After some months of preparation, I am terribly excited to announce an upcoming solo show of my work at Cleveland’s Rotten Meat Gallery. In Defense of Absurd Cosmologies will feature recent paintings, including the completed Falls series, as well a number of brand-new works from this year. The opening reception will be on March 14th, from 6-10pm.
Part of a recent series of paintings based on the work of American scholar of the weird Charles Fort (b.1874, d.1932).
The inspiration (and source of the accompanying text) is Fort’s Book of the Damned (1919), a massive tome that consists largely of hundreds upon hundreds of accounts of strange objects and substances falling from the sky, obsessively gathered from centuries worth of almanacs, scientific journals, and eyewitness accounts, and interspersed with flagrantly bizarre stabs at explanation (at one point, he proposes the existence of an antigravitational atmospheric zone- the “super-sargasso sea”- where lost objects end up and are occasionally dislodged by errant wind currents). These explanations are, I suspect, tongue-in-cheek, intended not so much to provide a believable theory to account for these events as to show what such a theory would have to look like.
The paintings are oil on wood, ranging from 24×18″ to 10×8″ in size. Ultimately, for each painting, the corresponding text will be printed on a separate panel, matching the width of the painting and displayed directly below it. Better images to come.
“…there is mention of a fibrous substance like blue silk that fell over Naumberg, March 23, 1665”
“Upon March 3, 1876, at Olympian Springs, Bath County, Kentucky, flakes of a substance that looked like beef fell from the sky- ‘from a clear sky’.”
“Substance like charred paper fell in Norway and other parts of Northern Europe, Jan. 31, 1686”
“London Times, April 14, 1837: That, in the parish of Bramford Speke, Devonshire, a large number of black worms, about three quarters of an inch in length, had fallen in a snowstorm.”
“A disk of worked stone fell from the sky, at Tarbes, France, June 20, 1887.”
“There is only one crime, in the local sense, and that is not to turn blue, if the gods are blue: but, in the universal sense, the one crime is not to turn the gods themselves green, if you’re green.”
“I suppose that one of our main motives is to show that there is… nothing but the preposterous- or something intermediate to absolute preposterousness and final reasonableness- that the new is the obviously preposterous; that it becomes the established and disguisedly preposterous; that it is displaced, after a while, and is again seen to be preposterous.”
Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned