First Effort in Pastels
After Politics (64-66) & before Oils (1968)
People occasionally ask what I am. That varies from day to day. The mental snapshot, above, was part of one day. This brought an unfolding-awareness, as described, between both sides of the brain in this clip—except in my case there was no tumor. (1)
As a sophomore in highschool I began to develop into something much different from most of my classmates. This was spontaneous and unplanned. But whatever it was that drove my actions then, there was very definitely an agenda already in motion.
I began by questioning the City of Oklahoma City and the Catholic School in which I was then enrolled. In the daytime I fought both of them with minor success. Nights were spent differently. I was 14, harassed by crooked-cops and encouraged by a whole panoply of lawyers, judges, ex-cops and the whole family of the night: From pimps & hookers to poets & musicians along with politicians and religion-venders…
I was athletic: Interested in dance, design, and the physical arts. Construction and related labor was part of life from thirteen on. By the time I graduated from highschool at 17 I began the required military-service and a stormy-war with the Air Force that filled most of four years. I managed an honorable discharge as an airman second-class ending that contract in 1961. I began to draw in 1958, and haven’t stopped since.
55 years of FREEDOM!
After the military I taught ballroom and modern dance for awhile: Then moved-on to Montreal where that turned into public exhibitions. I became a bonded-courier for precious stones and other valuables internationally – then started over as a Window Display-Artist for Henry Morgan’s. Returning to Oklahoma City in 1962 I began architectural-drawing as a draftsman and moved to architectural-designer by creating my own company: Finally becoming Architectural Design Director for Clinical Development Corporation, where my buildings were built: Hospitals, restaurants, bars, clinics and apartment buildings – in five states.
After the commercial stint ended I went from corporate work back to art, then began to get serious with The State of the Nation 1966, in pen & ink.
From 365 preliminary sketches I reduced the project to 66 finished drawings, which took a year. This brought the attention of the FBI and other government agencies. They have lingered over the years on the fringes. If you click on the link you can go through the variety of ways that this work continued to change over time, beginning in Oklahoma City and Ending in San Francisco. (2)
Throughout that challenging bit of a ‘career’ It was possible to investigate a number of things, (murders, mayhem and corruptions), that normally do not surface in any other way. The investigative journal, FOXFIRE, allowed new paths to use whatever I found, in politics, art, life and existence. This unique-odyssey has been part of the life that I’ve loved to live!
I’ve won a few battles, lost a number of major wars, yet kept going into new challenges that I seldom understood until much later on. I’ve trounced city-halls and political–activities from Oklahoma to California and found them to be far less intimidating than most people believe they are. I’ve worked directly for two governors and several Attorney’s General as an advisor.
The career of Chief Justice Rose-Bird crossed swords with me. She lost her seat about three years into her political career, to a bunch of politicians in Sacramento California. Cancer killed her after she resigned.
I’ve been a consultant, political-illustrator and a job-by-job designer for everything from the California Chamber of Commerce to the National District-Attorney’s Association, the Police Officers Association of California, and dozens of minor projects along the way.
Fighting with most of the political parts of the various strains of different administrations, who have ruled this place since the 1960’s, was just another education for me.
Reagan appointed me and Paul Conrad, of the Los Angeles Times, as co-chairmen of “his Artists” for The Forgotten Victims of Violent Crime. Conrad was a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner for political-art. I’d won a Golden Globe for some cover-art I’d done for the A.G.. Reagan made the mistake of thinking I’d approved of his policies—nothing could have been further from the truth!
The original framed-work on ‘Forgotten Victims’ was repossessed by the IRS from the walls of the Office of the Governor in Sacramento. That happened during the 23 year long battle with that agency, which occurred over the $68,000 + still owed along with penalties and fines to me, by then Gov. Deukmejian for my work on that project. The statute of limitation, obscenely brief, ran out 33 years ago.
All in all, I’ve seen and worked on many sides of politics that most don’t even know exist. The above is part of what has gone into my political-writing over the years since 1964.
I had a great time creating some of the work I’ve done in the arts, until that too, via International Distribution, was obstructed and then destroyed: Because the U.S. lost all our national publications, prints, book-publishers, puzzles, note-cards and more to the New World Order.
When I went to the American Booksellers Association Convention for Black Lizard: That year there were over 5,000 exhibitors. Imagine – 99.999% of everything on display there was NOT AMERICAN any longer—even then! They kept the original American-imprints, so as not to freak out the public, but they have OWNED the output of everything globally, as far back as the1990’s.
The image above is from an alternative Triptych of three 36 inch circles, as it was being painted. I didn’t get images of the finished work. Since the names of the owners have been lost, I can’t go back to photograph the entire finished project… (3)
Black Lizard Books was awarded Best Book Covers of the Year by MTV in the 1990’s. That publisher, Black Lizard, was then bought out by Random House, then a part of the global-publishing-buyout which ended another career for me. (4)
Between things like that and the fact that most of my client list was composed of the same level of people as the criminals I write about each day – there isn’t much left to pursue for artists that will not surrender to being OWNED. But ideas just keep coming – even if I can’t afford to work on them until
WE GET OUR FREEDOM BACK!
We’re coming to the end of this era. I wanted to mention some of the past, so that those who still have questions might get a better understanding of why I write about these things, as I see them, from time to time.
1) Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of Insight – 19 min video
3) Kirwan Art
Back to top
All images are © kirwan, all rights are reserved (unless otherwise noted).