Archive for February 25th, 2022

Fighting Chaos

GC Myers- High in the Hills

High in the Hills– Now at the Kada Gallery, Erie PA

I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.

― W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

I made a quick trip to Erie PA yesterday to deliver some fresh work and meet the new owner of the Kada Gallery, Doug Scalise, who takes over the rein in the wake of the retirement of my longtime friend, Kathy DeAngelo.

It was a good visit and I left feeling very much encouraged by Doug’s vision for the future of the gallery. He is a youthful, affable guy with a lively entrepreneurial spirit. Good energy. We agreed on a date for a solo show of new work at the gallery later in the year, on November 11, 2022. Really looking forward to it.

So, yesterday was a good day, a hopeful day.

Unfortunately, this morning I began to watch and read about the invasion of Ukraine. It was disheartening, to say the least.

One of the first things I saw was video shot from an apartment in Ukraine, looking out on a wide boulevard. In it, an armored, tracked vehicle of some sort is rolling at a good pace down the wide street as small sedan is approaching from the opposite direction on the far side of the street. The armored vehicle suddenly swerves and comes directly across the street and runs over and completely rushes the car.

The remainder of the video is of citizens trying to extricate, with only a steel bar and a hammer, the driver who has somehow miraculously survived the assault and whose lower body is trapped ( and no doubt severely damaged) under the crushed front of his vehicle.

I watched the beginning of the video a few times, the part with the actual assault from the armored vehicle. I was struck and enraged by the senseless cruelty and inhumanity in the act.

It was not an accident. It was a decision by the operator of that armored vehicle to crush that passing vehicle and kill its driver.

And for what purpose?

It was just a passing car, not a military vehicle nor an apparent threat. It appears to just be a senseless and random act of cruelty, the work of a heartless bully without any concern for who they hurt, even an innocent civilian, because they know they will not experience any repercussions.

They will write it off as being part of the chaos of war even though it was an obviously conscious decision.

There were more scenes that could cite– mothers sleeping and consoling with their children on the floors of the subways which now serve as bomb shelters as the Russians bomb both military and civilian sites., including apartment buildings.

Or the thirteen Ukrainian border patrol officers who refused to surrender a small 40 acre island west of the Crimea to a Russian warship. When ordered to surrender they responded via the radio, “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”

All thirteen were killed.

And all I can ask is: For what purpose?

There is no apparent nor authentic rationale for this war. It only serves greed and a thirst for power, the same factors that have created a sense of chaos and division throughout the entire world in recent years.

Many of us think we can just ignore it and it will go away, never affecting us. It’s thousand of miles away, across the ocean after all.

But that’s not the way the world works.

We have turned our heads away too many times before and that only emboldens and normalizes acts of cruelty and inhumanity by those who are power hungry.

Evil cannot be ignored. Unchecked evil will eventually find its way to those who attempt to do so, maybe even in the streets of our own cities and villages.

I am paying attention, not turning away. But even so, I need to try to find something to make sense in this time of crisis and chaos. I am fortunate to have my work to fall into, something that gives me a glimpse of the potential for beauty, as described in the Maugham excerpt at the the top.

Maybe that’s the ultimate purpose of all art, to give us a pattern that leads us out of the inevitable chaos we all face at some point in our time on this planet.

I certainly hope that is holds true for this moment.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: