Henri Fabergé, one of this year’s Rhubarb artists, details the reasons behind his recent retreat into the wilderness.
After I ran away from school I traveled through Western Europe like a horny gypsy, fighting and drinking and screwing and spending myself in and out of more precarious scenarios than I care to remember. My clothes, despite being made from the finest materials, quickly became filthy and torn but I couldn’t care less. Bohemian boy with a bankbook taking women and wine and I’ll gladly boast it felt just fine. For a spell I had a throng of toughs tailing me from city to city whom I paid to protect me from other such toughs. I had some gem-encrusted figurines sewn into the lining of my cloak, heirlooms that had been in my family since the Borgias were still in power, and I mindlessly hocked them one after the other to satisfy whims of hunger and gamble.
Mere months past and I was penniless and as a result without a single friend. The elation of liberation waned almost immediately. I became angry and righteous. I began to drink alcohol daily to counteract my inability to sleep. My boyish looks receded into ragged depressions.
I have taken to the woods, erected a clumsy tent and learned some trial-and-error foraging. In time I will learn to improve on these skills and remake myself in my own image. I plan to build something magnificent, it will not be a structure but instead I am speaking of acquiring a higher consciousness. I have sensed in this wholly natural environment a presence of purpose caught up in the universal matter that both shapes our world and yet is somehow beyond this physical realm. I will endure sacrifice and thereby receive a blessing of privileged revelations. I will become a Man, not merely a man killing time until he dies.
See Henri Fabergé on the Lamb February 19-23 at 8:30pm at the 35th Rhubarb Festival.