art by maRco Elliott

Imagine
Please, if you will,
Kind colonizer,
Sweet imperialist,
Saucy capitalist,
A desperate father sneaks out
surreptitiously as a mouse,
Searching for ANYTHING to feed his
starving darling, the beloved soul of his soul
While a sniper playing Call of Duty,
Neutralizes his target,
And the child dies of hunger
And the father’s body decomposes among
The rubble, denied a funeral,
Denied humanity,
Having been killed by the silence of
civilized braggards and heartless imbeciles,
Another day in Gaza
Where humanity haunts the witness
And confounds the innocent.
Gaza, where to be born
Is a death sentence
And an empty promise,
By an empty skull,
We are all guilty of genocide
While we hug both sides,
Oh oppressor, in your need to imagine
Yourself the victim
You killed a Palestinian child every ten minutes,
And destroyed cities by your silence.
Oh oppressor,
Holding all the power,
A system of oppression at your fingertips
A shower of pain at your convenience,
What a pile of horror it must be
To have to continue this charade
That their blood isn’t on your hands,
Isn’t a stain on your soul,
Isn’t in your control.

This thing you call society
Has been burned down in Gaza,
This idea of progress,
Of western civilization,
Of reputable institutions,
Is rotted and exposed, at its core
And its foundations,
Devoid of any shred of credibility.
All you have left is brute power
And when that fails you
I will enjoy watching you scramble for
A hand to hold,
But the hate you birthed
Will choke you
And I will not raise my voice in your defense
But will be dancing with all liberated people
On the ashes of your terror.
Shachar Efrati

 

A Seat at the Table
Outrage mounts,
Humanity shouts,
You will not win,
Your crooked grin
Will drown to a grimace
And we will look upon your face
As the face of evil within.
So bomb from a hill,
From the belly of a tank,
From the comfort of your American bank,
Keep sneering from your stolen land,
We will see Palestine stand
United in the struggle
Like a rose rising from the rubble.

So dance now on the blood of martyrs
As it sinks into the soil,
Feeding the revolution, as it boils
Over into fierce defiance
Of all oppressed people
Shaking the foundation to its core
Until dignity and equality break down the
halls of justice,
Once and for all,
Everyone gets a seat,
As humanity sits tall.
Shachar Efrati

 

Burning Sky over Gaza
Weary, the wandering Jew
At last finds his Promised Land.
Moon in mid sky, high
Over Gaza’s ruins
And wandering on.
In dusty rags, famished
The orphan Arab child cries
“Me too!” washing her face with tears
Amidst her flattened home.
maRco Elliott
With respectful apologies and humble gratitude
to Buson (1715–1783)

by Diego López (@valenciaengrafitis), author of Street Art by Women

Nena Wapa Wapa, a prominent figure in the world of urban art, shares her journey from humble beginnings to creating an artistic universe that transcends the city walls. With a degree in Fine Arts from the Juan Carlos I University of UPV and a strong background in graphic arts, Nena Wapa Wapa entered the world of urban art with an innate curiosity for graffiti and street art as means of expression in public spaces. “I wanted to try out that format,” she tells us, “so I started back around 2002 with people who were doing graffiti by painting freehand.” However, after a while, the drawings didn’t convey what she was looking for, leading her to a period of pause until her return in 2010-2011, this time exploring the use of stencils in her work.

Nena Wapa Wapa’s inspiration is drawn from her surroundings, although she doesn’t feel influenced by other artists in particular. Her creative process is meticulous, giving thought to the ideas and symbolism she wants to use, and then translating them into a digital collage that serves as the basis for her works on walls or everyday objects.

When asked about the style of her art, Nena Wapa Wapa points to the use of stencils as a distinctive feature. “Mine resembles the style of people who use this same tool,” she explains. But her art doesn’t just stay within the streets; it also extends to everyday products like T-shirts and mugs. This expansion into the tangible world is an extension of her belief that urban art is for everyone.

Cocin4s, Nena Wapa Wapa’s gallery project, is more than just a gallery shop. It’s a space where several creatives, including David de Limón, Disneylexya, José Carcavilla, Benja Tattoo, Opv Studio, and Maika de Tocados Monzó, come together to cook up activities, artworks, and actions related to art. Collaboration among them is an enriching aspect of this project.

Regarding Nena Wapa Wapa’s favorite themes in her work, equality and freedom stand out. Her art not only seeks to beautify the streets but also to provoke reflection and conversation about important social issues. With her unique voice and commitment to artistic expression, Nena Wapa Wapa continues to leave her mark on the streets and beyond.

by Diego López

Born in Mislata, a town in Valencia, Spain, in 1978, DEIH is a street artist whose real name is David. Before adopting his current tag, DEIH experimented with another, inspired by the English pronunciation of his name, “Dave.” However, out of respect for another graffiti writer in Valencia who used “DAV,” he decided to create something new. Thus, DEIV was born, an evolution that included adding the “H” at the end, giving his works a distinctive touch.

