Cannibals an exhibit by Eric Karjaluoto
Behold the Cannibals!
What can I tell you about the Cannibals? How about this... I'll remove the analysis and artspeak, simply allowing you some insight of my intentions. The rest I will leave for your exploration.
After the exhibit Pulse in 1997, it really started to piss me off that no matter how far I pushed my paintings, they would not have the same impact as a really good chunk of music. The dilemma was partially rooted in teh subject matter that I was working from, but not limited to it. My disillusionment swelled. I packed away my brushes, and looked at the walls a lot. I bounced from one career option to another. I debated film, design, business, whatever. The last thing that I wanted to do was paint. Ultimately however, the pervasive difficulty was in nothing else filling the gap that art-making had left.
Finally, I kicked back, and painted again. I allowed myself to have a little more fun. Most of all, I decided that I would make a group of paintings that would run contrary to what clients, and the gallery may have been expecting. Just paint whatever. Screw the worry of whether they would sell, and screw the notion that many would not appreciate this new departure.
I also listened to the Beastie Boys a fair amount, and wondered if I could collage with form, as they had with sound. Improvising with imagery while laying down the visual equivalent to a foundation of beats. It seems like a pretty far-fetched notion; but, if I was going to take the time to paint, I was going to make it count.
Finally, the subject matter. People consume. I believe that. We require compassion and dialogue, love and conflict. Starting with this general notion, and labelling it as "consumption" gave me a fiarly wide umbrella to work under. I wanted to paint in a dysfunctional and backward fashion. Type was employed, and then obliterated, and then reintroduced. Strange characters and symbols were invented and repeatedly rearranged. When there were opportunities to do things wrong, I took them. This is just an outline of the beginnings. Maybe you can scratch a little deeper and find more of the parallels and subplots.
I am very proud of this exhibt. All of the images here have been pushed as far, and sometimes further, than they could be pushed. In fact, many of the paintings were over-worked to the point of having to be abandoned.
I don't know a great deal about art. It is like a weird set of rules which is rewritten every time that I seem to come to terms with the last. I see this as a body of work that kicks-ass. As clumsy and crude as many of these paintings may be, I see them as vital and infused with strength. There was no cookie cutter used here -- every painting is its own, regardless of how it impacts the surrounding works. Furthermore, any one of these paintings I would hang on my wall, and be satisfied with.
What gets me going? Ideas. Velocity. The unknown. Making shit. I can get wrapped up in anything, but repeating myself seems like one hell of a waste of time. I amalready inpreparation of another project. This time I will work with both vision and sound, digitally. The time commitment scares me a little, as does the amount that I still have to learn. But hey...If its boring, it is time to find a new obstacle.
The Arsenal will arrive in one year.
Appearance in Reflections on Water