“To use for our exclusive benefit what is not ours is theft.” Jose Marti
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If you have ever had something stolen from you, you probably felt violated. Every time I felt violated. However, I recall a time when I was young and foolish, not thinking of anyone but myself. Maybe I even thought I deserved whatever it was I stole for the fact that I felt lack. Taken things from other people only thinking that I wanted it or somehow …what?…..they wouldn’t miss it. Or perhaps the victim of my thievery already, in my mind, had enough. Well, enough is enough….and Karma will bring it right back to us at the Universe’s ( higher intelligence, God, etc.) own time, most likely when we need it.
I recently bought a creative writing collection at the local Hastings for some reading and bought it because its theme was “Theft.” The editor had written that theft is a complement and that the best writers steal making the idea “better.” True genius. It is true that artists have been borrowing from their surroundings forever, and with the intention of out-doing the other. Such a competitive world we live in. Yet, I can relate because I have had my art stolen and I think that these thieves probably have a strong desire to possess something they like and so, steal it. But it saddens me because ART is personal; it has a story. It is my life, my world and it was not respected or honored. It was raped.
Now the rational and practical side of me simply realizes that I need to work this out, which is another personal issue, the psychological side or maybe the Karmic side and I am going to do what I need to release, let go and accept my loss. So I go to the local pub which has everything I need: beer, people to tell my theft story to, and the internet so I can tell you.
First I asked a young couple in their mid twenties if they understood ART? It may have been that I needed to tell my story about how someone stole a very unique and personal art piece which had been leaning up on the side of my art studio.
I set it out right there near the window that says “soon be dead” because it is fragile if you bump it while I was cleaning up the studio. I had also taken out some other art for cleaning and for re-varnishing. Someone actually walked right up to this building and took the art.
This is a mixed media, part of a series I did called the “kitchen cabinet collection.” And, it has a story. The carving was done while I was working at Shidoni Art Foundry and Gallery in Tesuque, NM. It is a well respected bronze art foundry north of Santa Fe. One of my co-workers, whom I had also worked with at the first foundry, Weston, gave me the chunk of choya cactus. What ? you ask. Yes, the choya cactus can develop a wood-like stalk that is not only beautiful, it is nice to carve. I immediately saw the female, arms raised, in the chunk Alfonso gave me and refined the figure I saw.
The saddest part is that the person who took it will never know the story. Their selfish desire over-powered any other possibility. Such is the story of the human condition. We all will continue to struggle with that part of us that does not love others as ourselves. Maybe we (as a species) do not even know how to love ourselves so why would we care about anyone else when we have such a poor self image.
It concerns me that humans are so ‘ALL ABOUT ME’ without realizing we are in this together.
I feel violated. I feel sad but I realize there is something good in this. I remember waking up this morning and wanting some kind of sign… you know, “show me a sign.” Well, my son has a friend visiting and he comes into my studio to see what it’s about. He tells me that he doesn’t ‘get’ art and it is “something to do.” I wanted to give him an example about the story using this particular art piece. Then I couldn’t find it. It was Sunday that I did the cleanup. Some one stole it on a Sunday and today is Thursday.