This website was actually a suggestion of a past girlfriend. She was telling me that I was making all these prints, selling them via mail, and oftentimes sitting on them. She told me that I was wasting my potential and I should do something with all this stuff that I would eagerly create during my off time. Just like you, I have a day job that I absolutely hate. I’m a litigator by training, so that’s what I do to pay the mortgage.
During the off season and the off hours, I pour out my soul into printmaking. Whether we’re talking about portraits of people, flowers, animals, there’s just something about the printmaking process that steers the internal artist in me. I don’t mean to sound pretentious nor do I try to lay claim about something grandiose. No. To me, the definition of an artist is somebody who’s just seeking to express himself or herself in a specific, tightly-defined form.
You have to understand that art has been redefined and repackaged throughout the years to such a degree that it really has lost its humanity. It really no longer connects on a truly human level. In fact, we live in a day and age where there is a tremendous temptation to push people towards some sort of official or acceptable interpretation of art. This is dangerous territory. There’s really no other way to describe it.
If you are in a situation where people are insisting that you interpret artistic expression in only one certain official or acceptable way, there’s something wrong with the picture. There’s something profoundly broken about the whole interchange of artistic ideas. Art is supposed to be offensive. It’s supposed to insult people. It’s supposed to make them cry. It’s supposed to dig deep, scar us, wound us, and otherwise remind us that we are able to feel strongly.
Unfortunately, we live in an age where trolling on social media as well as in real life has not only become familiar but also expected. At some level or other, we have become desensitized to emotional urgency and rawness that it’s supposed to be an expected form of authenticity. In other words, it has become yet another decorative veneer or outer covering that rarely speaks of deep profound personal truths.
By peeling back a lot of that misconception about art, printmaking in general, my comics highlight what is real about my life as I live it in the here and now. My goal is for all these random eyeballs from all over the internet to see my corner of the woods and come up with their own interpretation that makes sense in their own particular set of circumstances. In other words, that’s the way art is supposed to be.
There’s no one-size-fits-all interpretation. There’s no official dogma that you are supposed to walk away with. It’s completely your own. And the fact that you are able to come up with these different emotional states is not only a testament to the evocative power of the art that you just looked at, felt or otherwise experienced, but it also speaks volumes about who you are, what your place is in the world, where you think you’re going and what your definition of the good life is about. In other words, real art is both personal, public and political. You really can’t separate these. They’re different sides of the same coin.
It is my hope that monkeyropepress.com brings back all these realities and grips people’s attention so they can be inspired to do their own art.