Thursday, December 24, 2015

After a request from the European Parliament to Maria de Peverelli

Dear Maria de Peverelli,

Thank you for contacting me.

I can send you by mail two catalogues of his work.  In it you’ll find some text in Dutch and in English. The catalogue in Blue was made after Tony Passed away on May 10th in 1999. The Exhibition of his paintings at that time was at the occasion of the renovation of the splendid town hall of Hoboken. He pained a scene concerning “The Dog of Flanders” a story by Louise de la Ramée set in Hoboken, a painting he donated to the district of Hoboken.

In making the catalogues I am afraid not all texts were translated into English.

After this exhibition there has been one last exhibition in Lenz Fine Arts Gallery in Antwerp. There are still a lot of paintings in stock at the owner of the gallery. One painting was sold, I seem to remember for 5000 €.

I still maintain the blog Tony Mafia the Painter which you probably know:

The Mohave Museum of History in Kingman, Arizona has two drawings that can be viewed.

In Chloride, Arizona some of the rooms of the Yesterday’s Restaurant have murals by Tony Mafia.

In Spain in a castle (I never knew the people) there is a magnificent Jesus at the cross, with a teakettle as a head.

When in Arizona he would paint many drawings and canvasses with a Native American theme, seen his father was Cherokee. I still have two maps with drawings and beautiful work on my walls at home in Antwerp and in Chloride.

Also I have a storage space for the largest paintings (the size of  “The tearful eye of God” which I cannot all hang)

If you would care to see the work, I would gladly take you to the temperature-controlled storage.

I would also be interested if you could share with me the information you have already found. I have been working on a few drafts for a book about Tony. Yet I am not the one who has to write his biography. I have written articles about his work. If you would care to read those, I’ll look for them and see to it that you get them.

I would not mind donating a second painting to the European Parliament. There has already been an exhibition at the European Parliament, if I remember correctly downstairs in the round space in the Van Maerland building.

Drawings and reproductions of oil paintings have been used on two poetry books “Met Rode Inkt” (2006) and a book about Navajo and Hopi “Wevers tussen twee werelden” 2004.
Also on two CD’s, one by Glenn Yarborough “LIVE at Harrah’s Reno” in 2000 and one by PRIVATE JONES “Pigs and Pyramids” in 2002.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Solidarity with Ashraf Fayad

At two O'clock Sunday the 20th of December in Antwerp, Pen-Flanders together with "Heart over Hard" organized a meeting "Free Ashraf Fayad". Sven chose the location which was highly symbolic, just next to the land where the Saudi family wants to build a new dock. Some people say: great, work and jobs and lots of money they are spending on the building. Others say: Why don't we build it ourselves and not be beholden to them.
When writers organize an action, one can expect creative approach: 14 poets each read part of a poem by Ashraf Fayad: The mustache of Frida Kahlo. Fatena Al-Gorrha and Sven Cooremans worked together and the result was a great translation in Dutch. Sven, by the way was the main organizer of the event. About 75 people participated in the brisk wind. Musicians warmed up the atmosphere on accordion and on sax... Joke Van Leeuwen, president of PEN-Flanders, held a strong speech about freedom of expression. Didi De Paris had send a Rock and Roll text which Sven read and we all repeated with a loud voice. Reading Ashraf poem was very moving. For these words he has been thrown in jail and sentenced to thousand beatings with a stick. Another solemn moment was the telephone call to Ashraf's sister. It is good to feel a world wide solidarity and to be part of it. By the way Ashraf didn't write political poems. Guess what he wrote and is being punished for... love poems. I don't understand that.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trekkies and the Force

I think it was 1977 when my daughter, her father and myself saw the first Star wars. It was in Leicester square in London. I have at least seen one or two more of the early period. Last night I was invited by the the young folks for The force awakens. Still the struggle between the dark side and the light side is going on. Some of the protagonists have aged and matured, but Han Solo's, the outsider with a gift of talking himself out of all situations, is the ultimate outsider and a fallible hero, yet his Millennium Falcon still in good shape. The dark side and the light, is a never ending sage with John Boyega turning into Finn after having been a storm trooper. I realized during certain heavy bombardment scenes that the first movies came out in more innocent times. Nowadays we see the bombardments and the fighting daily on our newscasts. Some scenes so vivid that one bombardment looked the bombing of Aleppo or Gaza...
So enjoying action was one thing, and being reminded of the sad state of affairs in the world was another. Yet I'll be there for the next installment, the sounds of the light swords, and the music score and the aging characters, as I age just as them and children growing up with all that...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The incident

This just happened in Antwerp, around 9, 30. I had brought my car to the garage to put on the winter tires and do a check up of the car. So I walked back to the first tram stop. It was a tram 6, number 7209 and the conductor was a younger lady. Briefly after I sat down a young man gets on the tram and asks for two 3 € tickets, but he only has a 50 € bill. I couldn't change the bill for him. I hear the lady say: that bill is probably a fake anyway. Did I mention that the young man was well behaved, polite and on his way to his job at the nuclear power plant in Doel, near Antwerp. Oh, I forgot to mention that this nice young man, never was out of line. Although the driver lady thought that a black young man with a 50 € could not be right. To me the whole incident was blatant racism and did disturb me enough to note the number of the tram. Being inclusive seems very hard for some people, sadly I am afraid it is an almost daily occurrence for some. We are all born equal!
I did lodge a complaint to the tram company: file number: 82015038790.