what I have managed to do since we met has been analysis of my own consciousness and my obsession with art working as a exploration of being alive in this dark old world of ghosts and poesy. I have lost a lot along the way but I have lived longer that I would have thanks to the love I share with my dear spouse. We have worked together trying to find out if two lone wolves can partner together, at times very difficult. The past is never really ever over for either of us since much of our lives were in the past tense when we met. I was nearly 60 and Pamela was nearly 50. But as the years have pasted we found comfort in each other’s company and our passion never waned though like the moon it had it’s waning too. I did not know if I would live to see my exhibition that is up now at the art institute here in Minneapolis when it was being designed a few years ago. It seemed like a memorial exhibition since my fall where I broke my neck and both wrists had led to the discovery of kidney cancer. Pamela discovered that the kidney cancer was of a very rare type which grows very slowly, she has a background in public health and nutrition and analysis.she found an oncologist for me who using immunotherapy has lengthen my life. Of course the treatments were horrible and very difficult for Pamela as my primary caregiver but we survived. Now we try to live each day as  bit of a gift that fate has given us. Our love has deepened and our time seems even more precious. Seeing this exhibition was a very unusual experience for both of us. It’s as if we have this second life together as older more mature people and artistic partners. Our mutual influences on one another have been deep and abiding. Well that’s enough for now I have a dentist appointment this morning and I need to work on getting there. I think suffering is also my subject and how we suffer our love and loss of love and how art is our shadow cast upon time.