Archive for November 12th, 2019


“Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience — to appreciate the fact that life is complex.”

M. Scott Peck


There are times when one can simplify, where complex concepts can be broken down to easily digestible chunks that allow almost anyone to understand and appreciate that concept.

I would argue that is the basis for my whole career as an artist.

I do it in simplifying forms and compositions so that they enter the viewer’s eye easily, before it has had a chance to fully comprehend the underlying complexity in the colors and textures. There’s more to it, obviously, but that’s a nice shorthand explanation of my process– in itself simple.

But there are other times where you can’t take a concept or situation and simplify it fully without losing the impact of all the details.

I am not talking about art here. No, I am talking about the beginning of the impeachment hearings tomorrow. I am afraid that too many of us want that simplified version, one that makes us see unequivocally either the guilt or innocence of this president* without having to wade through detail and actual thought.

This is a complex and multifaceted case, one filled with a multitude of details. When placed side by side so that you can easily see them, these details tell a damning tale. Cutting out details to simplify the story would muddy the clarity of the motivations behind it. When you get only a simplified version, you fall prey to the whims and preferences of the person telling the story or painting the picture.

I urge you to pay attention in the coming weeks. Take in the details, the nuance of each witness’ testimony, and let the story unfold in full for yourself. If you can do that, you may well come to a conclusion that is similar to my own after having followed this whole thing closely for the past three years.

Or maybe not. Maybe you will see things in a completely different way. Maybe you will refuse to see the details and complexity and try to simplify it for yourself to suit your own biases and predispositions.

But either way, I believe that the closer you look, the more you will see and the more you will understand.

Hey, maybe we’re back to art now?

Whichever case it is, pay attention and take a deep dive if you want to really get a better grip on the complexity that you’re witnessing. It’s too important to be asleep at the wheel at this point.

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