Jack Balas, 2018; THE OBERDICK HOUSE (#1687); oil and enamel on canvas, 48" x 60"
This story was written 20 years ago, and appears on my 1999 sculpture THE OBERDICK CHAISE. (see below).
The Oberdick house is where
I live, or so says the plumber's wife whenever I go in. Two sisters
their eighties, I think of them when their flowers come up, when I pass through the pink back-stairs,
notice the pink edge on the bathroom door, open kitchen cabinets. So I declare war on pink and other things,
cut through the back closet for a window when out pops this postcard from behind a door casing, its penny
portrait of Franklin canceled 1933, a pastel lake up in the mountains -- mountains with snow, pine trees,
vacation. Did they ever get to go, lie back in the sun and dream at clouds? Or was it enough, the concrete
for a patio covered then in cracks and finally in Astroturf? I won that battle, but the aluminum siding I've
kept, along with the chipped clapboards beneath. Rather than paint them I sit in the new window and gaze
at the yard, my pink yard, turn the postcard over in my lap and read the faint pencil on the back in a tentative,
faded hand: "GOD DID THIS."
Jack Balas, THE OBERDICK CHAISE,
1999, wood with silkscreened text, 21" x 22" x 72"
(The wooden clapboards are from my house, saved when I cut through several walls to put in some doors and windows.)