An Artist’s Case for the Moderation of Technology by Sam Abelow

The excessive technological stimulation causes many of us to ignore the Life which exists in slow and open moments when we are able to absorb each other and the world around us. Recognition of the downtempo pace of a pre-technological existence is a needed counterbalance.

Flashy screens, moving images, endless songs to stream and infinite news stories are all alluring. Widely accessible content, from comedy to calamity, becomes addictive to our minds which are designed for curiosity. Please, in the days after reading this pay attention to your own habits.

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Paradise Regained: The Mythic Understanding Behind a Painting by Sam Abelow

“Paradise Regained,” Oil on 30x40 canvas, 2017

“Paradise Regained,” Oil on 30x40 canvas, 2017

Although it is not necessary for the enjoyment of my painting, “Paradise Regained,” I will explain the underlying symbolism that catalyzed the compositional elements.

First Trinity/The Background sections:

The section of ocean represents what is unconscious. This includes all sorts of mysterious or impenetrable aspects of the personality, both spiritual and instinctual. It would also represent the endless (i.e. the horizon goes into into infinity) potential for new life, ideas, and evolution.

Below that section is a yellow and pink beach. This area of sand represents the conscious mind, or Ego standpoint. That is why it is brightly illuminated, as conscious awareness is of course what we can “see,” or “know.”

The final section is the rocky area on the bottom. Rocks are immutable and solid, as is the Self. This aspect of the personality is undeterrable, it is the watcher, the observer, the still point within, as known in Vedic and Buddhist philosophy. It also represents the substrate of being, the source of all conscious and unconscious energy. 

Because the Self is the total personality, it encompasses the sky as well. In this sense the rocky ground and sky enclose all that is happening; these sections hold the most space in the paintings, which corresponds to the vastness of such a dimension of the psyche.

Second Trinity/The Trees:

Very obviously stand three trees, although they are highly abstracted and feature no leaves, therefore acting more like pillars than natural growth.

The tree on the left is colored red, which represents the body, instinct, passions like sexuality; it corresponds to sensation, touch, bodily pleasure and fitness.

The middle tree, which is green, represents feeling, as in the ability to extend compassion, to fall deeply into love, to participate in reverence and humility from the gut and the heart. 

The final tree, on the right, is colored purple. This represents intellectual reasoning and understanding. It corresponds to the necessary pursuit of knowledge: history, theories of all sorts. It is mastery of the mental capacity; it is the expansion and application of knowledge.

Third Trinity/The Animals:

On the left there is a Great Egret. I see this bird in my local ecosystem and am always impressed with its profound beauty and elegance. I place this bird on the side of the female character in order to associate her with grace, which is an admirable quality, which extends from a certain attitude. Here, I emphasize the necessity of carrying oneself with self-respect and holding a patient perspective on life.

Center in the painting, between the persons, lying on the rocks is a snake. This animal represents all that is instinctual. I think of this internally: the sexual drive, all that is erotic. It represents the transformation of sexual libido into psychological or creative output. Therefore it is the artistic instinct.

To the right, associated with the masculine figure, is a horse. This animal represents the requirement of assertiveness and action in the world. Because I see the horse as a domesticated creature, it corresponds to the power being brought into the civilized world. It is an attitude of assuredness and confidence.

Final Trinity/The Figures:

In the focal point of the picture are three figures. From left to right: Female person, a simple idol or statue, male person.

The trinity expressed here can be analyzed and described in a myriad of ways. The feminine attributes and male attributes in a relaxed and mirrored stance. They are in harmony, so to speak. The two lovers are in a state of perfection, gazing lovingly. The idol stands behind them, centered — it represents the Ouroboric home of all psychic life, the origins of life. It is both mother and father, as well as child. The two people stand in relation to this ambitious and all-encompassing symbol.

Added details are the fruit, which the woman holds, symbolizing fertility. The man holds flowers, which stand for devotion. The combination of these two attributes indicates a bond which ensures the proliferation of new life.

Paradise Regained:

When I originally sketched out this schema the title that occurred to me was, “Our Little Paradise.” After completion of the painting, I explained the contents to my girlfriend. She suggested that “Paradise Regained” was more fitting to the narrative I had spun up.

I agreed, and liked that it was an allusion, albeit unintentional, on Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost.” Although I am ignorant of the meaning of this work, I know that it touches upon Adam and Eve’s notorious “Fall.”

Animals, despite being sentient, do not have self awareness. Therefore they cannot deliberate or choose one action versus another. Humans have the capacity to compare their current state of being to an ideal. This creates a pressure to act accordingly.

Along with this, bodily awareness entails a time constraint, i.e. inevitability of death, to pursuit of virtuous ideal.

So, the knowledge of “Good and Evil” in the Bible entails both a moral and existential burden.

We can ignore this reality, and anesthetize ourselves, place blame on society or circumstance. I would say this leaves us in a somewhat unconscious state.

The ultimate goal is a broader and differentiated consciousness. In this state of being there is highly unique tapestry of meaning which ensures the burdens of life are worth bearing.

In this developed state, we can regain the spontaneity and pleasures of paradise, along with the intellectual benefits and poetic beauty of cultivated consciousness.

The Embrace With Revolving Forms by Sam Abelow

The video diary below documents the process of completing this painting, which happened between Febuary and August 2017.

Just put the last touches on this painting - "The Embrace with Revolving Forms and Colored Dots." Oil paint, on 36x48 canvas.

