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TEEN TIMES

Antonio Pessoa
Teen Times
 

This young boy was saucy and mischievous in school, naughty and annoyingly playful, systematically teasing and worrying with impish laughter. If you have watched, seen the incredible story of Mozart, told in flashback mode by Antonio Salieri, Amadeus, a 1984 film directed by Milos Forman, you might as well assume it was meant to have the main features of a wild child young boy named Antonio Pessoa. Do you get the picture? The cards were thrown, and the radio was on, modulation of electromagnetic waves releasing the last waterhole of progressive rock, the music of King Crimson, Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull and Yes, were incorporated elements wild and wide-ranging influencing the teenager's moody blues. As young Antonio Pessoa reached the peak of his obscure high school unpopularity, the seeds of Rock n' Roll were plucking him from the unfair trench warfare of recycled misery, lack of motivation and other grey hobgoblins playing average teachers. The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains and the superior teacher demonstrates. That philosophical much was something young Antonio Pessoa was defenitely well aware of. Now the big question at stake was indeed, where for Heaven's sake was the superior master? While Roger Daltrey, through the record player hi-fi speakers kept shouting "We won't get fooled again" and the Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger went on whispering in the young boys ears" time waits for no one and no one waits for me ",Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven receiving more radio airplay than any other song in history, Antonio Pessoa grabbed his precious treasure, the secret, his perception of urgency, feeling and knowing deep down inside that hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste. The big city atmosphere was bound and just about to take him out on the racing rushing streets and avenues, with soul mates or even as a lonesome wanderer, safely away from his dreadful tyrannic teachers' captivity. Suddenly, one late afternoon he stopped by a shop window where there was a TV Set on and loud and an old band named The Beatles filling up the screen when a seat chilling voice cut through his ears claiming "I wanna hold your hand". That did it! Antonio Pessoa buys his first acoustic guitar at the age of twelve. Only music could protect the young lad from life's bumps and bruises. He stalked out of the music shop's door with his brand-new toy, his new chance at life in his hands. All his troubles and doubts were gone and his daydreaming nightmares all packed away. The guitar became his closest confidant for the next three years. It was only natural that he would turn to music to see that after all life wasn't supposed to be so harsh, boring and dull. The artist was no longer panic-stricken, for another flash of light called Rock n' Roll Music was holding his hand. Antonio Pessoa bought that old single. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". The future was now transparent! By the age of fourteen he had an interview with the manager of a professional rock band. By the end of the demo session Antonio Pessoa had him broad smiling at him. Speechless. The young lad told him:"So let me know what you want me to play more". He was hired and next thing he knew he was the leader of the band! Pessoa inherits from his father his taste for classical music long before his 10th birthday, by then the lad was already a great connoisseur of the great composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy, George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi, Antonio Vivaldi, Pablo Luna, Achille-Claude Debussy and Giacomo Puccini. Another music genius, modern composer of his fancy, Igor Stravinsky, strange as it seems, comes only a few years later when the fourteen years old boy discovers him through Frank Zappa influence. Antonio Pessoa's obsession by the american musician is going to last a very, verylong time, becoming one of his contemporary composers and performers in the show biz scene ever. Pessoa enters Music Academy, becoming an average piano player before he is fifteen years old. Nevertheless he drops the Academy classes to travel all over Europe, taking him to new fascinating adventures and get well acquainted with Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and in addition further south with Barcelona and sunny lively magical Ibiza. The crossroads concerning his future in a way were manifesting a whole general interest, leading him to so many different options and activities apart from music and his promising first steps and academic attempts in the drawing, sketching and fine art function, such as Raja Yoga, Pop Culture, traveling, History, languages, ethnic cultures, multicultural perception and awareness, motion pictures, literature and later on even martial arts. Nevertheless, on the other hand all these exciting propositions were bringing his teenage times a whole lot of ideals dispersion and consequently a reasonable amount of distortion, preventing him from focusing his attention on a specific life picture, model and a steady working routine. Despite his Raja Yoga first serious commitment and experiences, his restlessness was going to ensure him a long lasting risky exposure to endure his breathless vivid dreams and wild child adventures plus his continuous wandering- exploring throughout Europe and across the Mediterranean toward the One Thousand and One Nights north african magical exotic space. Young man Antonio Pessoa worships London, loves