The Man behind the Mask
By Etta Mockenhaupt on September 15, 2012
If you are familiar with my husband’s work, Chris Mockenhaupt, (@Mockenart.com), than you are fully aware of the vivid display of color in bold medium, on wall art, painted furniture, digital photography, but more importantly, who is the man behind the art? Is he just a painting on a wall or does he perhaps have his own hopes and aspirations beyond making a name for him while making money that he loves to do? Better yet, who is this man behind the mask? Armchair politician?---perhaps…that and much more. He’s a multi-faceted man and chief, in fact; he’d like nothing better than open a restaurant, and not just any restaurant, but the finest. His culinary art has given him much joy through these tough times. We’ve been married for nearly twelve years now, and I have seen amazing creations from start to finish. And there even been a few times I thought my them as my husband's mistresses because I knew his love for them extended far beyond himself, even though a twinge of jealousy tickled the back of my neck I've been very proud of him. Like many visual artist, my husband gets his inspiration from many different sources, in a book he reads, or a song he hears, or even a memory that should have long been faded. But unlike most, he gets these burning impressions that drive him until they find themselves on paper, canvas, furniture, or even his newest passion, industrial art. He's a child of an art teacher that taught him to create outside the box; who encouraged him to develop his own artistic voice; though long gone, her influence still remains constant. But in the last three years life has taken a difficult for him, with the economic down turn, combined with battling a serious case of depression leading to a case of disillusionment. With the strain of caring for my elderly mother on a limited budget, declining economy, along with the rising cost of medication, which has taken a serious toll pocket book not to mention our emotions, but caused us to re-evaluate where our lives where heading. Generally, I’m a pretty upbeat person, but, lately, I’ve been forced to be the stability during troubling times, which isn't so easy, because that’s what partners do. But more importantly we both know that depression doesn’t define him, but his gifts and talents do. Though depression isn’t something we in society talk about because it's often too uncomfortable to talk about, so we shove it in a closet, but if we choose to be honest with ourselves my husband is no different than your neighbor next door or maybe closer to home? Being transparent may not be the popular thing to do, but the right thing.
As the general manager of the marketing division of MockenArt, a full service art gallery, I can be the first to admit, that this economy has impacted everybody, especially those in the arts and entertainment industry, not just those who suffer with depression.