Yearning for Zion, Ricky Allman (Modernism/Modern Cubist 2006)

Posted by Benji, Michael, and Weston , Wednesday, May 19, 2010 6:15 AM

The interesting thing about modern art is that it can be interpreted in a nearly infinite amount of ways. Ricky Allman... No adjective exists in the English language to describe this man. He is a painter, yes, more specifically a modern art painter, but he includes characteristics most prominently from the Cubism movement, in his own works (which Weston says he can do too). However, Allman’s works are quite equally indescribable with adjectives. Especially the piece which he calls “Yearning for Zion.” Although at first glance, this work of art may not appear to be connected with any sort of end to anything, you know it may have something to do with the end of the world when the artist specifically calls himself a painter of exclusively, the apocalypse. Then, you may or may not begin to wonder what shenanigans this man may be up to. Nonetheless, Allman is in fact mocking the very society we know and are so familiar with. However, he brings up a valid point within his painting through his hidden antics. He proves his point by adding objects that resemble characteristic of modern society placed in absurd situations such as his use of many boxes near the bottom right hand corner that look like an escalator. The escalator also looks like it is heading for the top of a mountain. Today, some concern has arisen over how people are only becoming more lazy and over reliant on technology. In his painting, Allman exaggerates this laziness by pointing out how technology is being implemented to overcome a task that requires a bit of effort. In the past, climbing mountains used to be a challenge, a test of endurance, and a great form of exercise. In recent years, however, people have discovered and taken advantage of ways to eliminate much of the effort needed to accomplish the task. Yet such laziness also appears in much simpler tasks, such as electric can openers, when the manual ones worked just fine. In addition, next to the elevator-like structure, Allman paints another structure somewhat resembling a gaming system. Now, quite a few controversies have risen over the problems that video gaming consoles present, and we feel that Allman wanted to point this out. In the background, there appears to be an erupting volcano of some sort, suggesting an imminent end to the odd scene the artist has painted. Allman, is in fact, a skeptic of today's society, and through his artwork, he ingeniously displays how our flaws will eventually lead to our demise.

Another interpretation of Allman's painting may be his attempted portrayal of the subject of mass hype in recent years: December 21, 2012. For those of you who don't know, in which case, we may be forced to assume that you have been living in a hole for the past ten years, December 21, 2012 is the end of the Mayan long count calendar. According to pop culture, the Mayans actually predicted the end of the world, and numerous screenplays and literature have been written over such an idea.

It is evident that the apocalypse has evolved from its confinements in it's historical context. From ancient mythology to religion, the idea of the apocalypse has traveled through time, and has emerged as an entire subculture in the society of the modern day.

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