Smith Eliot*

18.06.2012 in18:20 in Art -->


I was born on a commune in Topanga California. My parents were amongst the first hippies and lived in a school bus. What a wonderful bus it was!! On one side it had a mural of Leonard Peltier wearing a tiger-striped speedo, holding chrysanthemum in his right hand and a rifle in his left hand. The other side was completely black. In the winter we faced the black side towards the sun to keep warm.

For some of my young life we were gypsies and we lived on the road for awhile. My mom performed magick and danced with coins glued to her belly for a living. My dad sat around and ate mushrooms all day. Sometimes he would roll out of the bus like a donut and spread his jelly all over the earth. And we would sit and watch the lollipop trees growing from shallow pools of my dad’s jelly secretions. It was . . .wooooow, man. It was cats and dogs and koolaid.

So I grew up in this really odd matrix of things gone awry. When I reached the age of 18, I decided to seek normalcy and I went to college. That made me more well informed, I guess…but not enough. So i went to grad school. I got my MFA, and I figured out how to act moderately conventional. I have a respectable job in the art department of a local college. People see my daily costume and assume it represents some greater truth about who I am inside. This is good. It means I can pay the rent. I was going to say that I am a sheep in wolf’s clothing, but that’s not true. I don’t know how to describe the costume and how it differs from the internal thing that I keep secret. So I shall suffice it to say that I am an impostor. What you see is not what you get. What you don’t see is better than what you do see. I believe this is true of all of us.