Facing Oblivion by Michael Newberry

Newberry, Facing Oblivion, 2020, oil on canvas, 17 1/2x14 1/2"
Newberry, Facing Oblivion, 2020, oil on canvas, 17 1/2 x 14 1/2″

I started this painting circa 2006, and it started as a full-length life-sized work. Then I worked on it on and off for many years. with out getting everything to work together. Haha, not surprising given the theme. Then I cut out/cropped the face out of the painting. Happy with it now. Facing oblivion was not personal, rather it is my view of looking at the postmodern art world, oblivion being a redundancy.

The theme was about being submerged in the dull nothingness of the art world: pretense, BS, no heart, con-games, and little visual art skills — a lot of crappy artists, collectors, dealers, and the ridiculous CIA. I believe their motivation is not to create, but like two-bit criminals it is to get away with shit. Just look at any contemporary art museum with a critical eye.

His shaded eyes are focus and his mouth holds no fear, bitterness, or angst — it shows good-natured confidence. Part of the technical theme was to have all the darks and shadows to be colorless, to show him emerging out of oblivion, with the hues only coming through by light. You can see the lack of color in the two details of his face’s right side.

Though the portrait is composite of different models during its long gestation, it is really a spiritual self-portrait. I am kind of fearless, and thankfully, shitty people have no effect on me other than feeling the uncomfortable feeling of looking at self-destructive humans — and the wariness that they will bring you down with them. I have had this attitude since being a pre-teen, and it has enabled me to approach art with love and learn as much as I have. Those asses will manipulate the hell out of you if they can find a weak link, unscrupulous. Postmodernism = TOMBS, Termination of Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Postmodernists have appropriated the concept of innovation, knowing full well they don’t know anything about visual aesthetics, claiming every bit of eradication was an innovation. Disgusting people. I wrote a short piece about their malfeasance, First They Came For Black.

Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 5/17/2020

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