My work constantly addresses the lives of the ordinary individual against the greater forces in our society.
I'm changing my images intentionally. Even more painterly. I see the world fading, decaying. But that's not a bad thing at all. When I first came to Portugal I was so anxious and hurried. Now it's as I keep saying about the country: Portugal is hard, then she smiles and she reveals herself. I love this country. The pace of life, and how they live it.
Today I ordered canvases to be delivered to my studio so I can begin work when I get back to the United States. I don't want to go back, but if I have to I might as well begin work. I have so many ideas I want to try out, to execute. I want to combine the words in my head with the images I'm making here. With the work I began earlier this year. Because here, even here, the syphilitic voice of Trump can be heard. This is the only way I know how to respond to what is happening.
Life ain't nothin' but a bowlful of Tango Bango.
Details from a work-in-progress. Self-portraits. Still questioning, What is/constitutes a photograph? What is a photograph's role in a piece of artwork? (And also, text's role, too?) What is a portrait and its role? What is pretty/acceptable? What does a self-portrait convey? What is Tango Bango?
JP’S PARENTS EMIGRATED FROM SICILY TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1911. I NEVER MET THEM; THEY BOTH DIED LONG BEFORE I WAS BORN. SICILIANS WERE NOT WELCOME IN AMERICA, OR EVEN IN ITALY. IN AMERICA, THEY WERE CALLED THE N-WORD. EVEN TODAY, SOME OF MY MOST INTELLIGENT, LIBERAL FRIENDS HAVE MADE DEROGATORY REFERENCES ABOUT SICILIANS. THEY’RE NOT REALLY ITALIAN. THEY’RE ALL CRIMINALS. I KNOW THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY THINK OF ME, THAT I DON’T MEASURE UP TO SOME HIGH STANDARD OF WHITE, EUROPEAN HERITAGE. STILL… SOMEDAY I’LL BE DEAD, TOO, JUST LIKE MY GRANDPARENTS AND JP.
ALICE ANNE’S PARENTS WERE BORN IN AMERICA, BUT THEY STILL SPOKE GERMAN AT HOME. GERMANS WORKED HARD TO ASSIMILATE INTO AMERICAN LIFE BECAUSE GERMANS WERE THE ENEMY IN TWO WORLD WARS. ALICE ANNE TOOK THIS PICTURE OF JOSEPH AND JOSEPHINE. THEY ARE SITTING ON THE PORCH OF THE “OLD HOUSE,” A TWO-STORY LOG CABIN JOSEPH BUILT. ALICE ANNE EVEN INCLUDED HERSELF IN THE LOWER RIGHT. ALICE ANNE WAS BORN IN THAT HOUSE IN 1917. (THEY COULDN’T GET TO THE HOSPITAL IN TIME.) ALICE ANNE WAS EDUCATED ONLY TO THE EIGHTH GRADE, BUT SHE WAS VERY SMART AND SENSITIVE. SOME DAY I’LL BE DEAD LIKE JOSEPH, JOSEPHINE, AND ALICE ANNE.
You have stumbled upon the web site of Quincy-based artist, John Greiner-Ferris. Thank you for visiting.
I have 1,019 “friends” on Facebook, down from around 1,200 before I began culling people on their birthdays. If I didn’t have a clue who they were, yes, I unfriended them on their birthdays.
I have 661 contacts on LinkedIn (659 followers.)
1,328 contacts on Gmail, 1,889 contacts on Apple Contacts,
1,206 on a theater mailing list on MailChimp,
And I have to ask: Who are you? Many of you I have never met. We connected through some common interest on social media. Or if I do know you, mostly I have only the vaguest remembrance from some long ago time in my life. I know this because I have only a handful of people in my close, inner circle. Between friends and family, I imagine that number is around twenty.
And I do wonder, just how well we really know anyone. Even ourselves.
So, it’s only through social media that I still have even the thinnest connection to seemingly ninety-five percent of the people I ever engaged with in my life. And I just wonder, do you ever think of me? At all? Do you remember me during my worst of times? (and there were a couple of doozies!) Or some time when I actually rose above being an average human to act like the person I’d hope I’d become?
I guess what I'm asking is, what is my legacy.
2022 continues to kick my ass. Health issues both for Sue and me. Three dear friends died! I can't take much more! Work seems to be slowing down, which I'm taking as a blessing. It means I'll be able to work on art more, than keep putting it aside for the almighty dollar. But I did finish these two. Family continues to baffle and intrigue me.
The moon, the earth, and the sun did a little dance together the other night.
John Greiner-Ferris is an artist in the Boston area. Sometimes he makes images. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he does both.