Gordon Kindlon has worn a few hats, and one hairnet, before arriving in ESKFF’s studios at MANA. Trained in the visual arts at University of Illinois, his earlier careers ranged from industrial design sculptor in the burgeoning tech world of 1990’s San Francisco, to international aid and United Nations worker in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Gordon began unfolding his aesthetic in NYC with the one-of-a-kind vegan cafe, Urban Spring, a Brooklyn favorite from 2006 - 2009. A true gem, crafted from the neo-gothic remains of NYC’s Peace Church, Urban Spring was a oasis of kindness and health for a few sweet years in Fort Greene forever ago. Things turned, as they often do, upon the birth of his bright child, Sky. Mr. Kindlon shuttered Urban Spring and ventured alone on UN contract to Sudan, “saving the world 7,000 miles from home,” in exchange for stacks of money that evaporated nearly as fast as they showed up. That final assignment was the beginning of the end, and before long, after returning to New York to fall flat on his career and family face, broke down, broken up and reeling, Kindlon found himself pitching blenders in a hairnet at Costco. Granted it wasn’t any blender, it was the one-and-only-stainless-steel-life-support-system-with-a seven-year-warranty-and-a-twenty-year-life-from-Cleveland, Ohio, known and revered by millions of kitchen cognoscenti as -- the Vitamix. And Kindlon, to his credit, was no ordinary blender busker. The dapper matter-of-fact polyglot could spot a Rafiq-jan from Afghanistan, or an Albanian, from across the polished floor in any of those big box stores, from Maui to Long Island. This knack led to a short-lived stint as a talk show host, and begat the unfolding of his streetart, poetic, moonlit magnum opus, UNLOK. The UNLOK symbol was Gordon’s eureka moment of self expression, that would tie together his artistic urge, cultural experience, and incisive editorial expertise into one simple, infinitely powerful signpost and mirror for all of us, in the midst of the great challenges of this time. In 2016, giant UNLOKS were spotted on scores of Brooklyn and Manhattan water towers, thrown up in solidarity with water protectors displaying themselves across the land. #UNLOK4PREZ was a noble if doomed hashtag, and UNLOK 2016 bumperstickers and wheatpaste posters went up all along the streetart whistlestop presidential tour, from NYC-DC-PHILA-SAV-CHAS-MIA-NOLA. Despite the boldness of the actions and statement, UNLOK the street artist skated clean, until he got caught with a 3 inch UNLOK rubber stamp, and literally, “Got Busted For Rubber Stamping.” (The poem wrote itself; you can read it on the www.unlok.space website.) Those arrests helped to clarify and refine the UNLOK vision, and accordingly, the artist has deepened his ties to the permaculture and indigenous prayer community as a positive way forward through times deceit, upheaval, and great beauty. Gordon will pursue these themes in poetic and inspired art pieces during these three months at ESKFF/MANA.