I was a lttle-boy human, I lived in
a small city that still had horses
on the streets with stripes of
horse-droppings like the yellow
traffic stripe down streets today.
They pulled carts for selling goods,
for ice delivery in the day when
ice-boxes outnumbered electric
refrigerators, for picking up junk,
for myriad transportation tasks. One
sunny day, a junkman stopped in
front of our house to haggle for the
unwanted stuff my father had cleared
out of the cellar.
He was a sour, grumbling old man.
After he dropped a heavy weight
chained to the horse's bridle
and went into the house, I carefully
mosied up to the horse for a closer
look. He was old and tired and not
well cared for (as I realized later
when I learned more about horses).
He had blinders on so he didn't
see me at first. But he heard me
tip-toeing, I could tell from the
way he moved his ears and lowered
his head. As I came around, he
slowly turned his head to look at me
and then slowly turned away. I
guessed he didn't consider me a
threat. Reassured, I stepped closer
to look at his face. And then I
looked into his eye. What I saw was
a revelation that took my breath
into my head, one of many that
awakened me that year. I was seven.
What I saw, deep in that large brown
eye was... pain and stupor.
That first experience expanded by
hundreds more down through years led
me to an understanding and commited
belief. It is this:
Horses do not like to pull
carts.They do not like to race. They
do not like to perform. And most of
all, they do not like to have a body
on their backs. By instinct they are
curious but wary of humans and they
do not imprint on humans at birth.
One of the more magnificent species
on this planet, the Horse has been
around as long as humanoids, and all
the bullshit about them, horseshit
if you will, is the same
spewed by slaveowners in the
American South, Native American
destroyers in the Wild West,
(and elsewhere) when
describing the human animals that
they were oppressing, exploiting and
torturing in the name of their gods,
their cambric brains and their
In the Ancient World, that time
before Judeo-Christian morality, the
steam engine, and the British
Empire, Art was usually not
segregated from the days and nights
of journeying through life. The vast
sum of it was identified with the
craft of the 'artisan' who
created works out of fear, by
threat, for commission and the
possibility of sale, often driven by
the ignorance inherent to religion.
The artist as an impressionistic
window into the where and why of
life was uncommon and often ignored.
Later, Art evolved into a primary
activity of decoration, and then,
for a brief time, became that
impressionistic window, created for
its own purpose. Eventually it
morphed into the massive
merchandising megalomania of today
where everything is 'art'
and everyone is an 'artist'
and the impressionistic window of
past, present and future is a
There is only one way to examine.
experience Art... by wandering
through a selected chronology or a
static instance of a 'view with
a view'. Step into a painting to
know the artist without knowing the
artist. Plunge into music to know
the musicians and composer without
knowing the musicians or composer.
The prevailing impression can be
summed up in the words of a Roman
Timendi Causa Est Nescire/the cause of fear is ignorance .