The End IS coming…

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If some great flash of understanding were to come over the whole population of the earth — if however billion humans there are on the planet now–were suddenly to see as clearly as Greta Thunberg what we are facing in the not at all distant future–hundreds of millions would drop what they were doing, leave their jobs, leave their studies and schools, abandon their cars, take up crutches and walkers and stream out of hospitals and nursing homes… take to the streets–not to demonstrate, but to charge the corporate masters–the climate deniers, their political servants– accepting whatever horrendous losses their defenders might unleash, swarming over them, destroying them utterly… in the slim hope that a remnant might survive to begin again…
… it would be their rule and custom, if they should succeed, that anyone who mentioned the word ‘profit,’ who ever again should seek to gain advantage over their neighbor, they would be set upon and torn to pieces and fed to rats as a warning.
That’s what I imagine, when I try to think what a just response to this crisis would look like.
That would be a just end to capitalism.

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#1042 Fractures!

48″ x 36″ Acryilic on synthetic canvas. I found this ‘canvas’ on the street–someone who had moved. Very little tooth. those corrugated rectangles were glued fast, couldn’t remove.  Likely some commercially mfd ‘home decor,’ someone had covered over, intending to paint over.#1042

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 down.

Ten Years Ago, May Day….

Walking stick.JPG

… in Baltimore, after street theater by Media Mobilizing Project at the inner harbor, I followed the march to City Hall, led by a band with a New Orleans sound, shedding bits of costume and streamers along the way. At some point I picked up some ribbons and feathers, and tied them to the tree branch walking stick I was carrying.

It was magic.

In the days and weeks that followed, I began to add to the stick, things I found on the street: ribbons, strings, can tabs…

It changed my life.

I lost that one, my Shaman Stick… and almost every year since, would lose another one. Reading on the bus or El, lost in my thoughts. Each time–back to Morris Park to find another branch. Dress it in what I would find, or people would give me to hang on it.

This is the one I carry now. The sixth or seventh one… I lose count. I mended it when it broke.. like my own broken leg. Screwed metal strips to hold he break. Wrapped strips of canvas, soaked in Modpodge, around the wound. Like a permanent cast (the orange band in the middle).

At some point, as I add Found Things to each new stick, the magic of the first one–the Shaman Stick–finds it’s way to the new one. I don’t usually take it with me to demonstrations… Cops. But I did today… and on the way home, remembered… that it’s been ten years. May Day.

Magic is real.

 

Only in being useless, does it have infinite value.

#461 afterwords

I deplore the use of false comparisons to scold or draw attention to this or that problem, versus another, perceived to be of lesser importance. These all presume some zero-sum equivalence, where there are insufficient resources, material, economic or social, to attack both, when, if this is so, it is only because this presumes a status quo of capitalist, political conditions, where the the application of resources to ANY given problem, will result in withholding resources from another–maintaining an equilibrium of injustice.
All these–“why are you asking to give to x, and not y?” in that larger context, are false equivalences, and if that logic applied to anything, it would be, ‘why are you asking to devote resources to x, when the only thing that’s going to matter in not so distant future, is climate change?”
The real question for any problem, is how do we apply our resources in such a way that it will address the root causes for all these problems–overcoming and replacing the entire capitalist political/ecomomic/social/military/colonialist system? How do we CHANGE the role played by each and any of the specific problems, in that system?.
Understanding the importance of the arts and its products–other than in terms of use-value, and propaganda, is particularly vulnerable. It is precisely in their HAVING no use value, that they confirm meaning our lives in our otherwise doomed and absurd world.

#1025 Stonewall at 50

30″ x 48″ (77x122cm) Acrylic on canvas. For the Stonewall 50th anniversary Invitational
in June. Marsha P. Johnson, Jackie Hormona, Zasou Nova, Marty Robinson, Morty Manford, Robin Souza and Silvia Rivera: names engraved in this painting, some visible, some not, but all–and all who joined the uprising,  present in love and gratitude for their courage and rage.

#1025 Stonewall50.JPG
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 down.

#1020 Names

No. 2 study for a larger piece commemorating Stonewall at 50. Names of Marsha P. Johnson,Silvia Rivera,Jackie Hormona,Zasou Nova, Marty Robinson, Morty Manford, Robin Souza.
#1020 Study 2 Stonewall names.JPGView 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 down.

Four studies for a larger work

I’ve been asked to contribute a piece for a show commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. I want to do justice to the theme. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, using the techniques I’ve been developing recently, but on a larger scale. Don’t want to say too much about them, but here are 4 –very much in-progress studies–experimenting with surface textures.
Stonewall studies.JPG
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 down.