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Spika’s sledgehammer

Tonight was Gwyn Coleman’s Art Wars III at the historic City Auditorium, a great success as usual, everyone on the youthful side of the Colorado Springs art community was there. Spika had a performance piece in the show, and here’s what Spika did, the big goof.

Early in the evening Spika and an assistant painted a huge mural on stage of the United States in neon red against a black background. At the center of the red map was a yellow circle with a blue outer ring, over which was a green hazmat symbol.

Just before his performance piece which he called Metaxis, Spika led a robed figure [his wife dressed in burlap and darkened skin] resembling a Middle Eastern Muslim of irrelevant gender. She sat before the symbol at the middle of the America mural. Spika stood centerstage before a blacklight clad only in a pair of black shorts.

To a recording of Bob Dylan singing Masters of War, Spika rolled up his shorts into the sides of the waistband so that his attire resembled that of Jesus or Tarzan or Captain Underpants. Then Spika began to rub fluorescent red paint all over his legs and bare feet.

Spika wiped his hands on the front of his shorts, a repetitive move which looked uncomfortably indulgent until we saw that he was cleaning his hands for the next color. Then Spika covered the upper half of his body with blue paint. By this time the soundtrack had progressed to Jimmy Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner. Spika rubbed the blue into his face and poured what remained of the blue paint over his hair.

Now Spika wrapped a skirt of white stripes around his waist. These were strips of white paper suspended on a wire waistband. Then he draped a similar shawl of white paper stars over his shoulders. Having made a living flag of himself, Spika donned a yellow crown of spikes, whatever it is that the Statue of Liberty wears, greatly amplified and struck a pose. Once the applause subsided, Spika walked over to the robed figure at the center of the America mural.

We were not sure as he turned his back to her, if he wasn’t bending to take a crap on the Muslim, but instead he sat between her legs. Then Spika slowly reclined into the arms of his robed non-westerner to create …a pieta, and the crowd went wild.

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