“You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.” -Nina Simone
"All art can be categorized as either anthropomorphic or eschatological," so said my college art professor..."and different artistic periods capture the prevailing societal mood." These are high dollar terms so they warrant defining. Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities. The Oxford English Dictionary defines eschatology as "The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind." I've never been good at retaining names, facts and figures, but broad concepts I can grasp. For example, the art of the Renaissance is very humanistic. Man is the center of the universe. Michelangelo's 'David" is the epitome of this era. Anthropomorphic:
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Cubism. Picasso's 'Guernica' elicits anguish and terror. Eschatological:
Every time I see art, I attach one of those terms in my mind. CA.SIMMONS is the epitome of eschatological art:
A blogger in Finland wrote of his art, "How anyone could create such an ingeniously haunting and dirty art collages?" The way he does it is best described by the artist himself:
"I constantly keep in mind that not only is everything in flux, but also in decline. From the moment something is born, or created, it begins to decay. Everything man-made is in what I like to refer to as De-Evolution. Every building, bridge, all infrastructure is slowly, yet unavoidably falling apart. Every painting, photograph and sculpture will one day cease to exist. My only goal is to try and convey that at the end of the day, we are all just barely hanging on by our fingernails."
According to CA.SIMMONS:
"...each ripped section, and each staple [is] a scar, which we all carry in some form or another, through just simply being alive."
His genre; collage. His medium; paper and staples. These elements come together and give a glimpse of our societal selves. This characterization of self depicts a reality often painful to admit. Not unlike rubber-neckers slowing down traffic to see the victims of an accident, we can't help but to look. Perhaps gazing upon his art will lay bare the brutal reality that we are all responsible in some way for our stark existence. At the very least, CA.SIMMONS art is reflective of our time. Reflecting for the viewer an often horrific societal culture of fear that is most certainly, "Born from the chaos!"