11 x 14" oil on gessobord
Your perspective artistically has shifted from "honey" to horror. What has caused you to shift focus?
Over the past couple of years I have become increasingly aware of the changes that have occurred and are still occurring in our culture and our planet. Ironically my own life is now fairly easy and on an even keel, so it confused me that I was so filled with the sense of everything getting worse and worse instead of better and better. On a personal level I did not feel depressed or even unhappy.
What do you dread?
I dread the ending of our democratic way of life. We no longer live in a democracy, but in an oligarchy.
I dread the ending of social services that make it possible for those who are less able to support themselves to exist with some sense of dignity.
I dread the end of all the safety nets: inexpensive education, affordable heath care, housing for the homeless, Headstart for kids who need it, privacy if you want it, reliable safe food sources for everyone...not just the well off, respect for persons unlike yourself, scientific investigation..not funded by drug companies and not hampered by religious reactionaries, Individual rights being replaced by Corporate rights,.....I could go on.
I dread the coming of what may be cataclysmic climate change leading to mass migrations and upheavals, wars and suffering. I will not personally experience those things..but still.....
I also dread the ending of my life...which is no longer a distant event. As I age I am confronted with mortality issues as well. I hasten to add that I am not currently ill or unhealthy.
8 x 12 " oil on gessobord
I am not sure that it actually addresses it ...I think rather that it expresses it. I found that I really could not get interested in painting anything else.
Have you had to adapt your palette or composition to accommodate this view-shift?
I have used a very limited and darker palette for this series. Even though I love color, it did not seem appropriate for the mood that I was attempting to express. I have also mostly focused more on individual expression with a simple storm cloudlike background.
Does making art ease, or increase for you your feelings of dread?
My experience with this was that I just could not paint anything else. I did not especially like the work that I was producing...but I just could not do anything different...And then at some point I felt... finished with it and I could begin to think about and focus on another subject or area. And I did feel relieved that I was finished working on this series of paintings.
Shelley Adler's exhibition begins May 22, 2012.