Thursday, December 18, 2008
I mean really who'd ah thunk it?!? And now, who is still not willing to accept what was not supposed to be possible in our lifetime? We have a President-elect who is not, officially, only of European descent. Congratulations to Barack Hussein Obama II. Man just saying his name brings an odd tingling sensation of change. Congratulations America. I can say that the "Great Experiment" may be succeeding. Now I can see the expansion of Possibilities. The Paradigm has shifted. The "White Monolith" has deconstructed itself. Now is the time for everybody else to take Responsibility for all the things thought improbable and hammer the world with new vision.
Terrible as it seems I was very skeptical at the beginning of the Democratic Primary. Who was this cat? He didn't have a Civil Rights lineage. He wasn't connected to the many "Black" institutions and power bases. I didn't believe Barack was a viable candidate for these reasons. Even though i constantly complained about "Black Leaders" and what seemed to be reactive politics and policies. Still to quote Kanye, " Everything I'm not made me everything I am." I learned a lesson in faith. Living in this virulent Red State. Searching for meaning in the this powerfully conflicted "cradle of the confederacy" and "birthplace of the civil rights." Employed at one of the oldest black institutions of higher education. Teaching in an art department woefully detached from its cultural heritage and social imperative. I lost faith in things coming out...RIGHT. Well I joyously stand corrected and embrace my role in this new world order.
As an artist my work has been about seeing, studying, mimicking, creating and communicating. Through much of my creative experience and education I banged my head attempting to gain acceptance an excluding monolith and searching for allies in an emerging generation addled by self importance, selfishness, mediocrity and fear. See but that was just misdirection and misunderstanding and projecting. I'm done with that shit.
This is America where dream and drive creates success.
This is America where perseverance and faith can create equality.
America has a new national anthem as far as I'm concerned. And it made me cry when it first really caught my attention during the climactic scenes of Spike Lee's phenomenal X. When i first heard it smacked of a dream deferred. It echoed the lament of Ralph Ellison's nightmare of The Invisible Man. But then i listened close, cause it always contained hope. So when the votes came in far earlier than i expected(my wife had to wake me up) and the reporters and pundits and critics and citizens embrace it, the words ran through my head with true meaning"
"Been a long long time coming but I know a CHANGE is gonna COME. Oh yes it will."
I cried again and i thanked Sam Cooke for his delivery and I smiled.
That CHANGE has come. Oh yes it has.
My Momma said to me early in this year's political game, "change doesn't come when you're ready, it comes when its necessary."
America GET DOWN OR LAY DOWN.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I think I like this version better. Couple things on my mind or at least coming out of my mind. Reflecting on the past year and all that occurred while also looking to the future to direct the infinite present. Had a nice show this weekend but i'll come back to that in a moment.
Quote of the month: "Get that weak shit off my track!!" Speed Racer
Thats my rally cry for the New Year. Sometimes i want to say that to my students but mostly I'll be directing that back at myself as i create art in 2009. Oh and Speed Racer was an elegant fucking movie. Much as I have a difficult relationship with all things Wachowski this movie hit the mark. it was mythical and at the same time i felt like the little kid in the seventies who watched the carton with my big brother. " Go Speed Racer Go!!!!
So the MAC had another show this weekend at the Jackson Community House. Much smaller and more focused than the National Center show. i hope its a sign of things to come. Our name is beginning to be known and i did a little viral advertising with the Out of the Abyss image.
I created three different images using three paintings from the show five copies of each. only three were left at the end. The branding of Abyss has begun. If Montgomery don't knw my face by the end of all this they will know my Psuedonym. i will do the same for the mural when that is put up at the National Center for the study of Civil Rights and African American heritage. See cause the MAC is all about creating a bridge from the dynamic civil rights past of Montgomery AL to its quiet but potent present. Oh and my birthday is at the end of this month.
So Out of the Abyss. From nothing something.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Red Dream of the Blue Turtle.
Abstraction. To simplify, to pare something down to its most essential elements.
So years ago i was in search of inspiring authors. Before i wanted to be an artist or a comic book artist i wanted to write. So from 1995 on I obssessed about writers. i had to read everything by an author to understand them. Out of thi period i discovered John Updike, Octavia Butler, Gabriel García Márquez, E.L. Doctorow, the monstrous Charles Bukowski, and the illuminating Kurt Vonnegut. All of these writers, in retrospect, have a mood in common. Hope in structure for survival in a brutal, honest and wonderous world. Master storytellers and craftsman of language. Vonnegut wrote a book that made me look at my intention of an artist differently. It was called Bluebeard, the Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian. it was the story of an artist who learned to draw like Norman Rockwell, a master of naturalism but he comes of age in the fifties and sixties during the emergance of the Abstract Expressionists. Pollock, Motherwell, Dekooning, that crew. And though he tries to change the precision of his works relationship to the real world he is incapable of delving into the unconsiousness to create abstract work.
