Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Blind Prophet of New Orleans

The man in this artwork is blind, his sight is not of light waves, but more metaphysical.  He is the landscape of New Orleans, he is the streets, the buildings, the bridges, the trash, the enslaved horses, the ubiquitous street musicians, the bittersweet smell, the ancient cracking sidewalks and musical rot iron. The city speaks through his mouth, but no one listens.

If our lifetime was only one day, could you believe in the existence of the stars and the eternal deep night of the universe, if all you had ever seen up to that point was the blue skies and clouds?  The revolving dance and song of the prophets echo throughout our history, alternating between respect and ridicule, between a belief in that which is only tangible and that which is beyond what our eyes can see.

Most prophets from western religions could be seen in the same light as the homeless man preaching in the street. Moses talking to a burning bush, Abraham about to kill his son because of voices he hears. These are just two examples of many. If these events took place today, on our modern stage, how would the average person look upon these prophets? Imagine a modern day prophet warning the cities inhabitants that there will be a terrible flood in the streets of New Orleans in the near future.  Who of us would take them seriously, would even stop to discuss it with them? How do we draw the line between illusions and fantasy, and our shared collective reality, and is there even a line?

This painting was created in 2009.

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