For the last month I have been considering my death due to my ongoing struggle with prostate cancer. My two dear friends, Marilyn Reed, and Amy Sargent, have been in my corner, sending me healings. I never met Amy in person. We met on Facebook. She is an incredible artist. Marilyn was my first girlfriend. We have been working on a important chapter in my autobiography titled ‘Sawtelle’. No family member has asked about my cancer. They don’t care. For this reason I have made Marilyn heir to the literary legacy I will one day leave behind. Amy is the heir to the artistic legacy.
Both these legacies were founded by two childhood friends that loved each other very much. All claims made, hence, are made by people who did not know Bill Arnold, and did much evil to exclude me and go around me in order to get to the riches and fame – they have come to believe they deserve! None of these pretenders are artists. None of these parasites are writers. How these ghouls qualify themselves, by disqualifying the real people, needs to be recorded and studied.
When I ran into Nancy Hamren at the dedication of Ken’s mural in Springfield, we were so happy to see other. Our eyes filled with sparkles of joy. But, there came sadness, because, when we would see each other as children, Bill was close by. Bill died in 1965. At twelve, the three of us formed a close bond. Bill was an artist and a writer who enjoined us to the literary drama he discovered at the Oakland library after his father retired from the Military. Bill was a Army Brat who lived in France and Korea. Having no friends, as yet, he adopted the characters that John Steinbeck and Jack London created. Born in Ohio he was determined to become a first rate Californian. ‘Of Mice and Men’ was our favorite story. Bill wanted to be Lennie even though he had and I.Q. of 180. He was six foot three. There were welts over his back. He took his shirt off on the playing field. There was a Hunchback lurking in my friend.
When I was sixteen, my mother gathered Christine, Mark, and myself for a family meeting. In tears she told us she was making porno films and prostituting herself for the Mob. She said she was afraid my brother and I would see one of her FAMOUS movies. We watched the movie East of Eden’ as if it were our Christmas movie. We got warm and cozy feelings when Cal took his brother to meet Mommy.
Christine Rosamond Benton’s ghost writers employed the movie ‘Mommy Dearest’ to give the reader an example of how abusive Rosemary was to this world famous artist, only! Our mother beat up Marilyn, and Christine. She had two chunks of her hair in her hands when I shoved her in a closet and said;
“If you come out of there, I’m going to kill you!”
The next day I left home to hitchhike to New York in the middle of winter. Before I became homeless, I said goodbye to my loving sister. I was seventeen. Christine said;
“Take me with you. Don’t leave me with the monster!”
I left my sister with the monster after telling her it would not be safe for her.
“Someone might try to rape you.”
In 1986, Bill’s sister asked me to come to Los Angeles to look at some things she inherited from her father. There was a box containing pamphlets on suicide. Vicky Arnold, who knew Nancy most of her life, asked me for the truth. Eight years later, I called Rosemary.
“You seduced Bill. This is why he killed himself on my eighteenth birthday. He had been in your womb, too. Did you intercept his letter to me?”
There was a long silence.
“What do you want me to do, cut my throat?”
I have gone to Incest Survivors. Rosemary came on to me since I was sixteen. She told me she was the only woman who could sexually please my bother. I own zero tolerance for women who used the history of their sexual abuse to hurt others – and use others! Rosemary was also a violent drunk – on top of being insane! In spite of the handycaps we owned, Christine and I founded an Artistic Dynasty that includes some of the Kesey history. I will not be going my own way. I am including the following women in my autobiography.
Belle Burch, Alley Valkyrie, Gwendolyn Maeve, and Terra Williams! Welcome to the Labyrinth, girls, of which there is no escape! Can you hear her? It’s feeding time!
Rosemary Rosamond is still a candidate for Fair Rosamond, who was kept in a Labyrinth. I wanted Belle to pose for my painting of Fair Rosamond, so there could be a happy ending to my story. But, here come the spirit of Rosemary riding hard with her Valkyries! Now, it is spoiled – ruined! Now….there is now way out!
I believe Rosemary serviced Remmer’s high rollers at the Ritz and the California Hotel.
Here’s the painting Christine Rosamond Benton did in memory of Bill who drove the car Rosemary bought him on the tracks at midnight, turned off the lights, and waited for the train he knew was coming.
Thomas Hart Benton did lithographs and a painting for John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’. This is huge! This puts a Literary Giant in the Benton Family Creative Tree. How could the three Rosamond biographers have missed this? Here’s a huge clue?
There is a art show going on right now about Benton’s relationship with Hollywood.
“He needs to just be banned. He has a history of cyber stalking and harrassing women both online and in person. I have been trying to ignore him but as you can see it is incredibly hard.
Born in Oakland, California to Roy Van Fleet and Elizabeth “Bessie” Catherine (née Gardner), Jo Van Fleet established herself as a notable dramatic actress on Broadway over several years, beginning in 1946 in Dorcas in A Winter’s Tale, and played Regan in King Lear opposite Louis Calhern in 1950.
Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood,” a sprawling and revelatory exhibition of works by that famous Missouri artist, which opened at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art on Saturday, is a marriage made in art lovers’ heaven.
“He was an artist who was deeply engaged in trying to find ways to tell America’s stories,” said lead curator Austen Barron Bailly, the George Putnam curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., one of the two museums partnering with the Carter to create this exhibition (Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is the third).
“When he was embarking on his career, movies were becoming the dominant form of storytelling in America,” said Bailly.
With that concept in mind, Bailly and her team, including Carter assistant curator Maggie Adler, put together an exhibition featuring about 100 of Benton’s works, among them 30 paintings and murals, numerous drawings and lithographs, and several posters and book illustrations.
They also collected clips of films from Benton’s era that are seen on video screens scattered throughout the exhibition to establish context. This is the collection’s third of four stops.
Benton’s unique style, which is so thoroughly surveyed in this exhibition, seems a perfect match for Hollywood. His works are truly “motion pictures” captured in frames.
Benton’s limber, curving figures roll and undulate across his canvases, suggesting movement despite being trapped in a static, two-dimensional space. His subjects feel as free of the rigid tyranny of bones as the bits of light and shadow we call “movie stars” are free of the constraints of being human.
His use of captivating colors (his distinctive yellows, oranges and blues are particularly interesting) can rival any Technicolor film effort. And, perhaps most significantly, he knew how to tell a story with a pen or brush.
“Benton developed a modern cinematic painting style to communicate epic narratives as memorably as the movies of his day,” Bailly said. “He wanted to capture the feel of motion pictures on canvas, the illusion of 3-D space, rhythmic motion and the glow of projected light.”
That final comment about light in Benton’s works was reinforced for Adler when it came time for the exhibition’s pictures to be hung at the Carter.