His journey in the world of graffiti and street art began in 1993 in Mislata, skating with friends and signing with markers. It wasn’t until 1994 that he created his first piece with spray paint, and in 1995, they began to create large-scale works. The formation of the RHB crew with his brother Xelon, Hope, and Gonz marked a significant turning point in his life.

DEIH draws inspiration from various sources, from European comics of the 80s (I can vouch for all the times we met in comic stores) to the colors of Guatemala and Japanese animation. His work reflects a fusion of influences, with his love for science fiction, narrative, and exploration of philosophical issues being evident. Some of his favorite cultural influences range from Stanislaw Lem’s book “Solaris” to Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker” and the animated series “Haikyuu”.

The little I know, I owe to my ignorance, so I asked DEIH about the colors of Guatemala and I was searching for images. He kindly explained to me, on a subject that has also begun to fascinate me: ‘Guatemalan textiles are amazing, with colors rarely seen as intense elsewhere — turquoises, blues, greens, incredibly vibrant oranges, all coming together in a weave that brightens the soul to see them all together. It’s like witnessing all the wonders of the country represented in its textiles: the lush and lively jungle, the surfaces of lakes and cenotes, majestic sunsets, the lava of its multiple volcanoes, the color of the water from its two oceans, cenotes, meadows, jaguars, quetzals… all of that is the color of Guatemala

Regarding his style, DEIH describes his pieces as existentialist with a retro Cyberpunk touch from the 80s. His creative process is fluid and spontaneous. He prefers unfinished sketches and completes his pieces on the wall, allowing the environment to influence the creation. Painting on the street is a way for DEIH to enjoy, surprise, and convey emotions. Although he has expanded his art to large-format paintings in galleries and murals at festivals, his love for painting on the street prevails, and he practices it regularly.

As a curiosity, few know that, before becoming a draftsman, DEIH aspired to be a film director and writer. His reconciliation with the idea of being an artist came when he discovered that his drawings were intrinsically linked to the stories he wanted to tell.

Follow him if you please at: https://deih.pro/

@deih.xlf

 

by Riman

A man with red hair broke into my house. He tried the back door first, as my father always leaves the garage open on summer days where the sun is scorching hot enough to turn it into an easy bake oven. I thought the man was there to kill me, so I begged my father to get one of his guns. My father owned 4 guns at the time. I saw him next to the gun safe juggling with shotgun shells. My father was a good person.

The man tried the front door second. My tiny hands fumbled with the lock but failed to latch it closed in time. The man walked into my house with no intention of murdering me. He came with a message.

He picked a tick oozing with blood off of my body. His eyes were swimming with malice.

“I am here to tell you that you are rotting. I can smell you from miles away. You smell like you have been raped a thousand times.” He told me.

The man with red hair, yellow teeth, and red skin grinned. My father stood speechless.

I felt sad and confused.

 

By Jerry Ross

Art is often a reflection of the artist’s inner world.  That has certainly been true for me in recent months, as I find myself grappling with the challenge of semi-blindness. Doctors believe that my diminished vision may be caused by Giant Cell Arteritis, a condition that swells the optic nerve, and shrouds my world in a foggy white filter. This visual impairment has made it incredibly difficult to discern the nuances of dark and light, the four essential values crucial for painting. Despite this adversity, I’ve eagerly embarked on a momentous journey of self-discovery through my art.

My current artistic journey seeks expression through a series of “black paintings.” This new direction reveals a profound exploration of my own vision, both in terms of artistic expression and the physical limitations imposed by my current health condition. My recent paintings, inspired by the French master Pierre Soulages are often infused with the spirit of the Oregon coast.  They have become symbols of my own personal and professional transformation and a testament to the power of art in the face of adversity.

Pierre Soulages, renowned for his all-black paintings with intricate incisions that create a dance of light and shadow, served as a catalyst for my own artistic odyssey into the realm of darkness. Unlike Soulages, my black paintings are representational, drawing inspiration from the rugged beauty of the Oregon coast. These paintings are not just an exploration of color, but also a journey into the depths of my own perception.  (below – “Yachats” – oil on canvas)

My black paintings are a departure from my colorful landscape and portrait work, which I have done for years. This altered direction marks a new chapter in my artistic evolution, which has been validated by the sale of the painting, “Yachats,” to a buyer on Singulart.com. The sale was an affirmation of my unique style, a testament to the power of art to transcend limitations.

My Bardo Paintings

“Bardo” the indeterminate state, painting with “mentation”

My vision impairment has forced me to adapt and evolve as an artist. While I struggle to perceive the overall value relationships in my paintings, I’ve found solace in the world of the “bardo.” The term “bardo” refers to an intermediate state or transitional process, a concept from Tibetan Buddhism. In my current state of visual impairment, I exist in a sort of “bardo” state, where new possibilities emerge as old ones fade away.

