"Burning Bush" 24x36" Acrylic on Paper by MEAR ONE
I’ve experienced two major awakenings in my life thus far. The first occurred 16 years ago today when many of us on 911 woke up to airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and some hole in the ground in Pennsylvania. I was caught up in the shock and awe for maybe 10 minutes until my research into the matter took me for a spin ever deeper down that dark rabbit hole. My art would take on a new velocity and mission in the days to come, becoming a kind of crowbar to the human psyche, art to make you think, and think brave. While some got hip to it, the majority decided my depictions of reality were too dangerous, too far out of their realm of cognitive decision-making and PC sense of patriotism, or too close to their own cognitive dissonance. People get angry when you wake them up and then they push you away. I found myself completely alone.
Yet despite this period of sociopolitical isolation it turned out to be, in hindsight, one of the most liberating times of my life. I had shed personal relationships, business connections, and begun on a new journey into myself, for myself. Taking a stand even in the face of extreme unpopularity allows one to think clearly for the first time and that’s exactly what happened. This inner underground political rebellion had me so compelled and focused for the next decade of my life all the way up to Occupy LA. I was at that protest every day fully committed when, just like that, a new reality sunk in, one defined largely by the hypocrisy of “Hope" and years later confusion over why the light of the “Bern" I was feeling flickered and then quickly snuffed out. Like many of you I began to question the radical movement’s ability to remain true and revolutionary, that what was in fact happening was infiltration and manipulation by the powers that be into grass-roots principles I had originally aligned with. In short, what I had come to understand was that politics changes nothing. It’s all merely a maze to keep you in a daze as they herd us into clever unmarked passages toward our own destruction and disenfranchisement. This was my second awakening, now widespread and a little less alone.