THESE LEGS ARE MADE FOR WALKING

de benen nemen
DE BENEN NEMEN

oil on canvas on board
1976 - 500 x 600 mm

My third painting in oils. The second one got lost during my first exhibition ever. It was 1978 and I was serving/wasting my time as a draft-resister. I came into contact with a few painters who invited me to show with them in a library. I felt honoured, accepted, and considered myself an artist. A local newspaper described us as surrealists, and the critic describing the show mentioned this work when he wrote about a mysterious landscape in which legs walked alone. On the night of the opening a man asked me why I hadn't painted the top-part of the body, laughing he would have bought it if I had, and I replied I hadn't because my mum wouldn't let me. Which resulted in another burst of laughter, followed suddenly by silence.
You're serious, he said. I answered yes.
He believed me. Nothing as serious as being funny.
Nothing was sold & I lost a work, but when I went to collect my stuff at the end of our show, the librarian showed me works for the next exhibition. That was the first time I saw ever saw etchings, and these were by Oldrich Kulhánek, Jan Krejci and some other Czech Masters. I immediately realised that there was still a lot to learn before I ever would be an artist. I would have loved to buy one of their works, but I didn't have the money. Always that same irritating detail...