Paris and simply adores living in Holland, particularly in Amsterdam. It's far too evident that throughout his whole artistic career he idolizes Nederland both in the intensity of his paintings subjects with which he systematically recalls his crazy,wild lively days and promiscuous nightly promenades and in the stimulating cultural diversity he found in Amsterdam during his mid, late teens and early twenties. The dutch background, experience and influences have been clearly proving to be widely generous in the contribution they have given to the brave inspiration and fine art making specifically in his astonishing production of the nineties known as The Romantic Period. Suffice is to say that Antonio Pessoa's teenage golden years have been a product of his wealthy, aristocratic, christian, privileged and extremely well-educated and too overprotected childhood and family background. This social origin heritability, however, involves a controversial feedback causing the effect of the typical spoiled brat, which in his early teens has strongly influenced the by then scandalous impact of the artist's dropping out of high school. Novelty disturbs and repels, and the young boy's originality, playful bahavior and pro New Wave generation appearance and Look, were elements and factors enough, therefore supposed to helplessly make him definitely no exception to the rule. Antonio Pessoa's actions and reactions after a short and unconventional observational sessions period the ultimate ingredients of matter of what it is and how to change it, was gradually dropped, archived and forgotten as in the Common Prayer quote, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The young boy's yielding tendency was no big deal either, so there it is, his destiny was now being drastically manufactured by an impressive abstract perverted engineer not a bit affected by what would make sense let alone the traditional concept of reasoning responsibility. Pessoa discovers The Beatles long after the band broke up, an objective observer enthusiastically excited about a british phenomenon that no longer existed as a musical ensemble. However the teenager starts collecting all the albums of the worlwide popular four from Liverpool, plus the old singles he grabs on the sly from his two older sisters forgotten idols under the bed overstocked storage dusty piles. The boy besides starting coming up with his own updated versions of songs such as, Back in the U.S.S.R., Dizzy Miss Lizzy, With a Little Help from my Friends, When I'm Sixty-Four, Yesterday, Come Toge ther, I am The Walrus, Don't Let me Down, Let it Be, Octupus' Garden, Here Comes the Sun, and so on...his first watercolors were also illustrations of The Beatles tunes, five of them actually still belonging to the artist's private collection. With the sound of his twelve strings acoustic guitar he manages to survive quite well and sometimes live pretty well off whenever he rans out of money his family sends him on a regular basis, and in the meantime getting spoiled and used to the idea of having always a crowd of admirers cheering him up, willing to get acquainted with the good looking talented kid... therefore enjoying life with the talismanic euphoric electrifying joy, the apparent ecstatic Gladness, witnessing, feeling and loving the smell, eroticism and rhythm of a young God living the time of his life! The great intense rapture and delight of Antonio Pessoa's Europe trotting mighty performance were crucial for the development of his easy going social communication open-minded extroverted mastery and most importantly an endless huge source of cultural references plus personal experiences he is going to put down in oil on canvas much later on with the striking fine art expression empirical command we all are aware of, and well familiarized with by now. At the premature age of fifteen he lives for the first time with an older woman in the sunny, lively, cosmopolitan, charming island Ibiza, southern Spain, his very first experience with a beautiful spanish girl on a marital like life adjustment, a new performing stage where he quicly learns how to handle the situation, how to act the proper way and most importantly experience the flavour of falling in love, sharing, happiness, glory, fulfillment and overwhelming excitement. In the meantime, young Pessoa was about to define the foundation from which his lifestyle, love affairs, art and everything else was going to be built. Without even knowing or even slightly aware of it he was actually creating the "blueprint" of the life of his dreams. The visualization of tropical fun sunny southern Spain as the perfect ideal was taking shape in his mind, heart and soul as a subliminal messaging recommending the perfect living program right there in the right place at the right time. By now he was able to see so many solid changes start to happen, feeling a shift in his inner world and listening to a voice telling him out loud "Go for it young man"! His heart his in a flurry of activity flooded with colorful and powerful images of the way he wants his life to be. The price Antonio Pessoa had to pay for it, well that's indeed something else, the other side of the coin, or if you wish, The Dark Side of the Moon! The price Antonio Pessoa had to pay in order to keep on leading such a cinematic breathtaking exciting and fabulous adventurous life has been equally proportional to the heat of the magnetic heart beat acceleration filled with romanticism, adrenal ecstasy, breathtaking stimulus and unspeakable eroticism. The price the artist had to pay in order to live up to such a motion picture like dynamic play, exploding