Portfolio > Drawing

The goal is to live
With Godlike composure
On the full rush of energy
Like Dionysus riding the leopard
Without being torn to pieces
-Joseph Campbell

“Vociferate” is a drawing about the problem of drawing. It is also about emotional struggle (the choice between love and fear), mental fatigue (focus vs. fence sitting), and physical endeavor (the balance between action and non-action). However, I shall primarily comment upon the first point, the problem of drawing. Giving too much information, particularly on a personal note, is alienating to the viewer in my estimation. Not giving enough is boring. The space in between serves as a bridge, upon which the viewer is invited, perhaps lured, to cross. Perhaps you'll not just see or understand in greater depth something I made, but find yourself in this work.

Vociferate means, “To cry out loudly” To be vociferous is to be determined and enthusiastic, to be demanding, to be noisy, loud, vocal. That this state of being is a rather physical one seems obvious on the face of it. Yet, from personal experience I can tell you that I have wanted to express various matters and phenomenon so badly, so deeply, that I am barely able to get out of bed at times.

The mind is as a maze (its walls expressed here as an impossible set of train tracks), seemingly inescapable and with thoughts as horrible and deadly and consuming as the mythical Minotaur.

The heart is a labyrinth without walls.

The very act of drawing is itself a confusing set of interconnecting tunnels, passages, and paths in which it is all too easy to get lost. Art Historian Marjorie Welish cautioned myself and a class full of eager graduate students at Pratt Institute that one must be aware of his or her place in history - the situation they were born into- on as many levels as capable of conceiving. If an individual opts for the easy way out, they merely make monuments to their own ignorance. Small monuments.

To solve the problem is to understand you are a part of it.

Still, being aware does not mean knowing it all. You cannot know it all if you are to find something extraordinary. You can not find a new world without forsaking an old one. You cannot just put a theory or technique into practice without breathing your own life into it. One must develop a clear sense of Self with the courage to stumble in the dark, lest he or she play the part of a lab rat whose reward is an all too familiar and stale piece of cheese.

Create in your mind a pitch-black cave with endless corridors of form, concept, material, emotion, technique, and the like. Being virtually blind, you cannot see your way out except by touching, by FEELING those very walls and seeming obstacles.

Relaxation and preparation equal concentration. Coming humbly, quietly into conscious contact with elements and principles of design, with knowledge and further experimentation of craftsmanship, with expression of heart and mind… this allows one to at last quote the infinite with the finite… to merge the human with the divine.

So perhaps the very solution to the problem of “Vociferate” is the expression of the problem itself.

In formal, technical, historical, physical, spiritual, and the most inexpressible yet knowable terms, I am both Theseus and the Minotaur. I am the maze. I am the charcoal and ink and gesso. I am the contrived line of railroad tracks. I am the random mark making spat out on yielding surface. I am you looking and you are me also looking at the drawing and seeing yourself. I am. We are. What else is there?

Ink, charcoal, gesso on Paper