Monthly Archives: November 2016

Fidel Castro Died At 90, My Father Died At 36

This is a picture of my father, Dr. Jose Manuel Garmendia Socarras. He was a doctor. An idealist and romantic, he stayed in Cuba after everyone else in his family had fled because he wanted to heal the poor and build a just society in his homeland.

He was tortured by Fidel Castro’s secret police, the G-2, for his good deeds. He died at 36 years old. Fidel died yesterday at 90. Don’t blame me for banging on a drum and dancing La Conga while chanting “At last, Cuba Libre!”

Ever Feel Like You’re Frozen Into A Block Of Ice?

Ever feel like you’re frozen? Just got home from teaching and am tumbling back under the covers to fend off the chills.

Autumn fevers are the worst!


I love this painting by Andrew Wyeth. Although it is entitled “Spring” (which sounds all sunny and flowery to me), I love how the whole world seems to have thawed out but this old man (Old Man Winter?) is downright frozen to the spot. It’s how I feel right now!

Love Wyeth. All his work is so sun drenched. Got a chance to see his Helga paintings when they came to SAM. OMG, they’re so sensual!

e194b721af9d6e49d70471d09a2ed9edRight around the corner from his erotically charged Helga paintings (Just look at how he recorded the light glinting off of Helga’s pubic hair), there was this one portrait he painted of his wife lying in a field, with a HAT on her face. He pretty much spent more time depicting the dog than his wife!


I kept comparing the way he depicted them. How does the song go? “Things that make you go Hmmm.”

I compared his paintings and thought, Whoa, his wife was way more civilized than me. I would have whopped the side of his head with a cast iron pan!

I Wear A Cilice Commemorating Drowned Syrian Refugees in Somnambulist 3

Last March I was reading the latest issue of Marie Claire, a fashion magazine. In one article I was horrified to read about a boat that sank with 850 Syrian refugees aboard. I was struck by the distance between the advantaged life of the journal’s readership and the desperate immigrants seeking asylum. In remembrance, I made a cilice embellished with 850 teardrop briolettes, each marking a drowned refugee.

A cilice is a horsehair garment worn next to the skin for the mortification of the flesh in penance.

img_6534This is Somnambulist #3, the third self-portrait I’ve done wearing the cilice in my studio. Sometimes I feel like a sleepwalker unable to awaken and change the world in any significant way. It’s all so impossible. So I seek my easel.

Small Works Opening At Dendroica Gallery

OMG…after all the presidential votes are counted today we’ll either wanna kill ourselves or breathe a sigh of relief.

In case you’re still breathing on Thursday…come to the opening of Small Works at Dendroica Gallery on Capitol Hill. I have two self-portraits from the Migrations series. Looks like I’m drowning in both of them. You’ve seen the news lately… Can’t blame me, eh?