"Les Hommes Du Cirque"

"Les Hommes Du Cirque"
(Oil on Canvas)

I'm looking back at my wonderful life.  This work is a window into my life experience. I created this painting influenced by my memories of my life with the "Circus and Street Performers" I met in Paris.  They taught me about "beauty" and value of being "authentic" and the importance of enjoying life and "living in the moment".  One of the blessings about getting old is that I care less and less what people think of me.  This painting is not for sale because I am painting "for myself".   Les Hommes Du Circue is now part of my "American in Paris" collection and my personal gift to the public.


Paris & The Cabaret!

"Paris & The Cabaret"
Here's what I told my close friends.  I don't care that people think I'm presenting myself as a "clown".  As an artist, I've been influenced by "Paris and the Cabaret".   My "American in Paris" collection of art is a window into this beautiful life experience with the Paris Cabaret, the French circus, mimes, and performance artists I met there.  So why should I be ashamed of this beautiful life experience that influenced my works of art and made me who I am?  I'm not the first artist who ever dressed up as a clown.  There's been a long, long tradition of other "artists" who came before me: Caruso, Al Jolson, Chaplin, Houdini, Buster Keaton, Picasso, Lautrec, Edith Piaf, Marcel Marceau, Sandow, Marlene Dietrich, Fred Astaire...One of my favorite "artists" of ALL TIME also dressed up as a "clown" and happens to be an American Master.  To see who it is, click here!
At My First Exhibition 
(After returning from Paris)

The Circus Influence

"Femme Cirque"
When I was in Paris I always loved going to "Le Moulin Rouge" and would always go to the "Le Cirque" Parisian. So, it's only natural that the French circus has been a great influence on me and my works of art.  The clowns and circus performers I met in Paris were actually some of the nicest people I've ever met.   To me, calling someone "a clown" is not an insult. As far as I'm concerned clowns are "artists"!!!  Not only are they entertaining, but I am very grateful to them because they helped me expand my imagination and become the artist I am today.

In my "American In Paris" Gallery

In fact, when I was an Executive Director I used to have community art programs where  I would always expose my community to the "performing arts".  So every year, when the circus rolled into town, I would also gather up the neighborhood kids to take them to the circus to appreciate the "clowns, acrobats, horseback riders, and other circus performers".  I came across this picture, so I thought I'd post it here.

Abstract Self Portrait

I just hung this painting in one of my galleries today, so I thought I would go ahead an post it.


The world needs clowns!

My close friends have advised me to be careful presenting myself as a "clown" because not everyone has a sense a humor and some people won't take me seriously.  All I can say is what's wrong with being a clown?   I LOVE clowns.  Clowns are artists too.  That's why they are called "performance artists". The world needs clowns!  Not only do clowns make me laugh, they also inspire me.  If it weren't for the clowns and other performance artists I met while in Paris, I would have never have been inspired me to paint my "American in Paris" collection. And what about Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Marcel Marceau?  Aren't they artists?  Honestly, some people take life way too seriously.  Besides, I am not the only artist inspired by clowns.  Even Picasso presented himself as a clown.  So I thought, I'd repost this video to make my point. Lighten up, people!


Greatest Gifts


Thanks for all your interest.  I have been having so many conversations about my recent posts.  I'm glad I'm not the only one with an interesting history.  Trust me, I can TOTALLY relate.  So I thought I might as well share my thoughts here with everyone else in hopes its may be helpful to others.  Here are my thoughts on the matter.  I strongly believe that we are all "unique" in our own way.  Some of us somehow find the courage to EMBRACE IT and take the untravelled path. Believe me, being an artist and choosing this path has not been easy.  Being a creative artist requires a tremendous amount of COURAGE and is definitely not for the faint of heart.  Why? Because as a creative artist I often have to make myself very, very vulnerable.  Of course I often have to make a complete fool of myself in the "creative process" in order to create my works of art and stand up for what I believe in.  I believe in art. Consequently, I know that not everyone is going to "get it" or accept what I'm doing.  But that just comes with the territory.  Personally, however, I find that I can't live my life trying to please everyone.  So for me, I've learned that it's very important to be true to myself.  I'm an artist. It's what I am.  I've learned to fully embrace it.  As a result, I've had a very rich and fascinating life.  I've used my mind, body, and spirit to create thousands of images.  So I know my work will still inspire others long after I'm gone and I also want to be an inspiration to others.

So when it comes to pursuing your dreams, just accept that not everyone will understand and "get it".  I've learned to say "It's okay".  Some of you have been asking what it was like growing up.  I generally don't liike to ever involve my family in my posts because it's not their fault that I chose to pursue this path of "self discovery".  Since you are asking, however, I will make this rare exception because I think it's necessary to make a point.  As many of you have shared your own family stories with me, I can totally relate.  For the record, my own family also doesn't care or even appreciate art unless, of course, if it's in the form of flowers or a bowl of fruit, or religious icons.  But that's the extent of it.  But how can I expect others to love and accept me and my limitations if I don't accept others for theirs?  Incidentally, I've also tried to be "traditional" artist by painting flowers and bowls of fruit, and even iconography.

My "Bowl of Fruit"
 (Done in the style of the Old Masters)

In fact, for mother's Day, I went ahead and painted something she could relate to.  So I created these flowers for her.

My Mother's Oil Painting

For my father, I sent him a copy of a my religious icon of St. Michael that I painted with real gold in egg tempera.

