They called me for jury duty, but they won’t use me. I have a beard. I paint pictures nobody understands. I live alone. They won’t use me. I have intelligence. I know moderation. I could lecture on the aesthetic principles. I have a great deal to say. I paint because it is the only way I can say it.
People interest me. But that’s it; they interest me. If I didn’t put all my time into painting I’d try to understand them. But I don’t have another lifetime and I can’t make it this time. I can’t seem to feel any sympathy. My life is with theory and while there are times that people give me pause to think; I don’t pause long enough, I guess. Because when I’m done, I come up with nothing. I’m neutral, I guess.
They call me for jury duty. Once in every four years I go through with it. I know what they’ll ask and what they think when they’re writing down the answers. They won’t use me. They want someone with emotion. I have to save that emotion for my painting. I can’t tell them that. They want somebody who will put himself In the other guy’s place. I can’t do that.
I walk away from trouble. I never get mixed up with anything; or anyone. They honour my individuality when they invite me. Yet, when I appear they deny that individuality, because they won’t use me. Maybe they need me for the balance; if only to put them into a spin for a while. If only to show them that the world is also homosexual, artistic, solitary, indefinite, arbitrary, insecure and pathological. I would give them something to think about.
And – it would give me something to think about.
– D. Figel-Hartman, 1958