So there is a little art window/gallery space on Clay in between Western and 1st that i pass on my way to Cherry Street for my morning Latte. This space always has a creative art display, very pretty and interesting, that catches my attention when i walk by. This week was a different story.
I couldn’t just walk by and glance, i literally stopped in my tracks, felt sick to my stomach, and had to stare for a little while to really confirm what i was seeing. Babies swaddled with swords that were coming out of the bottom of the swaddling (That tattoo etchings on their faces i did not even notice until two days later).
More after the Jump…
I immediately thought, you cannot put innocent babies looking seemingly serene with sharp blades shooting out of the bottom of their swaddle, that is simply not ok. It made me queezy. Hence the point, i guess. While my stomach was turning, I tried to think of what this art could possibly be trying to convey. I came to the conclusion of maybe babies aren’t so innocent or that they are sinful, or that this could represent what pain that they could grow into inflicting on others. As humans, we’ve all inflicted pain on others in one way or another. But i couldn’t really come to any conclusion beyond those. I walked away and the image stuck in my mind.
Two days later, i was walking by it for the 2nd time and saw a gentleman opening the door to the display with his key. I of course had to stop and ask him if this was his. I mean it is not every day that you see art that really affects you. It was Joseph C. Roberts, the curator, with the Center on Contemporary Art (COCA). He was clearly just as excited to talk about this with me, i was to ask. He told me that children were born into the world tainted by the sins of their fathers… or something along those lines. He then gave me a book published as a supplement to this exhibition. I mean, there is a whole book published as a supplement! I’ve read it, and it is super interesting. I’ve included some of it in the links below for you as well. It explains in detail the heart, thought and artist background behind this exhibition.
If you haven’t seen this display on Clay st. between Western and 1st, take a walk and check it out yourself. You’ve got to see this to believe it. There is also a larger scale showing at the Coca Museum in Ballard until November 14th.
Allegorical Babies and Violence in Harris Purnomo’s Work by Hendro Wiyanto “The big world of unlikely violence is already contained in the small world of the baby.”
Harris Purmono: VIsual Poetry by Joseph C. Roberts “I don’t know whether i should be afraid of or in love with Haris Purmono’s work-and I am afraid to ask; but i do, over and over again.”