Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Artistic Escapism

Last week, I went to see a work-in-progress screening of Brett Ingram's new documentary film, Rocaterrania (featuring new music by Sharkquest). This film tells the story of a visionary artist who works as an amazing scientific illustrator by day at the NC Museum of Natural History in Raleigh. Renaldo Kuhler is an eccentric guy (he's about 6'5", kinda loud and wears lederhosen and scarves to work), but I really admire him for his self-confidence and acceptance of his freakiness. And I was just blown away by his illustrations of his imaginary country, Roceterrania. He created this place through drawings and journals during a period of time when he found himself isolated on a ranch out west and little opportunity to socialize with other people. His world was really detailed; Kuhler created a couple hundred characters, a goverment, detailed cities and buildings, and even its own language and alphabet.

Sometimes, I wish that I could find happiness in some sort of creative escapism. The closest that I have come to that is a book of found things from my front yard and this blog. Oh, and my radio show.... if you can count that.

But these artists like Bruce Bickford, Henry Darger, and Renaldo Kuhler seem so content with their lives and their work. I wish I could find that same level of personal acceptance. I sometimes think that if I moved out to a little one stoplight town out in the middle of nowhere, I could find that some sort of peace or happiness... that would be my own Rocaterrania. But then again, I think I might go crazy. Or maybe I'm already crazy.

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