with creative spontaneous intensity, was after all a continuous display of troubled moments and painful periods, falling cold hard rain, envy, defamation and so very often compulsory forced constrain. However like in the happy ending fairy tales, the artist, dressed up as a modern times Knight in a Shiny Armor, Pessoa metamorphically creates a remarkable immune system which to some degree and extent, became his Guardian Angel and master protector throughout the years and very particularly whenever the sign said "if you're looking for trouble you came to the right place". Nevertheless, Pessoa wasn't definitely looking for trouble, no way, but rather aiming to let his deep beliefs all out in the open and make a magical mystery tour out of his life. Antonio Pessoa, a steady regular of the Louvre Museum and of the Centre Pompidou during his countless visits to Paris, is basically fascinated by the impressionists, namely Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissaro, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Monet, Bazille, etc... visits for the first time at the age of sixteen, the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueras. If Pablo Picasso - apart from his Blue Period masterpieces - didn't succeed awakening Pessoa's special interest for his oeuvre back then, on the contrary, Salvador Dali's surrealistic paintings caused an immediate impact on the young man's emotions and subjective personal criticism. However, anyway, still not yet to such a degree of love at first sight worth mention it. Only four years later was Antonio Pessoa going to have the opportunity to approach Dali's work and biography with a different perspective and this time now at last with an increasing particular interest, after several visits to a Dali's retrospective exhibition downtown Amsterdam. As for Pablo Picasso, it was going to take a whole lot longer, before Pessoa actually discovers in the spanish master's life and work, enough substantial interesting content to grab his attention and even so, only during the nineties, finally accepts Picasso not just only as a modern art pioneer and a genius unique, but also as an art action working phenomenon lifestyle model. During his late teens, Antonio Pessoa remains totally devoted and genuinely faithful to the impressionism, neo-impressionism and even fauvism. André Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, this one his favorite modern master ever, and even Maurice Vlaminck. Pessoa attends his first art workshops in Amsterdam at the age of seventeen, arousing the teachers curiosity first and after a short while even their astonishment at his drawing skills and very particularly at his unusual action speed. Despite his obvious growing interest in Fine Art, Antonio Pessoa's priority is still music. He enjoys playing Live with bands but on the other hand playing solo provides him with a much higher daily-weekly income plus the absolute freedom he feels, enjoys and relishes, with his new Fender acoustic guitar always by his side to keep him company and keep the show going on. By the age of seventeen, Pessoa has indeed become a very interesting, vigorous and enthusiastic piano player, a rather eclectic singer with a powerful and now well trained voice, a guitar player with a very spontaneous improvising flow plus a highly developed technical quality now which naturally gives him always the privilege of being accepted and hired right on the spot by some of the best New Wave rock and Jazz bands in the dutch-british Amsterdam's music biz scene. Back and forth from southern Europe to the magical northern Triangle, London, Paris and Amsterdam, Antonio Pessoa now an eighteen years old busy, extroverted, dynamic lad, is finally experiencing something close to a nervous breakdown. Too many night Live music gigging around, footloose and fancy-free short-term love affairs, spectacular Live Painting and too much on the road Europe up and down sleepless nights and frantic days, celebrating life, youth and that special take it as it comes sort of breathless allucinating living rhythm, a physical and emotional earthquake which was at last coming up with a rather harsh verdict, ruthless and inevitable, stating that the glittering fast heavy speedy trunk was running out of fuel, meaning the young man needed urgently a God-forsaken break, energy was fading away, over and out! That actually did it and the Final Countdown was online like a boomerang feedback effect warning. Antonio Pessoa drops everything in a wise hurry and after randomly pack his backpack, he takes off in the first available plane and yes, next thing he knew he was landing at Casablanca airport. Exoctic, magical and new, like being in another far away Planet, another cultural twilight zone he had been reading about in books and by watching old Golden Years Hollywood motion pictures. However he was no veteran brave Lawrence of Arabia, nor dressed up like Peter O'Toole neither that was a cinema silver screen opening widely making way for a CinemaScope Twentieth Century Fox Technicolor great adventure. This time it was for real,useless start playing Indiana Jones, Valentino or even Humphrey Bogart, for now this daring young man knew right away he was on his own in a strange new world, where learning how to play by the rules was just about the same as starting from the scratch. Wandering around Casablanca was definitely really something, fascinating, that puzzling feeling of weird excitement, on the other hand there were to many resemblances in the superficial details with the modern European metropolis. That wasn't his idea of breaking on through to the One Thousand