Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
FOLLOW US @WORKUNTITLED_MAG
Acrylic and Wax on Canvas
18 x 24 in.
RAMOS: i haven't done my prayer and meditation and my head is super loopy
ASH: no worries take all the time you need
RAMOS: awesome thank you...
..............................................20 minutes later...............................................
maybe the conversation started appropriately
let's talk about the the cathedrals
what does your spiritual practice look like these days?
ASH: you are absolutely right :
"i haven't done my prayer and meditation and my head is super loopy" Grand!
My spiritual practice... a search for the Creator
RAMOS: what does that look like?
ASH: reading quite a bit (scriptures)... researching about religious practices and events of ancient Israel.
Reading the bible and focusing mostly on the major historical events of the centuries with the desire to learn as much as possible in order to apply these teachings to my day to day life hence strengthening my connection with the Creator
RAMOS: through reading you are able to connect or to adjust in order to connect to Source
ASH: reading, applying the teachings to the way I act on an every day basis, meditating, and praying... asking for enlightenment
RAMOS: so prayer and meditation are part of it... that was not mentioned in your description above
ASH: yes correct... along with going to church and bible study
RAMOS: got it... so there's also a fellowship or community that helps you stay connected
Along with the mercy of the creator that strengthens, consoles, and teaches as one searches for enlightenment
RAMOS: "mercy of the creator" - compassion and kindness... is that needed?
ASH: yeah, triggered when one genuinely wishes to learn about his path
My artwork reflects part of that journey
RAMOS: is "the path" not always there and our willingness simply opens the door within ourselves?
ASH: I started the idolatry series a few years back as commentary on the various sets of questioning that were going through my head as I searched for God
They are all visual manifestations of questions like...
RAMOS: got it... i thought it was referring to the saints you showed me at your studio
The Untitled Ones IV, 2008
Silver Gelatin Print
12 x 18 in.
ASH: Yes, those deities were part of it as well. I began by making idols myself
trying to understand the types of qualities that these idols had to have in order to feel divine
along with attributes
it was interesting because as I created them I was being part of a ritual (creation of idols)... but deep inside I knew they actually had no power
so I sort of placed on a visual pedestal yet I always found myself revealing their true nature to the beholder...
An example of that is "Zuu" a painting following the ideas behind prayer cards where the saint or deity's image is on the front and on the back you have a prayer that
sort of explains what said saint stands for.
Mixed Media Painting
48 x 60 in.
ASH: Zuu was the visual manifestation of a powerful idea that one fed a lot of energy too.. excessive adoration
and on the back of the painting I wrote what the 2 spirits (ideas) on the painting stood for. One had no mouth ... therefore not being able to speak and the other behind her... had not eyes
RAMOS: let me digest a bit
if i understand prayer correctly... my intentions are directed at energies that have been given names, colors, powers, etc.
these already exist... such as Yemaya or Mother Mary
is Zuu an exiting deity?
or you are creating new ones?
I'm creating new ones... new ones are created for us
or by us... power
money, ourselves, idolizing pop singers
or blind adoration to questionable role models
But rather than pointing fingers, I wanted to ask questions and analyze what I followed
what others follow
RAMOS: are you assuming there aren't already deities taking case of those currencies (fame, talent, fortune...etc)?
maybe not... i'm just wondering
ASH: i don't follow
RAMOS: you are creating a deity for money... right?
RAMOS: ok.. you saying that money is already a deity without a name?
ASH: Yes, many idolize money
RAMOS: that's curious... a deity representing my personal ego
it's tricky... so most deities have power... are powerful
a deity of power an end and not a means to an end
ASH: I think that the believer is the one who gives it power
RAMOS: that's a powerful statement
do you think if no one believed in God there would be no God?
RAMOS: but you think that God is powerful only through the believers?
RAMOS: then is it that God's power is demonstrated through the believers?
ASH: My commentary is towards inanimate objects
RAMOS: inanimate objects that we, as a race, seem to worship
and therefore give power to
but such would have no power otherwise
like Justin Beaver
ASH: Yes. Agreed. Inanimate objects throughout the world and across various religions hold a focal point towards people's way of being
the rituals they perform, the ideologies they follow, the way in which sometimes things are revered and valued
or people are revered and valued
I guess for some... even artwork can be placed i this category
RAMOS: would you say that all of these objects of the world and of the flesh are distractions of the Ego away from God?
ASH: I think moderation is key...
I believe asking questions and analyzing what we follow is essential
its important to see where our energy and devotion is going towards...
is it directed towards things that unify? teach? Things that help us grow? or become more compassionate towards others? more giving? more loving?
RAMOS: yes... i always like to ask, how is this being of service?
as opposed to self-serving
ASH: or are these ideas/people/ we follow creating gaps between us and others?
Service is key... I believe that through art we can make others more self aware
Art aids to shed light on subjects that often go unnoticed