Hi everyone my name is Donald Kennedy and I am seventy three years old, but don’t let that scare you off, because I to came from a generation that said, to the world “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” Just like you we had new ideas, new music, poets, writers, painters, sculptors, cinematographers “et al” and we were going to change the world. Politics be dammed the “Third World War,” The Korean War,” were in our past the French were trying to regain Indo China from an upstart people who had driven the “Jap’s” out of their country with little or no help from the French or the Americans and the called this new country Viet Nam and in this conflict we supported the French who were an ally during the Second World War and previously they had claimed ownership before the “Second World War.” Granted the Allies had won the war, but the French weren’t involved very much in Asia during that war since they had capitulated to the Germans in 1940, still when the war was over and France had been liberated they were now with the “winners” and they wanted their toys back and that included countries they had abandoned Corsica, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Indo China but the restoration of their pre war colonial empire believing it was theirs by “Devine right” to their thinking it was if nothing had occurred in the world in the intervening years. As matter of course it was these eighteen century concepts of nationalism ethnic superiority with convoluted alliances that started the whole ball of wax rolling in the first place. It was France and Belgium that demanded harsh retributions after the First World War destroying Germany’s economy to crash and poverty and worthless money to the forefront and bringing radical ideas to acceptability like Hitler.
Sorry for the diversion I grew up in East Hampton in the fifties (change your mind set) the Second World War was over and The United States was one of the few countries that even had an economy. I worked for “Donald Braider’s Book’s and Music” that sold autographed first editions along with the usual fare. To say that the store was unique was an understatement, Mr. Braider was an eccentric and due to its previous history East Hampton attracted most of the artists and intellectuals fleeing the chaos of Europe and the heat and dreariness of New York City. Mr. Braider opened a gallery in the back of the book store, that had a sliding door that opened on to a ally albeit a rural ally. Into this room that had been a tool room of the previous owner a plumber came paintings and drawings that hang in museums and privet collection around the world and sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ironically today they couldn’t be shown in this room, so this very modest space showed a group of artists who were called “The Abstract Expressionists, “Jackson Pollock, Willem deKooning, Ibram Lassaw, Wilfred Zogbaum, Pearl Fine, James Brooks, Mark Rothko, Charlotte Park, Alphonso Ossorio, John Little, Frank O’Hara, Ray Prohaska and others. On Sundays there were prose and poetry readings by, John Steinbeck Paul Tillich, Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Koch and many more. I was fifteen and getting the best education a person could get and I didn’t even know it. While in college I worked for four summers for the “Signa” Gallery” in East Hampton owned by Ossorio, Parker and Little. One summer all the European Abstractionists were being shown and a few Asian artists. The Signa Gallery had guest lecturers like Buckminster Fuller, Isamu Noguchi and others. So now when I go into museums I see faces and people along with the art. Just out of college I worked for Orin Riley (head of conservation at the Guggenheim) and apprentice to Freidrich Kiestler (architect for the “Museum of the Dead Sea Scrolls”, the “Endless House” he was also a visionary set designer and sculptor.
I owned a frame shop and was a partner in set building business for “Off Broadway”, television, special exhibits, interior design and dance performances like: “One flew Over the “Coo Coo’s Nest,” Un Grande Coke Cola”, “Jungle of Cities” for Joe Papp, “The Enola Gay” and Shelly Winter’s three one act plays and ever so many more, since the theatre wants twenty fife hour days. There were two especially made floors for the “Guggenheim Museum” that made the auditorium flat and sturdy in order support choreographed sculpture and move sculptures with specially arranged music.
I had had a stretcher and strainer building business have made artist’s paint , pastels oil pastels, I can weld most metals making monumental metal sculptures, I can in cast gold & silver, I can work in clay have a better than average knowledge of most art media like encaustic, watercolor, oil, acrylic, (made acrylic paintings before it was mad commercially in tubes and jars) I now work digitally as well. I can build sculpture in ‘Hydrocal’, paint in casein, gouache, plaster, I do wood carving, I have worked for artists & museums stretching of paper or canvas, wood cuts, wax sculpture paper Mache’, wood carving, not stone, even though I make monumental metal sculpture I am primarily a build up sculptor. I have designed a modern museum for “John Howard Payne’s childhood home in the non historic portion of the seventeenth century building. (America’s first poet) ”That’s enough of me, if you have a question, want to start an argument or have a discussion or exchange ideas. Have at it. I all yours 1 Art may at times be hard work and I have fun because I love it and give my best. Donald Kennedy