Saturday, April 28, 2012


When this image was created I felt compelled to write the accompanying verse:

"When past fulfillments meet future expectations in the realm of possibility.
Hidden from the Eye of Mass things are formed, never born. Crippled monuments, fossilized achievements, eroded wonders unseen, unexpected. Cry for the loss, you child of Mass, weep for the wonders long destroyed. No vestige left unvandalized, no creation left unburied. From the vantage of their handiwork they watch, waiting for the time of stifling."
Overlooked: 13 November 2005 
This piece and the accompanying verse lament the loss of potential. When creating something new many forces work against it's existence, any birth tends to be difficult, but with creative work it is almost impossible to do something unique and original in the commercial industry. Mass simply means the mass audience, and the vandals are the non-creative executives who intercept the creative process, and in the process their ego and inability to get out of the way kills the project. Beyond this, there seems to be forces at work in the world to limit people and dumb them down, for someone like me who hopes to uplift and inspire my fellow humans. I hope to encourage a young person to draw and discover their own creativity, many others would rather see them pick up a gun and shoot another young person. I swim against the tide and I almost drowned. I stopped fighting and gave in to depression.

In 2010 while packing to leave America this piece took hold of me. It captured exactly how I felt about my experiences in Hollywood and summarized the reason I was struggling through a years of depression after I drew it. I realized that, in my later career, I had been consistently shunted aside. I gave my all and put production companies on the map, I won them Emmys, they made millions of dollars, only to be pushed out of the way when things were doing well. The overwhelming sense of being unappreciated, and relentlessly limited by non-artists, yet having endless creativity to express was at the root of my depression. I had to face the reality that I would never be able to show an audience what I could do without restraints, I had been passed over and overlooked. I realized that the world would miss out.

The meaning of this Subtoon is mostly clear thanks to the verse. However I needed to understand why my Hollywood career was a constant process of being shunting aside for others to take the glory. Through much meditation it was revealed that I was simply being kept safe and out of harms way. If I seem to be of no value the savagers will ignore me and look for more lucrative prey. I was to skulk quietly through the back exit and hide out in exile on the island nation of Australia. Here, in the sidelines out of harms way, I can refocus on my true artistic expression.

Overlooked contains recurring themes, birth themes are common in my Subtoons sometimes with a developing fetus. Petrified versions of the same fetuses lie embedded in the blue rocks. Another recurring motif is the flame peacock feathers on the lower part of the orange figure have appeared before. Mysteries yet to be solved.

As with all Subtoons this image has been perpetually instructive to me as layers of understanding are revealed throughout the years. It holds a reminder that what I perceive to be happening around me is playing out my inner state of being. What I had neglected to do in my analysis of this piece was remember that this all me. The maternal creature, it's fetus and the five slaughterers waiting to dissect the offspring like whalers on a butcher boat are all aspects of my own make up.

I then realized that this image has two halves, a masculine blue right side and an orange maternal left side. Illustrating my male and female internal struggle. The wall on the right side looks like it is grasping, closing in on the feminine. I counted the red arrows around the "mother's" halo I got eleven, it reminded me of a clock face so I wondered if the missing 12th position on the clock was where the mother sits. She is facing to the left, so maybe she is progressing through the cycle, clockwise. I figured that "1" would begin with the bigger arrows so I started at the top, which places her at the position of "6" on the wheel. I considered that the smaller arrows have yet to be experienced. If we were talking months it would be June. Nothing rings any bells there. So I looked at the Zodiac it's in the position of Virgo, the virgin, bingo! The accepted key phrase for Virgo is "I analyze" and that's just what I intend to do. I'm not Catholic, and don't identify with their iconography or care about the cultural obsession the world has with womens' virginity, but the Madonna and Child does come to mind when looking at the image. So why is the "mother" a pregnant virgin? Perhaps because this isn't about anything physical, this is about the male and female principals within me, so the conception and birth (should it occur) will be an internal process. What this birth signifies is still unknown to me.

In a recent meditation I saw this image and was reminded of my tendency to be overly critical, ripping the world apart from the safe vantage of my self inflated egotistical superiority. Just like the savagers in the image. I am well aware that these hard opinions calcify and form a rigid outlook, a habit I picked up from my father, it's not his fault, it's something I was obviously prone to do. Would it surprise you to discover that my father and I both have kidney stones? And yes the image alludes to that as well. Without being too visceral, notice that the maternal and very wrinkly creature has a strangely flat snubbed looking head, possibly penile. There seems to be two "pregnancies", the open one, that looks like an eye and a closed one. The left bulge, as expected, is lower than the right. Testicles?  Are those flames of pain underneath? On the blue side, see that strange pale path flowing horizontally half way up the wave wall, it has little spikes along it. Anyone who has had the pleasure of passing a stone will understand you feel every point at which the spiky stone gets stuck. And look! More stone babies are on the way! Yay!

The instruction I take from this is that hard critical attitudes can eventually manifest in sickness, the cure to kidney stones is simply to drink more water and cut back on certain foods. The life lesson is to become more fluid, liquid, flexible. Opinions come and opinions go, being overly critical really only hurts myself, relax and let things pass. Pun intended. ;D