The Art of Chaos: Wood Block - Installment I. and II.
The Thought Gallery presents -
1621 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90028
next door to The Burgundy Room. April 24 - May 26, 2010.
The Art of Chaos: Wood Block - Installment I. and II -
I’m an artist that is heavily influenced by psychological thought and theories, especially those of Carl Jung. I define my artwork as,“The Art of Chaos,” an art process which is derived through an implementation of my beliefs, wherein the objective is to produce art that has no conscious beginning, but achieves distinctive end results. In theory, “Chaos” makes no predictions and appears as a state of disorder, making it very sensitive to its initial conditions. In other words, a number of variations in the initial condition produces a chaotic dynamic system that leads to even larger variations in subsequent behaviors. Art on the other hand, is the process of deliberately, or inadvertently arranging elements and objects in a way that affects our subconscious or unconscious mind.
The unconscious is the area of mind that stores collected information that has been repressed and is not easily brought to our awareness. These repressed memories can be episodes of trauma, or even simple thought patterns, desires, and sense impressions that remain far below the accessible surface. They are in essence, inaccessible without psychoanalysis, but can drive and control the conscious mind through artistic forms of expression. It is believed that a thought derived in a state of consciousness is protected by our egos. Jung views the ego as our sense of self and how we portray ourselves to the world. Our egos put limitations on our real self, that which only emerges in dreams, when our unconscious mind lets go of the ideals and defense mechanisms we hold to protect us from those things we feel make us vulnerable and afraid.
Jung believed that all things can be viewed as paired opposites, such as, good/evil, male/female, love/hate, and black/white. Working in opposition to the ego, is the "counterego," or what he refers to as the “shadow”. The shadow represents the rejected aspects of ourselves, those things we do not wish to acknowledge. It is here, “In Shadows,” that I wish to create. Using “Black” and “White,” I strip down the egos illusions of self to a primitive state. Using variations of color would be my ego’s role of manipulating the artwork and thus creating an illusion of self, or an ideal of what art should be - an “imitation of life.” The end result of such thinking is a world of art that is merely a slight misrepresentation of another. To stifle the ego’s influence is to unleash the unconscious mind, allowing pure thoughts to emerge, thoughts that affect art in a way that has not been brought to light, but merely lingered below the surface waiting to be harvested by our dreams.
According to Jung, dreams are a way of communicating and acquainting yourself with the unconscious. Dreams are not attempts to conceal your true feelings from the waking mind, but rather they are a window to your unconscious. They serve to guide the waking self to achieve wholeness and offer a solution to the problems that arise. Dreams shift and sway in a way that is not completely controlled by our conscious mind, revealing strange archetypes and metaphors in place of conscious thoughts.
"You must have Chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star" - Nietzsche. I create “Chaos when I approach a blank canvas with a clear mind, when my only intentions are to unleash movement. Through this process, I gain the freedom that’s lost within an immediate objective, and I find that my hands will solve a mystery that my intellect has struggled with in vain. By avoiding the path, but going instead where there is none, and then leaving a trail is one way to produce art that is different, that is personal; art that reveals a true sense of self in every piece.
Françoise Sagan, once said, “Art must take reality by surprise.” Through the “Art of Chaos,” reality is lost in a dream. It is here that we can float, where we can escape the constraints of the world, bypass notions of rhyme and reason. My art is filled with archetypes, subconscious omissions, shifting realms of terror and confusion. As shapes progress across the canvas, and the lines collide with one another, just like a dream, awareness brings revelations that have been waiting to emerge. Before long, faces, places, things form from the shadows to reveal a subconscious progression of thoughts. Upon a closer look, one can see there is order in chaos, there is beauty in the mundane. Ultimately, the artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose within themselves.
- Angela Lynthia Ellefson