Tear Down the Wall

by Alden Cole on January 19, 2014 · 0 comments

TearDowntheWallWPmarker drawings on layers of vellum – the paper variety – with lettering on acetate overlay, 17.5″ x 10.5″

Contemplating earlier this week about what to start my weekend updates with, I was virtually overwhelmed with possibilities. For instance: I’d like to display a series of paintings dedicated to the view of Center City Philly, as seen from my 3rd floor studio, similar to the view I sent out December 15th; there’s a larger series of artworks, pieces in private collections, that I’d like to feature for this larger online audience; the most recent project is a series of newly-completed pencil drawings developed from 40-year old sketches that I revisited in December with new eyes, and have been revising since New Year’s Day – new drawings from old; plus there are the lamps – my Night Lights, which two or three friends even favor as my highest artform – a whole aspect of my creativity untouched in this medium so far. Lots of possibilities for future installments detailing the travails as well as delights of making a living as an artist in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Speaking of travails, today’s piece, Tear Down the Wall, an homage to Pink Floyd’s classic rock album The Wall (released November 30, 1979, and which I listened to A LOT in early 1980, my last year living in NYC) pays homage to the negative inputs most of us receive some share of while growing up, starting at the bottom with all the NOs we hear during our formative years. Moving up the ivory tower of negativity, the criticisms get more sophisticated as we age. What was that saying about “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me’??  The art was originally created in 1989, my third year in Philadelphia, as a self-therapy project stimulated by conversations with a teacher friend, John Hansen, whom I had moved here to study with. The Inner Self work he suggested resulted in this rather shocking exposé of some of the negative inputs – real and imagined – that I had taken into my consciousness as virtual affirmations over the years; the negative work of the inner critic that most of us have to contend with throughout life. It was one of those artworks that brings self-knowledge, and with it, a sense of freedom. Plus being a reminder of one of the cardinal rules of life: to let go of our need to Criticize, Condemn and Complain. Not easy, but worth the effort!

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