Paul Bakker's blog

Noses: Bodily features and its consequences

People and profiles, collage on paper.

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We are born and born as human bodies. Tiny little bodies and totally helpless. If we are not fed, bad luck!' what a shame. And we are all born with a very fragile

set of arms, legs, noses and believe me: Toes, 'tenen' in Dutch.

 

Some time ago I told you how accidentally Michael Angelo bit my left big toe and I spent time in hospital. A few days ago we were walking the babies and I slipped on some thin mud and fell flat on my face, and the rest of my front part., hip and knees. My thinking, procreational and walking parts.

 

I protected my nose, a little sore but not broken BUT my toe on my right foot got a beating. Now it throbs, changed colour and every so often a sense of a burning needle is stuck in that poor pink and blue 'final extension' of my corpus ! Rub it with Arnica tincture and let the dogs have a go too.Black and blue toe treated with arnica

 

Never the less, it is strange and embarrassing in a way to tell you, I have as far as I know, never felt hardship or real pain. And no bodily disfigurements accept one little thing: my little finger on my left hand.

 

I was playing as a 5 or 6 year old one afternoon in Jakarta with empty bottles. My parents were having their siesta. Anyway, I was walking with the bottles and tripped and all but chopped my finger off. I went screaming with blood dripping down my body saying I had been bitten by a snake ! What a lying thing I was. The baboes, young Indonesian servant women were also shrieking. But that was all.

They stitched it back on, bar the tendon, and 'till this day it is small and unmoveable. But it did stick out and that looked strange, like a lady sipping a glass of Champagne.

I knew and know how to take the little one back with the larger ring finger so not to be ridiculed.

Little pinky always standing out.

Ofcourse every child has had disappointments and

fears, if not from the dark maybe for a school teacher with a temper or a big nasty dog barking at me. Fear for being called a 'sissy' with a little pinky and a huge nose. Otherwise I cannot think of much except one thing:

 

I fear Man. Human beings. The ones I don't know. And there are many.

 

Sometimes on walking to the shops with the dogs, I worry if 'that small group of people' at the end of the road or hanging around the bridge, are ok. This has led to a certain kind of evasiveness and cowardice.

Dogs in my life

We can all divide our lives into groups or periods. Segments, if you prefer that description.

 

Example, I can list my life periods into the planes I flew in as a passenger, that is simple.

 

First the Dakota, then the Grumman, then the Constellation and Super Constellation, then the Fokker Friendship (F27) and now the Jumbo.

What next ? A spaceship to the moon ? Doubt it as it's far to cold up there.

And they don't allow dogs, or cats, only lunatics. And Americans of course.

Puti, sketch on paper

But sitting in my very comfortable chair in my head looking out the two 'windows' or eyes, I am looking at my life now in these separate periods. Be it planes, or lovers or favourite colours or dogs.

At the back of my head is the room full of books and the hundreds of librarians working for me full time, poor buggers.

But this is the 21th Century.

Now I have next to the chair in my head a table with a laptop connected to Google. So what the fellows at the back cannot find, Google will for sure.

 

I have made up my mind. Today I'll divide my life into the periods of the dogs I had. By it's nature, the fact that we live longer, it ends up nearly always with a tear or two.

 

1950

In memory of Puti

Anyway. Our first dog was in Indonesia, in Djakarta, just renamed after being called Batavia for a few centuries. My sister Johanna, now in Heaven, was born in Batavia.

 

It was a sweet little white dog aptly called Puti, Indonesian for white.

But one day Puti came home frothing at the mouth and the servants were throwing buckets of water at him so he'd not bite them.

 

Mad and sad as it was I can still see it as if it happened yesterday. I would have been 5 years old.

My father was there, thank God, and he had to take matters in hand. And in hand he did. He caught little Puti and had to strangle him.

The photo of a stuffed dog, here on the right,  is in honour of Puti.

A vet took out Puti's brain and sent it to Bandung, where the Pasteur's Institute was, and after a short while we got the message it was 'positive' and that doesn't mean good but that is was indeed rabies.

So next thing we all flew to Bandung where for two weeks we got the most horrific injections in our stomach.

