Franta Skala.Franta Skala
. During the course of two seperate residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, just north of San Francisco, Franta made dozens & dozens of heads carved from sea-kelp. Pursuant to my support of his kelpicidal actions during the "Massacre at Montara Beach," Franta gave me a head of my own. It's gotten a little moldy.
Franta Skala. I first met Franta & B.K.S. in 1992 when I was a member of Parallel, a group of U.S. & Czech artists & administrators who'd gotten together to produce cultural exchanges between the two countries. In 1991 we'd brought about 25 U.S. artists to Czechoslovakia & the following year we brought I think it was 22 Czech artists to San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Tijuana, Arcata & other places.
One of the Czech groups was B.K.S. The advance word on them was that they were "dark" and "apocalyptic" so I was expecting, I don't know, GWAR or something. I was busy ferrying people from the airport & didn't get a chance to meet them there. I'd planned on housing two of the B.K.S. artists but they had insisted that they all must remain together 100% of the time, so someone had brought them all to my house.
When I finally made it home around midnight, I was surprised to hear an odd & mysterious sound coming from the brightly-lit kitchen at the end of the long hallway. I entered the kitchen and found four gentlemen sitting stiffly in black three-piece suits...whittling!
Expecting Ozzy Osbourne, I got -what?- Amish dudes? The kitchen floor was covered in wood shavings, the table was covered with tiny intricate sculptures of cottages, femurs & graveyards. These dudes could whittle
Anyway it's too long a story to tell here. They weren't Amish, they were . . . B.K.S. At some point, they gave me this very suggestive "rum bottle" nutcracker that Franta had carved. It's a good nutcracker & it's fun to hold.
Unknown maker. I found this painted wooden goose somewhere in some trash or some abandoned house. I like ducks & geese & I like this little guy.
Unknown maker. My parents hand-carried several sculptures back to the U.S. from Haiti when we were passing through in 1960. This was one of them. I can't remember how it came to be in my possession. All the rest are still at mom's house.