What a week.
The apocalypse dreamers must be riding higher than the floodwaters left by Hurricane Irene. It’s not often that a week begins with an unprecedented 5.9 earthquake in our nation’s capitol and finishes up with a hurricane bigger than Texas slamming into the Big Apple.
From the chatter of the talk shows, a conspiracy of sci-fi proportions might be presumed to be at work.
And yet. Somehow, as the floodwaters recede, the aftershocks diminish and the Dow-Jones resumes its customary pogo bouncing of alternate anticipation and dread, life, as we know it, goes on. The famine in Africa worsens. The violence fueled by differences of political and religious views lurches on with the tireless zest of a zombie horde. Racial prejudice continues. The drug wars rage on.
In light of all this, the passing blows of a hurricane and a small earthquake hardly register.
We experience life as individuals. When something cataclysmic happens to you, it’s hard to step outside the frame and look at the big picture.
One of the functions of art is to help us do just that – to broaden our limited perspectives and get a glimpse of other points of view.
Some artists write novels to address these ideas. But reading, for many, is too time consuming, too much like work. Music has long been a wedge to crack open the doors of perception. But listening requires an open mind. Visual art has an advantage of immediacy. And sometimes, the longer you look, the more you can see in a work of art.
Seattle artist Spenser Little creates provocative works from twisted wire that explore fundamental issues of human existence. In spare imagery that brings to mind the great line drawings of Saul Steinberg or Toulouse-Lautrec, Little creates extraordinary images of men, women and words. Many of his works include pithy quotations from the likes of Oscar Wilde or Ambrose Bierce. An original inventive spirit animates all of his works, from the smallest dog sculpture to the stunning near-life-size portraits.
You can see his works most Sundays at the Fremont outdoor fair. Weather permitting.