“Bardo 2” oil on wood panel

My “black paintings” have given birth to a series of abstract designs inspired by the bardo state. These paintings, marked by bold strokes and gestural abstraction, are a departure from my previous work. By focusing on each brushstroke and its placement within the composition, I’ve achieved a tighter underpainting that provides structure for subsequent layers of paint.

Thinking like Leonardo da Vinci, I’ve come to appreciate the subtleties of chiaroscuro and the delicate transitions that exist in this intermediate state. Leonardo’s practice of finding inspiration in stains on walls, known as “macchia,” resonates with me now more than ever. I’ve learned to apply mentation (the ability to concentrate on a subject) to my painting process. In this half-blind state, I can imagine and see deeper layers of visual reality, akin to Leonardo’s creative process.

The Bardo Guide Creature Series

“Dough”

 

 

“Bar Dough”

 

This is a fantasy creature that leaped out from my pen. They are positive harbingers of good energy and joy.

My current vision problems ushered in a psychological crisis that impelled me to return to my knowledge of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism., My current series of black paintings are inspired by this tradition. I invented bardo and guarda characters to protect me during my own passage through the bardos.

These are not part of my series of black paintings, but rather colorful abstract designs.

 

The six intermediate states (bardo) help us to live a better life, while preparing for death and beyond.

  • Bardo of Life.
  • Bardo of Dream.
  • Bardo of Meditation.
  • Bardo of Death.
  • Bardo of Dharmatā
  • Bardo of Becoming.

In my journey through the bardos, I’ve created the “Bardo Guide Creature Series,” inspired by Tibetan teachings on the six intermediate states. These characters serve as guardians during my passage through the bardos, providing protection and guidance during this challenging time.

Despite my current health condition, I’ve also embraced a new creative dimension, crafting digital pieces that symbolize the raw creativity within us all. These pieces burst with vibrant colors and bold forms, reflecting the joyful experimentation that art inspires.

My “black paintings” are not just a testament to my artistic evolution but also a reflection of my personal journey through the bardo state of vision impairment. They remind us that art has the power to transcend physical limitations and to explore the depths of human creativity. You can view my black, bardo, and guarda inspired paintings on Singulart.com.  May these paintings be for the viewer a testament to the enduring spirit of art in the face of adversity.

As a lifelong painter, I hope to instill in other artists this essential resilience and artistic exploration, proving that even in the darkest of times, creativity can shine through.

 

Note: In crafting this digital piece, I embraced a symphony of abstract forms and a touch of spontaneity. The minimalistic yet futuristic vibes emerge through bold, unfiltered strokes, symbolizing the innate, raw creativity that lies within us all. It’s a jubilant dance of color and form, unconstrained and joyfully experimental, designed to inject a burst of energetic whimsy into any living space and awaken the playful, adventurous spirit we often forget in the tumult of life.

The Black, Bardo, and Guarda paintings can be seen at Singulart.com

 

Jerry Ross https:/jerryrosspittore.com

 

Brief Art Bio

  1. Buffalo, N.Y. 1944. Attended Buffalo Art Institute (Albright Art School). Studied privately under Anthony Sisti. Involved in political activism while at the University of Buffalo. 1972 moved to Arizona to paint on the Arizona-Mexican border. Arrived Eugene 1974 and led several arts initiatives: President of New Zone Arts Collective for 6 years; founder of the Salon des Refuses and Diva Art Gallery; with his wife, Angela Ross, traveled annually to Italy (from 1991-2022); Met American WWII veterans in Livergnano, Italy, and later was commissioned by them to make a film showcasing interviews with these vets at WWII Museum in New Orleans. Exhibits in Rome, Florence, Milan, Bologna & Terni in Italy; participated in group show at Secession Museum, Vienna, Austria; numerous shows in Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Newport and many other Oregon cities. Collaborated with Italian film makers in Milan (La Tavola Italiana) on a documentary film for the 2015 Expo. Created a style called “American Verismo” based on dal vero (after life or truth) and founded the Club Macchia group of artists exhibiting in Oregon. Taught painting at Maude Kerns Art Center, UO Craft Center, and privately at several locations. Created the annual “plein-air paint-out” in Brownsville, OR during “Stand By Me” days.

Awards and Recognitions:

  1. 2010 and 2013 visiting artist/scholar, American Academy in Rome
  2. 2006 Gold medal and exhibit for art competition in Milan – Corsico, Italy.
  3. 2004 Jury Award Mayor’s Show, Eugene, Oregon
  4. 2001 Juror’s award at the 31st annual Willamette Valley Juried show in Corvallis
  5. 2000 Mayor’s Choice award for Art Show at Jacobs Gallery Eugene

 

 

by Clayton S.