Original charcoal drawing concept -- "Intertwined No. 4"

Original charcoal drawing concept -- "Intertwined No. 4"

It took me about three or four weeks to complete. Although, technically I began work in February when I originally came up with the concept, which I drew with charcoal on paper. Then I transferred the drawing to this large canvas sometime in March.

The canvas sat for several months until late July when I suddenly knew what to do in terms of the stylistic effects and palette. I then completed the light colored background. After a week of drying, I went in and painted the figures. When the purple and green had dried I completed the revolving forms and dots over the course of the past two days.

Any questions or inquires, please comment below or email roskogreen@gmail.com 

Luna O. Announces Debut Single “Hey Boo” by Sam Abelow

Luna O. Teams up With Producer Rosko Green in her Summer Debut of the Headbanging Single “Hey Boo.”

by Jeff Moss

Songwriter and vocalist Luna O teams up with producer Rosko Green for their debut single “Hey Boo.”

Luna O.’s gifted vocals team up with Rosko’s extensive production skills  to make a notable power duo. Their first track will have listeners bumping their heads to the psychedelic trap bass and ethereal verses as they ride out to the beach.

I asked Luna a few questions after listening to the mystical song:

What I really love about this song are the lyrics - they’re pretty out there. What is this song about?

Luna O.: The song is about the time we decided to do an intuitive ritual on this July’s full moon. We spent some time at the beach that night watching the orange moon rise, decorated each other with paint, and burned incense, paying homage to the metaphorical gods. The following week, we were in the studio, Rosko and I came up with this beat and he suggested I sing about our experience that night, and that’s where it all started.

I know you two are dating. What is the dynamic like while you’re in the studio versus just hanging out?

Luna O.: We both just get really into the music. I don’t really know a lot of technical terms for synths or sound effects and things like that, but he’s really good at knowing exactly what I want to add. Since our tastes are pretty similar, we’re able to make beats together by just trying out different ideas and vibing off of each other.

What inspires your style?

Luna O.: I’m inspired by modern music and its capacity to blend together genres and sounds that previously stood on opposing ends of the music world. And I’m inspired by a variety of music but I suppose what we’re doing is most reminiscent of people like Doja Cat, Jhene Aiko, SZA, and Willow Smith.

Rosko has worked in all sorts of different genres from (insert genre here) to (insert genre here) and so he’s able to draw inspiration from all that past experience.

What direction do you see your music career going in?

Luna O.: We’re just doing this for fun at the moment, but if people like it and want more we’d definitely be into going with it.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

No problem, thanks.

You can listen to this collaboration and download it for free on Soundcloud.

Permalink: https://soundcloud.com/luna-o/hey-boo

Follow: @_etphoneho for Luna O. and @roskogreen for Rosko Green, on Instagram

 



 

Shadows: The Sensitive Soul's Creative Outlet by Sam Abelow

The weakness of the creative individual is that they will make an aesthetic, a fascination, or rather an art-form out of their philosophical and psychological search. This can often displace the energies of their psyche, removing the friction and “selling it off” as entertainment. I am guilty of this in songs like “Shadows” and “Rise and Fall.” Luckily, in tandem with these sorts of expressions, were authentic and indescribable experiences of the unconscious psyche, which cannot be transmitted or displayed for any audience.

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The Making Of: A Grid of Green Dots by Sam Abelow

I woke up in the middle of the night to a vision; it was a grid of luminous green dots with little bits of yellow poking out. Beholding this sight, I felt a sense of numinosity. That morning I did a little sketch, knowing that I would have to produce a painting based on this mysterious design.

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Living Myths in Paint: Sandro Chia Exhibit by Sam Abelow

There are two painters I currently admire above all the rest, although there are many examples enduring works of art. The first is Paul Gauguin, who painted actively in the late 1890’s. The second is Sandro Chia. I attended Chia’s first exhibit in New York City after a decade, at the Marc Straus gallery this late winter, early spring 2017. On display were a couple dozen affecting and mature paintings.

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Emerging into Your Authentic Self: Nigredo in Ancient Alchemy by Sam Abelow

Nigredo roughly translates to “blackness” or “blackening,” and in alchemy was considered the first stage toward the ultimate goal of obtaining the philosopher’s stone. Initially, Calcinatio is the main alchemical operation in which the chemical ingredients (or prima materia) first must be refined and cleansed by intense heat and burning, that would result in a blackening of the material. The desired result was to burn away any imperfections or alien substances, to leave behind only the purest of substances.

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Beginning Your Journey into Mindfulness: A DIY Buddhist’s Personal Experience by Sam Abelow

The fascination with the Chinese hermits went from curiosity at an intellectual level to an experiential understanding which was brought about by practicing both in daily life and in seated meditation. Once the experiences starts to unfold you begin to see the many layers and scales to these truths. It's something so simple but we come from such complex and built up conditions that breaking these down can be extremely difficult. 

I'd also like to note that in a very simple way the practice can be summarized by discipline, concentration and wisdom. It's something that closely relates to psychoanalysis, but with a dash of Taoism and quantum physics thrown in there. I'd also like to mention the wisdom comes from paying close attention to ourselves and slowing down. This involves a meditation practice where we engage with ourselves and aim to develop a more aware perspective. 

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The Story Behind My Art: The Mother, The Hermit and Transformation by Sam Abelow

My art is a search for something; I’m digging around. It’s like I’m gardening, in an intraterrestrial place, like a cave. You see, I’m digging for a well, then it caves in and I fall over. There, I discover something unexpected, even revelatory.

My art is not merely a search for aesthetic sensibility or beauty. Although I love materials and colors, the search that I’m doing is much more internal; it has mystical qualities.

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