For an artist.
For an artist the process of learning the craft starts with pots and pans. Maybe a few apples and fruit peppering a large crisp drapery. Arranging color and pigment to resemble said still life is the first great victory. Recreating pictures from magazines and some anime reproductions are the first great big success.
But come late teenage and the final high school years things become complex and far more beautiful and interesting. Figure drawing and landscape are become subject. Print making and miniature patterns became important to me and a serious selection of content became a high order of thought. Unfortunately the circus didn’t last too long for me and came the querying conundrum of finding a home for the art work produced. Too soon did galleries and museums become disjointed with the rebellious and deviant soul of my artistic practice. What good is art in a gallery? Or a museum? Who sees it and what does it help anyone do? It is my truest and most labored expression and I see the world reflected in my effort. But a wealthy collector buys it? And thinks it’s value as something I am never sure to estimate? No. My calling was mural paintings, graffiti and street art. My medium wasn’t in the art store. It was on the shelves of the office supply store. Heaven for me was in the ballpoint pen aisle. My canvas was the wall. My brush was the marker.
Banksy quickly gained my attention. His simple, ironic and sarcastic stencils struck an all inclusive witty nerve available and to be understood by anyone. A mass appeal that no longer caused art to be a propaganda for the sensitive. It is vandalism and that aspect of it is never concealed. But it’s beauty was forever a simple magnet for anyone who wants to reclaim the public space of the street and wall.
Yes people cried when they confronted Rothko in a dimly lit room of the museum. But they smiled and had a good laugh watching Banksy.
To quote Nietszche; not with wrath but with laughter do we destroy.
The tyranny of the boss man was now not to be overcome by thinking and feeling deeply. But laughter enabled us to make fun of our predicament and finally laugh hard for the state of the human condition.
Using white, black and gray a crowd on a window with a crowd outside and on the inside of a street. It’s a world we see in ironies and contradictions. That is the main aim and final focus of my thesis show.
No Commissions or preciousness in terms of its monetary value. To be scratched off later with a scrapper after the date of the show. Yes skill and merit for the representation of the content but never is it going to claim a space as a true commodity.
The offense of the intrusion is forever at the mercy of the tangibility and common existence of the medium.
But why the crowd? What faces and hands and hair depict in the forum?
It stems from a deep resonance with the Shia community. It supposed to find a nuance in the right side of the viewers imagination. Not anxiety but the epic and saga of a personal grit. Determination to experience not just a single emotion. It is grief we hunt. In love that in sadness and intoxication are we forever in love with. This is the trade we find ourselves in.
Once the prophet was offering prayer. Hussain then young, his grandson, came and climbed on top of his shoulders. The prophet did not lift his head until hussain came off. And when he did hussain cried all around mosque that the Prophet didn’t let him ride him and lifted his head.
Such was the character and psychology of the Shia sects greatest saint and hero. When Yazid the tyrant claimed the throne, rightfully in the lineage of Hussain, he did not weary of his mark. He converted his trip to Mecca from a Haj to an Umera and took his family and followers to Karbala. There he was confronted by a much larger army and after three days of thirst and hunger there were murdered. Women captured and taken to Syria and kept prisoner for a year. Among the murdered was Asghar a six month old infant, Akbar in the prime of his youth and Abbas and Qasim, the flag bearer and the almost to be wedded. In Syria zainab spoke out against Yazid and the great injustice that had happened to her family. A strong, pious and intelligent woman, she kept the dialogue alive for hussain and created a mission out of his loss. Maybe the Shia sect owes it’s true existence to Zainab.
So every muharram the Shia sect remembers this great tragedy and morns and grieves. Chests are beaten and tears are shed. Knives and chains are used to beat backs and heads. It is considered a sole and simple obligation for all of their life by many.
And hence exists this crowd of the Shia people. Dense, compact and ready to be out in the street wearing black. All weather and political circumstances aside, they exist as an oppressed minority that will vows to never bend to another’s predicament to power. And ever without the narrative of the oppression, the Shia understands the cleansing and deep psychological impact devotion and self flagellation causes to one’s inner state of feeling.