John B Lombardo Artist
Works Of The Echo Chanter
ART AND THE FEAR OF LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I remember back in 1972 when I had my first big one man art show of paintings at the Everson Museum. I just finished a two year bout of huge figure paintings at the request of then director James Harithas. The works were hung in the entire southwest gallery upstairs at the Everson.
A lot of stuff was going on. I had television cameras there because the work was so unique, new and exciting. I was pretty worn out from the intensity of the last two years painting. It was all new to me.
I had as a result of the work opened up a door to a part of human experience that I don’t think many people before me had ventured or where many people before me even care to go.It was a tremendous, at first emotional load to uncover bear and deal with. As the paintings progressed and became more refined, I dug deeper into my (our) collective unconscious and began to uncover things (feelings, impulses, energy etc.) that I never knew existed. It was to say the least exhilarating, exciting, a trip at light speed into the collective mind of the universe. I was alive like I was never alive before. On full bore into the realms of the unknown reaches of human experience.
One moment I remember in particular was when one of my best friends returned from a visit to my exhibit and came over to the house for a visit. His very young son told me that he was very frightened by my paintings and ran screaming out of the gallery.
I did not know what to say. It hurt me in many ways. Much like the barbs and comments of many of my contemporaries who thought my work was ugly garbage.
Well not much has changed. I am still delving deeper into our unconscious mind of the universal and know deep inside me that someday what I am doing with my art will make a difference in the human experience.
I know for a fact that my work scares people, most people, because it forces them to look at themselves then past themselves into a part of their beings that they do not want to look at that they do not want to look at and that they do not understand. All well and good.
I also feel sorry for those that cannot experience what I am experiencing, because it has enabled me to grow and learn many times over as a human being.
I will keep doing what I do, only because I have and have had no choice in the matter since the first day I picked up a paint brush and touched the oil paint to the canvas.
It is what I love, it is what I do, it is what I am. To stop would be the end of me.