Welcome to Absurdity, Please take a number. The lunatics have taken over the asylum No one seems to be running the show. Once upon a time, courtesy and respect were given, but the queen has died and left the building. We mourn the end of an era. Wondering about what’s next. Dancing monkeys and kittens on screens Are all that seem to remain of joy. Balanced on the head of a needle His Highness declares his false victories. Take your pick, there are many vying for the position. As the earth burns and the sky grays with smoke. Nuclear winter approaches. Are the changes needed too big to happen? Many avoid the chaos, waiting for a savior. Somewhere there is a sky of blue Maybe it takes a trip over the rainbow. Hitch your wagon to the next Kansas wind. Shall we go before it’s too late?Cheryl McDonald
If you would like to hear me read this poem, please click below.
I have been thinking about. This piece for over a week now. And it just feels like it is time to share it with you. The poem came to me mostly out of the air the other night just as I was laying down to go to sleep and I had to get up to get paper and pen and scribble it down. So glad the Muse is back, but she can be very demanding when you are least ready to work! I love it!
This pencil painting is now called Welcome to Absurdity. It used to be called Pain and Pleasure, Absurd Contradictions. I can’t remember why I named it that and I can’t even remember what caused me to paint it in the first place. It was a Muse thing for sure, however , I can’t remember anything in the ‘90s that now seems completely as absurd as much of the world does today. However, as we now know, everything is relative and by today’s absurdity standards, the ‘90s was a peaceful, organized existence!
I won’t go too much into dissecting this art or the poem, however I decided that giving you detailed snapshots of various areas within the art might give you a little more context of how I create these things and what some of these symbols mean to me. I totally want you to come to your own conclusions and always enjoy the discussion.
So we will begin with the main character; a bloated baby-like figure perched happily on the tip of a needle rising from a well that leads to who knows where. He seems very happy to be above everyone else and doesn’t even realize what a precarious position he is in.
The figures below him standing on the edge of the well are skeletons dressed in harlequin clown suits. They are the sycophants and they have masks with smiles covering their skeleton faces and their true-selves, but their hands and feet show their true identity. A baby skeleton plays on the thread waving to the crowd.
The stone women on the sides of the well give us a sense of false modesty unable to speak, see, or feel. Kept in their place and on display.
I like to add small details in the distance in my works that draw you in. Sometimes I use a magnifying glass to draw them, wanting to obscure them, yet making them visible for those who are willing to look deeper.
In the distance on the left are roman ruins symbolizing the downfall of humanity and on the right are factories spewing pollution which is filling the air with smoke and parching and poisoning the ground. There are also 3 crosses that can be taken how you like, depending on your religious beliefs. Are they there to save the world or destroy it? You decide, I just felt they needed to be there.
The imagery here is dark and kind of creepy as some have said. There is much in the world happening now that is also dark and creepy. Although I most want to feel joy, sometimes it is also important to acknowledge the darkness, so we can decide to make change to work towards the light. Those are valid emotions that we all have and need to share. This painting is an expression of that and even though it was completed in 1998 it feels very relevant today.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading
And still, please have a happy day. Make it the best day ever.
Prints are available. on my website here.
One thought on “Welcome to Absurdity”
Hey Cheryl,Your muse is really working you! Good heartfelt stuff!Thank you for explaining some symbolism – wasn’t sure. Not it all makes sense. The world does seem mad. Power will do that. So intoxicating. Thank you,Carol
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