My Saint Michael painted in gold and Egg Tempera

Whenever I have to go to my hometown in Arizona I feel totally like a fish out of water because I didn't pursue a traditional life.  My own family didn't even expect me to graduate from high school.  They expected me to spend my life working in a factory.  But I learned the power of "visualization" early on.  One of my visualizations was graduating from Harvard and traveling the world.  So, of course, I ended up fleeing the desert to attend Harvard University instead of spending the rest of my life working at a packing plant like my family expected me to.  Don't get me wrong.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with working at a packing plant, but that life just wasn't for me.  So now whenever I go to my hometown, I feel like a Martian landing in the desert.  Even Norman Mailer says that you can never go home.  I think he's absolutely right.  It's interesting, because psychologically when I'm in my hometown I often find myself reverting to be being the young kid who  lived there.

In the Arizona Desert

So, believe me, I can totally relate to what you guys are all talking about.   But think about it.  Imagine if I had stayed working at a packing plant.  I would never have gone to Harvard and become an artist and created all these works of art from my world travels and own life experience.

Visualization Realized

It doesn't mean I don't love my family.  Quite the contrary.  But like most families, my family is also very preoccupied with my being "normal".  But in order to grow I knew I had to leave because I found my small town placed way too many "limitations" on my dreams and worldly aspirations.  Besides, anyone who truly knows me knows that I am actually really down-to-earth in my every day life.  I'm not really the crazy artist I pretend to be.  That's just for entertainment!

Everything does come at a cost, though.  I definitely have paid the price for being an creative artist.  But what did they expect?  I wasn't going to stay around to live someone else's life.  Even though I've had a lot of "bumps in the road" I didn't do too badly.  I mean I'm a Harvard Graduate, I've created a nonprofit for low income families, I've been an Executive Director, I've travelled the world, and have met so many other interesting people.  So it's okay that I didn't spend my entire life in my hometown working in a packing plant.  Not to toot my own horn, but I'm not exactly what you would call a stereotypical "starving artist" either...  In fact, I've already made my social contribution in the arts.  So I've now earned the right to live in a mansion spending my life as a creative artist.

That doesn't mean I don't make mistakes and strive to keep growing and becoming a better person.  So what if people don't understand the courage and challenges I face being a creative artist.  Interesting enough, but growing up as a faithful Catholic, back home the life of Christ was one of my greatest influences.  In fact, Christ was a great example for me as a kid.  I was even an alter boy in my church.  I spent my young childhood reading the bible, in bible studies, catechism, and in prayer groups.  In fact I remember how I learned that even Jesus was living a "normal" life as a carpenter.  But imagine what the world would now be like if he had chosen to remain a carpenter?  So sometimes when I am creating art, I have to remind myself of this.  Everyone knows he made a lot of sacrifices to pursue his own destiny.  He too was ridiculed and criticized for pursuing his own calling and "higher purpose".

So  I do respect the life of Christ and will always look to the great prophets and philosophers and the wisdom that comes with pursuing "the questioned life".  Having studied philosophy, that's why the greek philosophers emphasized that we "know thyself".  Likewise, as an artist, I'm constantly striving to challenge myself and see what I'm made of, even it it means that I also will be ridiculed at times.  Pursuing our dreams and becoming who we are comes at a price.  But I'm only human.  So, of course, I still cry when I go back home because I feel the weight of the price I've paid.   Ultimately I'm happy with the choice I've made in pursuing my dreams. Something to think about: Sometimes, it just take years before the world catches up with us...  In fact it may not happen in my own lifetime. Thank God because I much prefer it that way.  Poor Picasso.  I don't admire  him.  I would hate to have paparazzi swarming around my every move and I need time to myself to create art.  So having spent my life as a social extrovert, I now find my moments of solitude one of life's "greatest gifts".  I hope this was inspirational to you.


Lighten Up!

Oh my God!  I am SOOOOOOO tired of people being so DAMN SERIOUS!!!.  So here's my message:
Lighten up, people!  - Zermeno

Photography is art!  So for "Shits and giggles" I did this photoshoot where I'm literally sitting on a toilet at the beach for you to laugh at my expense. You wouldn't believe how DIFFICULT and damn HEAVY it was to carry this large toilet to the beach...  I'm telling you, what I go through in my life just to inspire the world to learn to smile and lighten up.  I hope it inspires you to stop taking life so DAMN SERIOUSLY!!!  So will you please learn to laugh a little?  Trust me, laughter heals the soul.  At least when I'm gone, I know I will have left this world a little brighter place, even if it's by laughing at my image as a creative artist.  I'm totally fine with that.  I hope I've at least inspired you to "lighten up".  So smile.  Have a laugh on me and stop taking life so seriously.


Yours Truly

Get Yours Here!

Thanks for you feedback!  For those of you film buffs who appreciate my sense of humor and the dramatic comedies of the silent film era and black and white photography, you can now order this photographic artwork (without any message) in its original artform.

Zermeno Art Poster (without Message)

Zermeno Wearable Art (No Message)

Coffee Mug (without Message)

In Here life is Beautiful!

Leave your troubles OUTSIDE!

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In the Nude

This work of art was inspired by my painting "au naturel" in my garden.  However, New England is so DAMN CONSERVATIVE that I completely lost my nerve to exposing myself.  Why must we be ashamed of our bodies?  Where did that come from?  It's not "natural".   I now want to stand up for all the people who feel ashamed of their bodies and need to learn to fully love themselves.  God gave us bodies to celebrate life.  Honestly, it's hard for me to be an artist some times, but how can I encourage others in the world to have COURAGE if I don't have it myself?  So the hell with conservatism.  I myself need to get back to "Nature".   Anyway, I hope I've inspired anyone who has "issues" with their body, age, or self image to love yourself!

Zermeno: "Au Naturel" 
Oil on Canvas

Eiffel Tower

Creating my trip to Paris into these cinematic works of art.

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