The story begins at the end of his life as he reflects on his life his art collection and the secret in his barn. Read it. Its good for any artist trying to understand the desire to create in an atmosphere where your work doesn't fit. Well that was one lesson. Another lesson was the desire to get as good as i could at realistic art so that i could learn how to simplify. Well this is the second fruit of the abstract labor. The first Ode to G O'K, is in a living room in Birmingham.
The beautiful thing about abstraction is you can make it mean whatever you wnat and others can only guess and interpret the work. Cause i know exactly what the Blue Turtle is dreaming... naughty turtle.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The other day i was sitting on the "veranda," smoking a Punch Habana and sipping some of "Mu's Finest" with orange juice and cranberry juice, and just thinkin'. I watched a squirrel navigating the immense trees across from me. The squirrel was fearless and sure. It would scurry to the edge of a branch, easily 100 feet from the ground. I watched the branch rock under the weight of the squirrel and sway with the growing breeze. The squirrel chose its movements carefully. It didn't fall. The squirrel trusted its own abilities. Not out of arrogance but experience. I accepted that that has to be me. The gift of knowledge from Nature.
This is the the halfway point of War. A little double page action.
Monday, October 06, 2008
"I just wanna tell stories!"
Their faces twisted in response to his tiresome refrain. They knew what followed.
"I just need my audience to GET me, but they never seem to. What's wrong with how I do it?"
And those among him, those who truly knew him shook their head with the simple constant answer.
They understood that all he had to do was stop telling what he wanted to do and just do it.
So he shut his mouth.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Feminie Mystique Series: Thinking of HER. acrylic on bristol board. January 2007.
I thought I was David, but I turned out to be Daniel. I'm sorry more of that biblical reference expressed through a lens from Joseph Campbell.
I thought I was a decadent Chosen One, reveling in HIS grace, when I am actually wallowing in the belly of the whale. Evading and avoiding Destiny. Sound familiar?
Thats what I mean. And i really FELT All-Star Superman #12. And as I'm reading all things that are useless and unpure on the pages turn to ashes, so do I exprience it on me. All that is left after the fire is what is strongest and true. But the fire HURTS! CHANGE avoided always does. So I ENDURE, EXPERIENCE, UNDERSTAND AND (of true GRACE) graciously TRANSCEND.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Got my teaching schedule. Gonna be teachig drawing so this may be a productive time for completing my sequential stuff thats sat on the back burner. I've been into this painting thing but the pencil is where it all started/starts. So here's a little eight pager I took to Ireland. I've put the words to it. I'm aiming for a page a week.
There is no escape, only completion.
- Elias Infinity
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Tellin’ Stories 2008
The Trail of Broken Butterfly Wings
I took this picture while hiking with my brother (more on that later) a couple weeks ago on the four mile hiking trail at Swayback Mountain in Wetumpka Alabama. Just thirty minutes from Montgomery this is a series of trails, going from one mile up to eleven, I think. The trails circle a mountain that over looks a lake. The hike, of course, was my brother Lo’s, idea. Discovering that Montgomery lifestyle affords you a lot of time to discover alternative and diverse ways to entertain oneself, he invited me for so much needed exercise: physical mental and spiritual.
And we came to this bright slaughter.
A still colorful butterfly torn in half, its wings complete in their separation. It could not have happened long ago, no dust or grime or dirt marred the beauty of these two vibrant signposts of something brutal this way had passed.
Then I saw something else.
The continuance of the transformation.
We hail the butterfly that changes from the lowly worm never wondering at the further beauty that must explode from the end of this flying dream.
This transformation became a marker of a great day to be a man.
My brother brought his camera and I brought mine. I’ve found photos from my brother’s eye make great source material for illustrations and paintings and sometimes I find myself using the camera to resource design ideas or color ideas or moments of acting. Also this hike allowed Lo and me to talk about stuff brothers have talked about for centuries, but with fewer disruptions and distractions.
Reminds me of a line from a late eighties pop joint:
“So take these broken wings and learn to fly again….”
I like that better than another meditation on man’s destruction of nature. Makes me a lot more hopeful.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
"Been a long time I shoudn't of left you without a dope beat to step to."
So the real world can be incredibly disracting. and I have ignord this blog. But I'm done fighting myself and I got some things to say show a do. You know just telling stories. Stay tuned for ore stories more pictures more thughts and more art.