One day in the left side and the next day the right side of my tummy and so on. Every day I tried to hide in the hotel but a hand would soon drag me from under a bed or out of a wardrobe.

I had to sit on the lap of a nurse and she locked me in with her legs and held my arms back and my naked tummy was punctured again and again, and again, so it seems. We then had to run around a field to get the serum in one's blood I imagine and then I fainted as I was slightly allergic to the stuff. Or it was simply too much for a little kid.

The Elusive Muse

This story started ages ago. Many Paul and Paul, mixed mediathings I have already written here, about Dali, Amanda Lear etc but now it is about that elusive 'muse', where is it ? Still on holidays so what do I do ?

 

I was walking with my buddy and class mate at the Royal Academy, Bert H. through the small village of Cadaques, North Spain .Late seventies.

 

A white open Cadillac drove past us and then stopped. The driver, a beautiful aging blond lady, introduced herself as Salvador Dali's personal chauffeur. She was rounding up people for the afternoon cocktail party at Salvador's famous house with the huge egg on the roof in Port Liggat,

a few km's from where we were.

The lady was Miss Norway 1957 and she'd pick us up the following day.

When we entered the famous house we were 'greeted' by a huge stuffed black bear, completely bejewelled and more funny then frightening.

 

About five nervous personal assistants were hovering about in a very effeminate way. All dressed in black and white shirt and black tie. Bossy little buggers.

We were instructed what to do and what not to do. Speak only when spoken to and to address the artist as Maestro Magnifico.

 

There were about 30 people and a BBC tv crew was filming and dragging cables among the guests and lights were shining every where.

The hostess of His party was no less than the famous singer Amanda Lear, a woman or a man, I'll never know.

Her song 'Follow me' ('79) was at that time a nr.1 hit.

We were given a glass of pink Champagne.

arrisen from the ashes ?

well this painting of me in hospital drag is indeed dragging on.And I love it but it is at the moment keeping me awake at night thinking about what or what not to do.I offered it to the Cairns Base Hospital where I spent that  lovely week. Then received a very nice and long letter explaining it was too large.I, no IT, spent some time in my outside studio, all 1.30x2 m. Life size.I thought after some time I should turn this into a project, an arty project or maybe a little crazy.You see, I had the idea to spray the painting completely black. It has many relief lines and the pyjama is a real one simply flattened. So it would show itself simply by reflection.And it did beautifully. I cheeted a little by spraying side ways with aluminium coloured paint.Then I would douse it in petrol and burn my ''self portrait". Or my "Alto Ego"A friend Mick reminded me of the Phoenix rising from the ashes.That somehow made it to my mind legitimate to burn.To be exhicuted by fire.But as I had this lovely black painting looking at me I fell a little in love with it. With him.How strange, no ? I couldn't just burn it, him, and that is that.I decided to make it brighter. To add flowers and butterflies. To change the dark background to a pale blue.Then I had the wicked idea to copy the painting. Just do it again. Have 2 of them.So I asked Clemens, ( the eternal mate since I was 7 years old in Indonesia), to help me.I layed down on a large thick paper and Clemens traced my body with a pentel pen. Again, the second time.I then cut it out and just for the moment it is hanging in the tree.Why did I copy it ?I thought I could burn the newly arrival and save the now so pretty original me, or it.From my bedroom/computer room I can see me/it hanging in the tree outside and it turns slowly, disappearingfor a split second, reappearing in all its/his glory.Now I cannot even burn that white figure, who looks very much like me and the other one.So now I have two separate painting and  now I'll have to get a third canvas at the required size and will have three oversized paintings. Clemens get your pentel pen ready again.!!!Too many to burn but I'll come to that later.But it is so self analysing. Also a little self rediculing.Ah, as we artist do, I'll try and sleep tonight. Crawl under the God' bed. Maybe I'll understand what this all about.I will print a small amount of booklets. I'll ask Clemens to take a photo of the three of us.Then I'll see what to do next.Start hanging the two figures in the big tree at the back. 

