I’m a visual artist, poet, novelist and street medic, living in Philadelphia since 1964. I work in acrylic, oil, water color, pen and ink, woodcut prints. I sign my art with my birth name, Willard… in memory of my maternal grandfather who died two weeks before I was born, and out of love and respect for my Uncle, Willard Hardin–who was both big brother and mentor.
Abstract art, when it moves beyond pleasing the eye with color and pattern, can present the viewer with an enigma, an aporia, that suggests the possibility of symbolic meaning–while denying its realization. If, as I believe, all of our encounters with material reality, are invested with latent symbolic power–by forestalling that power it’s emergence, retaining it at the threshold, just out of reach– where it cannot be translated into language, or interpreted as anything other than what it is–by this denial of closure–the art will remain radically open, and in this, we might yet find our way to a truly revolutionary vision… and through that, a vision of Revolution.
Jacob Russell is my pen name. To my friends and comrades, I am Goby.