Monday, September 28, 2015

Art isn't meant for survival? Bite me: a dissent

This guy rescued a Caravaggio painting because
"art isn't meant for survival". 
Season 5 of The Walking Dead hit Netflix this weekend, & like a good consumer of media, I spent all of Sunday watching it (except for the part where Ten & I went to watch the eclipse).

In the 4th episode, "Slabtown" we learn Beth is alive* and was rescued by this, let's call it a police state, that basically enslaves people. It's a gross premise, meant to offer a contrast to the Rick Grimes-lead Musketeers.

That's not my criticism. It's a tv show, I basically ride tv shows like roller coasters because I enjoy them, not because they offer any kind of legitimate commentary on society pre- or post-zombie apocalypse. The bit I have a rant about is Dr. Goodbeard and his soliloquy on how art isn't meant for survival.

The hell it isn't.

This statement is routinely made by people who are not fighting for survival. Without art there's barely any reason to survive. Oh, you might say "sure there is" and offer a litany of activities & ideas that basically boil down to art. Of course, Medieval and Renaissance art are the most recognizable, but the least survival based but even the commissioned religious pieces of this era were made because they had to be lest the painter starve to death (having no warm bodies nearby to consume, naturally).

People who make art don't do it because they like it.

People who make art don't do it because you think it's pretty.

People who make art don't do it so that in 100 years it'll be on stationery and greeting cards.

People who make art do it because they have to in order to survive.

Maybe the real world isn't a dystopian hellscape full of walking corpses that threaten to make you one of them with a single bite, but have you ever considered why? Those deprived of art are basically walking corpses. Everyone consumes art. And while some people do it because it's fun & pretty, most people do it because art is vital to a healthy society. Art is where social commentary comes from. And while, sure, painting isn't going to be a skill necessary to survival in a post-apocalypse world**, everything you'll be fighting to regain will be very easily summed up in the act of creating, imitating, or remembering images, melodies, dances, stories, and art.

Art is what makes survival possible. Because without it, we become the walking dead.

*Don't give me lip about spoilers if you're more than an entire season behind.
**But dancing sure as shit will be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

News: SSA Vegas Vacation; Steamposium this weekend!; Arborist at GLC thru 10/4

"Bat Country"
digital image
Hey! We got home from Vegas just in time for me to be completely laid up on Yom Kippur (generally not a good sign, but I haven't died yet). Before I go dark in honor of the Day of At-One-ment, here's the news:

As usual, you can find all my public shenanigans by following me at the links on the far right. 


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

News: Arborist at GLC, FibroShark Hungry presale; Happy Jew Year!

photo by Braden Duncan
You may or may not have read my reflection post from the show opening, but you can do that here. And now, the news:

  • Arborist opened at GLC on Saturday, & we had a great time. 
  • The presale of FibroShark Hungry is still open!
  • Happy new year to all my Hebrews, Shebrews, & Theybrews; you are loved & I hope 5776 is full of sweetness & light
Don't forget to stalk me on the internet using the links at the right, and make sure you're keeping up with Art Scene Seattle for all your artwalk needs!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Arborist opening reception, Saturday September 12

digital promo flier by Braden Duncan
I'm starting this post a few hours ahead of the show opening, because I'm so excited that I can't really do anything else... One thing I know is that GLC is a great place. I also know that the show looks good, which is important. I've learned a lot since my last solo show (March 2014), and you can tell...

My biggest fans showed up in support of the show opening, and it was wonderful to see each of you. Even more wonderful is the feedback I've been getting about this era in my work. It's resonating with people in ways that are unique as compared to responses I've had from previous works. Before, my work was "cool", but this time around, it's moving people.

Also, at least one person got the joke in "Arborist Moishe".

I've had some time to process last night, and I'm very happy about it. This work is more than just watercolor trees on handmade paper. It's part of a larger vision of helping people function, and see themselves as complete not in spite of their suffering, but because of it. My whole life has been developing along this line of accepting suffering and using it as fuel for greatness and spiritual enlightenment.

Is that too much? Maybe. It is just an art opening in a bar in Georgetown.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

News: Arborist at GLC, Steamposium, & a bit about the redwoods

The illustrious Braden Duncan installing Arborist at
Georgetown Liquor Company in Seattle
Back from a very inspirational vacation & ready to share some news! Here's the headlines:

Short news post this week because I have a lot to catch up on, but you can follow me at the links on the right side of the page.