I have spent more time WRITING about this piece, than I have creating the piece itself. I first saw the photograph posted by a friend of mine on her social web page and knew right away, I had to do something with it. Until now, all of my pictures in the “Forgotten” series features people and my own brief encounters with them. I DO have hundreds of my own photos in the archives from my coast-to-coast time on the road, but THIS photograph stuck with me.
Some may find it ironic that the owner of this cart saw fit to chock the wheel, and then carefully padlock it to the street sign. At the same time, I sort of understand his thinking. Those who haven’t been there, don’t know. What is that “garage sale” slogan? “One mans trash is another mans treasure”. I “get it”.
They say the term, “private property” is the use, control, ownership and ability to dispose of land, capital or other forms of property by persons. By being identified as “private property”, a monetary value is associated with the item. THEREFORE, private property plays an important role in capitalization. Private property is distinguishable from public property in that public property is owned by the state, local community or government and is generally available for use to ALL citizens.
My old friend Phil and I used to tease about the well-known cliché which has been attributed to Malcom Forbes (I’m not certain it’s true but…); “He who dies with the most toys, wins!” I know I’ve seen it on shirts and bumper stickers (will have to check on that).
Over a burger and a beer, Phil and I talked about the similarities of Sandra llene West, who had herself buried in her powder-blue ’64 Ferrari in a cemetery near San Antonio Texas, and the Pharaohs of old. To the chagrin of avid car collectors (amongst other things, Phil and I were car fanatics), ‘Ole Sandra took some of it with her when she went! Jewelry, clothing and gold were buried with the Pharaohs. Too bad most of the treasure ended up in looters’ hand not in the Pharaoh’s next life!
In the movie “Wall Street“, “Greed, for the lack of a better term, is good…” became the motto of Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas). Gordon was a serious player. He was portrayed as a financial machine devouring all that was is in front of him, and had no problem chewing up and spitting out anyone who got in his way. Ironically, in February this year, Douglas became the newest face of an FBI campaign, “Perfect Hedge,” which has successfully prosecuted 57 people for insider trading, and they have targeted 120 more suspects! Now, Michael Douglas says he was wrong: Greed is not good!
On the other end of the spectrum, Jeff Dietrich of the L.A. Catholic Worker, whose work includes providing people with shopping carts to store their belongings, wrote, (L.A. Times April 16, 2012) “We are homeless enablers, and we are proud to provide the essentials that enable the homeless to stay alive.” To Dietrich, he and others like him are simply affirming the human dignity and basic rights of their brothers and sisters. Dietrich continued; “Today, the homeless poor carry their valuables in mobile shopping carts. At the very least these treasures deserve to be protected from confiscation and desecration.”. This banter is taking place in the op/ed of the L.A. Times, due to an injunction by a Federal Judge, allowing the protection of the possessions of the homeless.
I don’t know. The Bible says “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Lk. 12:15). BUT, during a recent conversation with the same friend who provided the photograph I used, I caused her a great deal of frustration as I attempted to explain to her my complete, stubborn determination to get back on my feet in my own way. Those of you who don’t know; I was injured at work over a year ago. Between complications, my body failing to cooperate, and being “stuck” in a workmans comp/major medical nightmare, it’s a toss up. Buy groceries, or keep the lights on. Yet, I have been blessed by friends who invest in some of my art, neighbors who help with the housework, and in my own mind, the resolution to not “loose it all” because of the injury is what keeps me going.
It has been awhile since I’ve done anything with the series, “Forgotten“. I was honored recently by my friend, singer/song writer, Joe Izen when he choose to incorporate “Legislate Me” as the cover art for his song: “Somebdys Child“. “On this song, Joe had the opportunity to work with his long time friend and premier arranger, Lou Bellofatto. Many singers from the New York area came to lend their voices to this endeavor, which speaks to the issue of the Homeless. You can feel and hear their spirit as they sing out for an issue which is central to our time. The Cover Art is by the exceptionally talented Artist Dennis Buckman who has created a piece of Art which highlights the song.” I certainly appreciate the compliment from Joe, and hope that the artwork helps promote his work… “A blend of Rock, R&B and Soul all rolled into one, with Joe’s voice at the center of it all. It speaks to the homeless issue in a way you’ve never heard before.”
I don’t know. Certainly yes, one of the goals in my involvement on the Internet, whether it is here, Facebook, or wherever, is to promote and market my art work. Another goal is to utilize my time, discussing “issues” as they cross my mind. I haven’t given up hope entirely, though I AM frustrated with the situation right now. I’m still able to dable with my art and I should be considering myself quite fortunate. I have the essentials and for now, I don’t have to lock down the shopping cart.
“Private Property” is available in a variety of print formats including greeting cards and post cards. US Postage is pending.
Thanks for enduring my ramblings!