#1217 WIP

30×24 oil on canvas … almost finished with this.

I struggled with this painting… I didn’t like it, felt trapped by it as soon as I began with the oil. If it had been acrylic, I would have taken a roller and gessoed over it; it was either, save it, or lose the canvas. I was upset, because I wanted to do something figurative, something that felt like it belonged with the 6 or 7 I’ve done since December. But now it works. Not how I wanted. But it feels right. It belongs.

I went to the memorial for Consuewella Africa and rally for Mumia. There was a video. I see my face in the mirror, but I haven’t seen an image of the rest of what’s happened to me in a long time. There was this… person. Myself… in a stranger’s body. It feels connected.

Painting. And this other thing. When I’m at the easel, my back hurts. My leg and hip hurt–but it’s me there, painting. The space I occupy–that I still occupy… is shrinking. This is what I’ve been feeling, even before I saw that video. Now I understand … sort of… what it is. Making a piece of art, I still am there. Real. Anything else… anywhere else… I lose myself… in this strange body. The one I saw in that video. Every new piece of art… is a repository. Leaving myself behind. These are–what I’ve been moving toward. I don’t know whether these pieces are better or worse than any I’ve done before. But they’re from … who…what … I was. I look at them, and I see myself from within.

View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll

Putting class-reductionism under a microscope: Adolph Reed Jr., Jacobin, and the George Floyd protests

#788 STORM!

9″ x 12″ watercolor, ink. When I finished this, and looked it … I thought, Tornado. People who have been in one would understand… but those who haven’t, have these funnel cloud images in mind and probably would wonder why I would give this that title.

$325.00   View more work at SaatchieArt,
on ArtFinder, and
on my web portfolio here ART BY WILLARD
For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.

Revolution: organizing for the long haul


An interesting question: when all our ideas about how to maintain long term stability are modeled on capitalist institutions (the symbiotic relationship between non-profit and profit being the most obvious), how do we organize for the long term in ways that will break that mold? Put another way: how does a revolutionary movement remain revolutionary when the struggle is going to be multi-generational?

Do we assume they will be temporary but reoccurring, splintering off into more conventional affinity groups (like Occupy),


or can we create forms of self-renewing continuity that are not dependent on existing institutions, but exist in the interstitial spaces abandoned or not yet occupied by the machinery of capitalism–and having the power to resist assimilation and occupation?



The Media’s Obsession with Locating Movement “Leaders”


Interesting… a top down view needs access to a “leader,” that is, someone assumed, through organizational position, perceived popular acclamation.. or just magic (appearance in Top media venues), to have access to and therefore, to represent, the amorphous otherwise undifferentiated mass “down there” (I like the sexual play on this–that makes the unknowable Mass ‘feminine’ ) It’s only through the mediation of such a ‘leader’ that Top Down observers can know or understand that mass blob. He (less often, she) becomes the personification of what they are believed to represent… or .. um, “lead.”
Where power enters in–the leader, then, becomes the means of manipulating, using and controlling that mass. No wonder the upper echelons in the Chain of Being become so befuddled by things like Occupy… or the current not quite yet, because still leaderless) intifada–or Black Lives Matter!
In dealing with hierarchal organizations, this would seem to be weak point–a “lack” that can be occupied and developed–an inside-outside position, like a space between the walls, to attack and pervert striated power structures.