Bloody toe and objet trouvé

I haven't written on my blog for some time now and had the idea to write about:  objet trouvé, the things I found on our daily walk with the dogs. Little plastic toys, big and tiny teddy bears, tiny dolls, even a stuffed donkey.
 

Here some photos of the objet trouvé and my blue bag and I with my painting in the garden (click to enlarge):

Objects found on our daily walks with our dogs.   Paul and patient in garden. Photo by Clemens Objects found in the park on our daily walks with our dogs # 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then something happened.

Yes, Australia the lucky country.

I was lying on my bed with a slightly sore toe. I stood up in the night and stepped on the dog Angelo and the angel thought I was the devil or  an intruder or murderer so bit my left big toe and wouldn't let lose !!
I screamed out and Clemens got up out of a deep sleep and separated teeth from toe. Poor Angelo was over me like  a loving dog but my toe was leaking badly.
bloody sore toes
Anyway, I was thinking: Goodness, we live in a lucky country indeed.  And very very tolerant.
 
We have a woman Prime-Minister, I voted for her, living in sin with a man. And we have a greens senator for Tasmania who is openly gay and a big eared Liberal leader without a clue. Like a sweet jumping chimpanzee.
 
A Chinese minister for Finance who, also, is openly a lesbian.
Every two weeks I get $840 for just breathing and if I had a problem with breathing an ambulance would be at the front door before I could exhale !!

Paul Bakker, Gods and shadows

Book cover; Paul bakker, Gos and shadows
Again: shadows but more.....
These shadows wouldn't leave me yet.
I started to hang up a sheet on a string in the garden and create scenes.
Arrange the setting and than photograph them. If not Clemens as figure myself so I took the Clemens photos and he made the Paul ones.

Then with Clemens huge computer knowledge, I have zero !, we changed the colours and sometime the shapes.

So have a look. It is a booklet made by us both. The first time. I also made of these pictures and text a booklet. Below.

If you want a hardcopy you'll have to let me know (click) as I haven't got enough funds to post them to all you loyalists.
 
phb

Again: shadows but more.....

These shadows wouldn't leave me yet.
I started to hang up a sheet on a string in the garden and create scenes.
Arrange the setting and than photograph them.
If not Clemens as figure myself so I took the Clemens photos and he made the Paul ones.
Then with Clemens huge computer knowledge, I have zero !, we changed the colours and sometime the shapes.
So have a look. It is a booklet made by us both. The first time.
I also made of these pictures and text a booklet. Below.
If you want one you'll have to let me know as I haven't got enough funds to post them to all you loyalists.
phb

Shadows, real and of the past

Just started working on my 5th booklet called 'Paul Bakker and Mistakes'.

It will be made public soon.

Sitting outside the other week I saw a beautiful shadow on the inside wall of the gazebo we have in the garden.

It was of Clemens talking to son Casper. I took a photo and then Clemens took a photo of my shadow.      Paul and little finger shadowplay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows left: Clemens and Casper. Right: Paul and little finger.

Family people

I made these little figures only a few days ago. Finished, more or less, the male a few hours ago.

Father, mother and child. The child was found in the park during our daily walks with the two Godlike dogs. Or Doglike Gods.Wooden family. Bits and pieces found on our walks.

The wooden figures I also find on my walks and with minor adjustments with sandpaper and a sharp knife they become what they are.Also Godly figures like Angelo and Vinci, the animals. The man is a runner or a tango dancer, the woman stands alone thinking and the baby is just a little plastic doll. Not sure if she has a soul. Of course she has as I chose her to put on a pedestal..

I photographed them outside. Taking them from my incredibly messy room.That's what Clemens always says. He's right of course.

I need help, I need a housekeeper !!!

We, Clemens as I did, were always brought up with servants. In  Indonesia we had baboes and one jongos, a male.with a head band. In Iran we had only house boys. The nicest one was Wah-hap, in his fiftieths and an Arab. Not the loved race by the Iranians. who felt terribly superior.They still do. Ask Gomeini or Kohmeini.

But when I lived in Terena, Portugal, I had a woman to look after my house and myself. Lived there off and on for nearly 20 years.

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