Nathan Abels “Do It”
Working with instructions by Deimantas Narkevicius;
“Remember places you have visited and where you have spent some time, places where you had to make your everyday arrangements, constantly socialize with local people, where you may have been forced to change your habits in order to make the communication seem more natural. While walking, you slowly accustomed to otherwise unusual landscape. Your body was exposed to different weather conditions. Remember the location of these places on the map by observing it from the point where you live now. Use abstract thinking and if you wish -- an exact mathematical calculation to track down a geographical center of places you have visited.
Would you like to travel there?”
Narkevicius describes the many changes that may take place in a person while in the process of adapting to new locations. For some, this process takes a long time. For others, such as the subject of my paintings – Ferdinand Demara, Jr. – it is an integral part of existence. Ferdinand Demara, Jr. was called the “Great Impostor” after making headlines in the mid-twentieth century for his personal history of impersonating a surgeon for the Canadian navy, a teacher, a prison guard, a monk, a college professor, a Baptist minister, and a zoologist. His life was a series of adaptations to not only to a place, but to a profession, and even to a religious tradition. After his exploits were made public in a LIFE magazine in 1955, Demara found it difficult to continue his chameleon-like behavior with the ease he had enjoyed prior to publicity. I believe his body language in the second painting, based on an image from 1966, reflect the changes Demara experienced in his life after becoming an international celebrity.