Saturday, May 16, 2009

RW Ruehlen


My works are manifestations, or Mindscapes, that express spirituality,
psychological trauma, bliss, disassociation, humor, fear, duality, oneness and isolation.
It is a concentration of the feminine and masculine energy, the need to uncover and
nurture, the meticulousness of line and flow and the desire to see not only holistically
but from lost or broken standpoints. I believe our society has become bright, colorful,
dynamic and overloaded with information only to disguise the ugly, the fragmented, the
oppressed and the void in our modern lives. I use bright, bold colors to captivate the
viewer, as modern technology has, but I do not use it to veil the strange, painful, or
forgotten: I use it to call it out; to exercise it; to exorcise it.
Modern society has stripped its people of spirituality, and its psychological
construction of reality. Humans have been cast out into a homeless world where we have
chosen instead to reconstruct an imitation of life through technological material.
Through the advancements of science, which continues the legacy of masculine domination
over feminine nature, technology has not only dismantled our gods of the past but has
itself become a god “a technogod“ and turned us into machines to fit its paradigm
shift. A god unlike all other gods, one that gives us everything we desire, or are told
to desire, to feed our own selfishness or insecurities. Science has allowed us to see
into the crevasses of reality, as well as create new realities; and this has created
cognitive dissonance in the mystical mind of our primitive selves. I have begun to call
my art technomysticism, which conjures up my deep connection with the old world, my
current entanglement with 21st century isolation, and the unknown environment of the
future. The imagery I create is not my own but is given to me in times of silence, in
meditation, in thoughtful awareness, through the spirits of the past. I tend to use dark,
crisp lines and saturated hues to create a balance of fragmentation and
interconnectedness, which I feel encapsulates our zeitgeist.
My content is a response to sexual oppression, religious oppression, racial oppression,
class oppression, gender oppression and most importantly; self oppression: or the act of
those in power to eliminate self-awareness, to blanket our true, personal nature, as well
as the act of individuals to repress their oneness with the cellular organism we call
Earth, our home. My characters take on androgynous forms and my landscapes littered with
humor; like flying penises and robotic babies. I capture transcendental experiences like
the awakening of myriads of hidden people in this shell I call a body, or dream
experiences where I spend moments in flight or in strange carnivals of lust and disorder,
violence and stillness where people morph into other animals and vice versa. For me,
creating art is my spirituality in practice; it is a moment of taking disorder and
confusion and bringing it into harmony, bringing it to the surface. We are spiritual
nomads wandering a desolate landscape we call existence; we are spiritual beings living
in a beautifully infinite landscape we call the mind.

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