and One Nights incense smelling, colorful marketplaces established in mysterious narrow streets, where anything can happen, even oblivion. Pessoa entered Casablanca's bus Station and after one hour map researching he found his index finger pointing at one specific spot by the sea. Essaouira! The Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards, and Jimi Hendrix favorite Moroccan hangout. Also the place where in the early fifties Orson Welles stayed during the filming of his classic version of Othello. Also legend has it that during Welles sojourn in the town he met Winston Churchill. Anyway, what do you know! The long, long bus trip to Essaouira supposed to take seven hours, after all turned out to be a fifteen hours noisy, shaking endless voyage across a mysterious outstretched display of strangely silent exoctic small towns where the screechy bus came to a long waiting stop during which scruffy looking and shabby dressed folks slowly came to board carrying dusty straw bags, rabbits, chickens and the round eight inch diameter moroccan loaves and titanic goat cheeses they gently shared with everyone in the Noah's Ark looking bus, with some mint tea to go with it. If the heat in the Moroccan Doodle Dandy bus running at its made in the fourties full running speed was basically unbearable, the long motionless wait times became a beyond imagination burning overcrowded concentration Purgatory. Nevertheless, the loud crying children and resigned happy moroccan adults didn't seem to be suffering much, calmly and patiently putting their concerns into a slow low-pitched voice conversation as if the time concept hadn't yet arrived to those fairly backdropped remote villages of the northwestern Africa's semi-arid landscapes. Antonio Pessoa is going to keep these images, impressions, smells and sensations in his system, slowly cooking a cultural recipes collection he is going to print on canvas with rich imagery and captivating fine art narrative, a visible indicator how the extent of these arabian adventures provided a great influence upon his later artistic performances during his mid-twenties. During those six weeks in Essaouira and it's sandy, sunny, soporific outskirts, the young artist pulls himself up the dunes diving into the hot sand,running to the beach watching the sun tumble red beyond the oceans skyline. He scans his daydream searching for the new meaning of all related to life, spirit, culture, awareness and imagination, chasing the magic's wild horses running after a mirage just about to become real. No, that wasn't a dream, rather a high quality revelation as he by raising his head could make out diamond designs as sensual erotic pleasures, now with his hands in the sea water and feet in the air smiling at friendly upside down angel faces dancing to a sound of an old arabian music he couldn't explain, only hold that vision, feeling and thought and keep it forever as a knowledge private treasure, a universal religious arrangement he could only entirely confess in the privacy of his later fine art sessions. No more searching in vain was the final conclusion as the flying angels kept on getting back to him, as the african red sun went on falling behind a great distance. The young man only felt a pleasurable tiredness after receiving the unexpected instructions, finally falling asleep behind a soft tender dune under the One Thousand and One Nights stars, knowing that from then on he could live forever in harmony with the universe and that all his efforts should be directed towards the realisation of the Truth, goodness and beauty in love, heart, life and Art! Antonio Pessoa leaves Morocco with a new outlook of life and very particularly with a new perspective of Old Christian Europe. After a few summertime weeks in is dear Nederland, he returns to his family nest. He goes back to his Raja Yoga and Meditation sessions and rituals and becomes a seriously commited disciple of the oriental martial arts high values principles and philosophy. With nineteen years old he has a daughter, Paula, with his first official wife, Helen. For a few years he dedicated his time to live music, fine arts and his family. However it wasn't going to take long before Pessoa hits the road again, playing live and developing his art technique, expression and performance wherever he is and most importantly accepting new influences, such as Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró, René Magritte, Tanguy, Man Ray, Vieira da Silva, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, just to mention a few. He becomes for some time a true eclectic artistic tendencies researcher. Nevertheless yet ten years still have to go by before Pessoa drops music professionally to become a steadily full commited art studio worm and on a surprising short-term, a unquestionable experienced art studio veteran, working on a daily basis, almost as a religious ritual, a solid lifestyle prospect he's actually going to develop and cherish with a unique enthusiastic endeavour, maintaining it with increasing passion, devotion and an amazing fast improving determination, learning eagerness, method and discipline, a validated procedure which is going to become the basic essentials of his worldwide artistic professional reliability reputation and at last but not the least the very power source of dynamic art action remarkable studio performance naturally and inevitably turning out to be the creative energy fluxus which after all gave birth to one of the largest high quality solo artist fine art collections of the last decade of the Twentieth Century!

 

 

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