Threesome—Me, Myself, and I.

 

Mon commentaire concernant l’auto-isolement renouvelé dans la troisième vague de COVID-19: 

Le quatrième cavalier de l’Apocalypse utilise la peste pour nous forcer à nous examiner. 
En vérité, la solitude est un miroir.

 

“Threesome — Me, Myself, and I”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2021.


This is my twenty-fifth self-portrait, featuring two headshots in profile, and which are facing another straight-on headshot. The intention is to simulate an age-weathered Warhol-era Pop-Art silk-screened graphics poster background, with the figurative images in a style that might be reminiscent of charcoal and oil stick sketches. Here pop-art meets and confronts the classical-modernist sketching class. Having resided just a few blocks from Warhol’s studio, I never once wondered about or marveled at the co-existence of these two art worlds in the same neighborhood. Life and Art were a cross between a busy beehive and an everyday circus back then. But all worlds met up at nighttime … at bars, rock, punk and New Wave clubs, discotheques, coffee shops … and sex clubs/gay saunas. 

This naked and introspective selfie-study is a commentary on the Artist in social distance isolation, and is in reality a subjective investigation of oneself. How does one see and perceive oneself privately — through different angles and profiles — like when we look into a mirror?


“Art should comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable”.
— Cesar A. Cruz

 

MIRROR OF DARKNESS.

Quite enraptured by my own image
in a Mirror of Darkness,
I abandon both reflection and shadow
for a glimpse of the Unknown.

The night offers no refraction other than
the glint of an inner eye:
Yea, the paradox of Blindness is revealed
through discovery of Self alone.

(poem and oil painting by Adam Donaldson Powell)

 

 

Choosing a COVID-19 Vaccine: the Three Prisoners Problem

“Choosing a COVID-19 Vaccine — The Three Prisoner Problem”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2021.

“Choosing a COVID-19 Vaccine — the Three Prisoners Problem”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm., 2021.

From 1957 to 1980, Martin Gardner had a monthly column in Scientific American magazine where presented mathematical games. One of these games was the Three Prisoners Problem. Here is the problem explained in Wikipedia:

“Three prisoners, A, B, and C, are in separate cells and sentenced to death. The governor has selected one of them at random to be pardoned. The warden knows which one is pardoned, but is not allowed to tell. Prisoner A begs the warden to let him know the identity of one of the two who are going to be executed.

“If B is to be pardoned, give me C’s name. If C is to be pardoned, give me B’s name. And if I’m to be pardoned, secretly flip a coin to decide whether to name B or C.

“The warden tells A that B is to be executed. Prisoner A is pleased because he believes that his probability of surviving has gone up from 1/3 to 1/2, as it is now between him and C. Prisoner A secretly tells C the news, who reasons that A’s chance of being pardoned is unchanged at 1/3, but he is pleased because his own chance has gone up to 2/3. Which prisoner is correct?”

In this 24th self-portrait I create a new problem and dilemma: given the known and unknown information regarding COVID-19 vaccines today, which vaccine do we choose in order to better survive the pandemic?

Here the images resemble cut-outs that are cocooned within a violent and haphazard mass of white noise. The questions are many, and the possible consequences are yet unknown. Should I take a vaccine, or not? And if so, which vaccine is the right one (and the safest) for me? The whiteness promises hope and security, but the internalized drama is almost overwhelming. The seemingly unfinished background of the painting is by no means uniform. The sharp edges from the palette knife reveal both urgency and random underlying patches of darkness, both of which threaten to challenge the assurance of science. The message is clear: “Time is short. Humanity is at a crossroad. Choose your fate, and live or die with the consequences.” 

 

 
 


 

 

A Portrait of the Artist as a Psycho

“A Portrait of the Artist as a Psycho”, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm., 2021.


“A Portrait of the Artist as a Psycho”, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm., 2021 is a new self-portrait — no. 22 in the series.

This self-portrait explores many questions, including the suggestion that a degree of psychosis can be a defining element in creative genius, as well as containing hints of visual processing abnormalities, visual stimulation, perceptual aberrations and hallucinations, color preferences and phobias, and moreover the difficulties in identifying a «psycho»; who most often looks “normal”, and whom many interact with — some even on a daily basis. With the preponderance of mental illness, a worldwide change of Consciousness, and increasing tolerance for being “different” than the norm, being «a little psycho» is becoming the «new normal». More and more persons are owning up to their extrasensory perceptions (ESP), clairvoyance, encounters with extraterrestrials, speaking in tongues, hearing voices from Spirit Guides, automatic writing, painting and composing. Some artists (such as myself) get ideas and “coaching” from guides (both known, and not). It is not always easy to sign some of my own paintings because sometimes they (works of Art) literally paint themselves due to the energies that join in the process. It is perhaps understandable that some psychotic persons refer to themselves as “We”, rather than in the first person (I). 

What colors are persons with varying degrees of psychosis attracted to, and repelled by? Can one identify a psychotic artist through his/her visual art? If we feel drawn to art created by artists with a degree of psychosis does that mean that we (the Viewer) also have such leanings? 

Here I use my own image (a self-portrait) because I see myself as a mirror and a filter — through which I process my environment and my interactions with it. Every painting that I create is a part of my own image, and my own mirror/filter. As a co-creator of my World and all its realities and psychoses, I am condemned to own those creations.

Thus, it is not mere support of persons with degrees of mental illness that prompts me to say: “Je suis psychopathe”. 

 

A portrait of the artist as a psycho, 60 x 80 cm., oil on canvas, 2021.