In this etching I worked from one of Dad's military photographs. It represents three generations: him, his parents (upper left) and my hand print on top. Carmine Sarracino wrote a poem based on this work for the HIP.
In His Youth
In His Youth is black and white, just as the world, in his youth, was black and white. Called by Right to cleanse the blot of Wrong, in black tangles on snowy mountains, with a heavy machine gun he met the edge of its dark bulge. And he could not fire fast enough!
Blue, he felt so blue, far from home, but the red of rage, fears acid yellow, the purple of guilt, and grief, that blackest black, so black that like white it contains all colors, came back in dreams he did not talk about, not even to himself.
He returned to ranks, he marched straight
home where he could not make too much life fast enough! Only five kids? Or nine? He would create 19,000 if he could, he would stand up one live child for each cross, if only he could . At ten, as if out of belt ammo, he stopped.
And one of those ten made this portrait of his dad. At a glance, any GI. But look, the eyes: sensitive, shy, peeking from a hidden inner world.
His son, blood of his blood, would saw that world open, turn it inside out, and live his life there, making his own creations, one after another, never enough, with color, texture, shape clay, bronze, iron, woodeverything an artist needs when he is free