MARK WAGNER: Collective S1-024

Johnny Dowmbrowski: Collective S1-021


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Eternal Returns

Today I have two new prints being released by House Of Roulx. I am very stoked about this collaboration because they have worked with so many artists that I admire and it was a true honor to be asked by Trevor to work with them. 

A B O U T   T H E   W O R K S

This pair of paintings is called "Eternal Return I & II".  As you could probably gather from the coffin shapes they are about death but I would go further to say they are about the transition from death to burial to memory and legacy.

Initially I wanted these paintings to be a comfort to those who have lost loved ones but also to those who are afraid to lose loved ones and or afraid of dying themselves. 
Taking all religious notions/sentiments out of the picture, death is the a thing that we all will experience and while there is just insurmountable amounts of tragedy there is also a simple fact that we all will eventually be returning our metaphorical bowling shoes if you will.  In a time where it seems that almost anything can be used to divide us, I wanted to focus on the something that unites us despite how grim it may seem to most.


A B O U T   T H E   C A U S E 

Shortly after making these pieces I watched a man get murdered in a car in front of his partner and daughter by a police officer. I felt so horrified, so outraged and so devastated by watching this that doing almost anything felt meaningless and even activism itself felt hopeless.  It made me want to give in to apathy more than anything because I did not want to feel that.  I decided to instead face it more directly. Shortly after that I did some research and found out that there were at least 100 unarmed african american males killed by police in 2015 alone and that currently police brutality & killings in the US continue to rise in 2017. As are wrongful convictions. I am not here to disparage the police or the courts, I have great respect for them as a whole & in principle but even many officers and many who work in law admit that there is a major problem here. I don't know what the answer is but I know that there are people out there who do and I want to support them.  

Lately I have found myself overwhelmed with saddness, anger and frustration when I tune into the world stage. I will spare you (for now)  from what would likely turn into an essay about tyranny, imperialism and the current state of the USA and instead talk little bit about my war with apathy,

A B O U T   M Y   W A R   W I T H   A P A T H Y

I am an artist, a musician, I genuinely feel a connection to all conscious beings and to nature.  I am not inherently dogmatic. I like to leave room for wonder, surprise and unexplainable. I do not wish to be an angry person constantly engaged in conflict... But I have found it very difficult to stay "chill" as of late. As so many have noted lately, just posting some shit on Facebook or tweeting or signing a petition or whatever isn't the answer. Shit there really isn't one answer. All that I know is that it is painful to feel powerless. It is painful to realize and witness so many people struggling... hurting...dying... unnecessarily. This causes an a sense of overwhelm for myself and what I can only assume to be a lot of others. It is such an easy thing to say "fuck it, I can't do anything about it so... I guess... I don't care." Apathy is rampant and it is contagious and it is a friend to tyranny. Everyday I struggle to try not to give into its seductive grip. Somedays it definitely wins but others it does not.

Like I said, I am an artist. I make money from selling creative ideas, or things that I make by hand. I always want the things that I make to mean something more than just a product to be consumed.  And sometimes they do. But in an effort to wage that war on apathy I am talking about sometimes it becomes necessary to trade a piece of myself and a piece of my financial stability. I am not a wealthy person by any means but I am also not poor. I still have to work my ass off to pay the bills every month but I do not suffer currently from poverty. I do not say this to brag but to inspire and challenge. I know many of you reading this may indeed struggle but that many of you are also are free from poverty... I challenge you to take a few days pay and put it where your heart is... Not by buying your favorite band's t-shirt or your favorite new Apple product, but by giving it to a cause you truly care about... whatever it is. 

I chose to get active about something that I currently feel most powerless against... For this reason I have decided to donate 100% of my profits from this print release to The Equal Justice Initiative. ( They are a nonprofit that focuses on a multitude of the problems currently plaguing the criminal justice system of the United States. Everything from wrongful convictions, racial profiling, police brutality, the death penalty, minimum sentencing and the role that wealth & poverty play in culpability.

As per their website :

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

Without going much further  I'll just say that these paintings have taken on an even bigger meaning for me now. Now I want more than anything for these paintings to be a comfort to those who have lost someone unnecessarily. Because I don't know if they ever will be comforted by these works, I am using the proceeds to directly make a difference. I hope that the families of those taken unnessarily can someday transform their grief and focus on memory/legacy and helping to make change.  But if they cannot, it is the rest of us who should, in their honor.  So today, I am winning my war with apathy. How about you? I would love to hear about a cause that you are passionate about... I would love to hear about your struggles. Write me. If you like these prints and cause will you please help me spread the work about them? 



here are some shots of the bigger, hand embellished editions
*regular edition does not have these accents