8/15/2013

"Fight Club" as Bible



A friend just refreshed a period in my life with a post about Fight Club being his Bible.

I could not agree more. But let me digress.

When I was 20 I was a boxer, that would have been 1981 (do the math). Being a part of our local YMCA boxing program with a small class I was usually mismatched in the ring. I was a middle weight and there were two light weights and three heavy weights. I was put in with the heavy weights.

My boxing coach use to tell me to hit myself as hard as I could when I was at home.  He said "I want you to keep hitting yourself as hard as you can until you aren't afraid of getting hit anymore."

I did what my coach asked, hitting myself in the head and face when no one was looking as hard as I could. His advice worked. When I stepped into the ring I wasn't bracing for or fearing the sting of getting punched in the face, I was thinking defense and offence. It made me a better boxer.

Fight Club's base message as I understand it, is let go of fear.  What would you do if the fear of not doing what you love becomes greater than the fear OF doing what you love.  Remember the guy in the store who wanted to be a veterinarian.

What would you do if someone put a gun to your head and said "I will come back in a month and if you aren't working towards becoming what you always wanted to be, I will kill you. I know where you live."

I have lived my entire life with people telling me I will never make it. Whether it was making the football team (I was not the biggest guy on the field) to becoming a full time artist to us having a child at our age.  If I listened to any of them I would never have done any of the greatest things I have accomplished in my life.

Just makes you wonder.

Got to go, I have a gun to my head at the moment.

JUA

8/11/2013

SYMBOLIC SUICIDE

Text from Migrate Magazine "Meat" issue

SYMBOLIC SUICIDE

We all have a little evil voice living inside us that at times tells us to do things we shouldn’t. Artist John U. Abrahamson (JUA) listened to that voice and took a journey of survival, pain and reflection. As you view his work and those uneasy
feelings emerge, times them by a few million and you start to understand what this artist lived and nearly died through to create his exhibition, Flesh and Blood.
 
JUA literally shed his own flesh and blood and purged himself into a life of pain to create this series. Flesh and Blood could be perceived as a symbolic suicide.

He created a hanging prone human form comprised from 660 vials of his own blood and 100 vials of skin suspended by fishing lines from a metal structure hovering over his open journals. People were invited to tear up his writings and take pages home with them – in essence to participate in the destruction of his journals. This served as a metaphoric and transitional rite of passage, a rebirth for John as an artist. JUA spoke about his personal journey, “The spiritual connection it had for me and how I literally put myself into the work is hard to express.
 
I pushed myself in a way that was much like killing myself. In the beginning I thought of it as a false suicide. I thought, I can’t kill myself, but this is as close as I can come.”

By destroying his journals and giving his blood to the point of compromising his health, he honestly thought that the natural conclusion of the show would be death. In the course of the progression, it became a much more spiritual journey.


38 The issue Printed on Antalis HiQ Titan Plus Matt 250g/m2|cover| and 148g/m2|text| The issue 39

John Abrahamson Flesh&Blood Los Angeles


 

 


8/06/2013

Hesitation Marks

A little background.

During the last quarter of a century creating fine art I have grabbed hold of soundtracks to paint by.  I have always loved film sound tracks because theyare meant   to evoke mood.  I spent a year painting almost exclusively to the Fight Club and Lost Highway soundtracks.

However, Trent Reznor and I seem to be walking parallel  paths.

I found Pretty Little Hate Machine in a used CD bin in late 1989. Someone must not have liked it.

It felt like what I was expressing on canvas at the time.  It drove me and inspired me.

Then Downward Spiral came out.  I was dealing with a disastrous relationship at the time, early 90,s, and was developing the Dark Work series in reaction to the feelings of restraint and suffocation. Downward Spiral was my muse.

During the preparation and execution of the Flesh and Blood series, With Teeth seemed to mirror my feelings to a T.

Perhaps it is that Trent and I are both creatives at the same age dealing with life with a similar aesthetic.  Whatever the connection it is visceral.

Now as I gear up for the next series NIN's long awaited next album Hesitation Marks is coming out. 

I am looking forward to seeing what Trent and I can create together.

JUA