Willow Fox

Manifesto of the Catastrophic Wave

By Willow Fox

Art today is a commodified soundbite of reiterated media fallout. Traditional subjects such as portraits and landscapes have taken on the look of every historical period, sold to decorate living rooms and match the carpet. Political art has lost its teeth as the terror and despair of the news overwhelm the emotional impact of all but the most militant art. Surrealist art has found its way to so many products that the original art is seen with an eye jaded by hundreds of mugs and tote bags. Sculpture is trying to recapture spontaneity and momentum, but has degenerated into “plop art”. This stylistic stagnation is accompanied by a lack of heart and vitality, revealing a culture in decline, unwilling or unable to compose its own death music.

Artists are the canary in the coal mine. As the most sensitive of humans, we experience and reflect back to our culture what most prefer not to see. Our emotions and fire are a curative for the stultification of Western Culture. We speak for the voiceless, adding richness and spice to the pale homogenized consul of the white and wealthy. We live in the cracks between the walls, recording and synthesizing all sides, then broadcast with vengeance the resulting creative composite back into the oblivious storm. Artists are the heart of the cultural evolution, causing for causes and fiercely recording the everyday life of our worlds. What are my secrets that you share? What are the depths of my living and dying that you dream the same into being? Artists call up every courageous eye to see themselves clearly, sharply in the broken mirror. In this act we demand the same of you.

In this society numbing commerce, repetition and routine dull the response of humanity to the unusual and unique. Horror and fear are the accepted emotions, anger and violence to legal drugs keeping our minds from the reality of our powerless existence. Artists must violate this chamber of antagonistic apathy. What is beauty so powerful it leaves you speechless, weeping and shuddering in the street? Where do we find inspiration so profound it causes us to leave our homes, our lovers in search of something unknowable? Artists must live the fearful dreams of the masses and record their most earnest yearning of the old knowings, the conscious reformation of our culture and ourselves. Only these can carry the necessary force of what art can change in the viewer. Artists must give to their audience what the audience is afraid to experience themselves. Great beauty and ugliness can be found everywhere, but artists reveal the vibrancy and spirit of the heart in all things through the blood of their raging poetry. Artist’s tears of joy and pain are the media we use to cause tremors of vibrancy. Magnified through more traditional media, this power is captured and revealed in a catastrophic wave, leaving a fresh wind to blow over the tenderness waiting within us all.