Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Seth's birthday

Today is Seth's birthday: Thursday July 22. He would be 38.

The great illustrator Barry Moser (a hero of mine, I am not sure Seth knew his work) took on the project of putting together a glorious illustrated Bible. He said in a lecture he gave about this work:

"Don Quixote said that if we wish to travel and avoid the fatigue, expense, suffering, and inconveniences of things like heat & cold & hunger & thirst & insects, we should sit comfortably by our firesides and travel by maps."
The description of the lecture goes on: "When he came to it Moser was an older, work-callused journeyman and as such he did not venture into certainty or absolutism. He ventured into uncertainty— and into self. He did not have a map. He traveled in the cold much of the time, and often on very thin ice. He was, as he says, 'uncomfortable, uncertain, and unarmed'."

Illustration at its best is opening oneself up to the discomfort, uncertainty, and nakedness of reaching inside to try & locate the images, the format that will bring out the truth that is inside each story. Seth traveled the same road as Mr. Moser did. He reached into those often avoided places inside to find what was necessary for each story. He drew each story as true as possible. Each one required a different style, a different tone. Seth was willing to pour himself into the work, and come up with, not what people expected, but something alive.

It was all about Life. Seth was never content to do what was easy. He threw himself into life as he did into his work, eyes and heart open to see and hear, always putting the most into the moment at hand. I think this film of Joe Eigo, stuntman and gymnast extraordinaire, which I found on Seth's hard drive, is a fitting gift from Seth to his family, friends, and fans on his birthday. What he does is a kind of physical metaphor for what I think real Life looked like to Seth: joyful, uncommon, full of surprises, the result of many hours of hard work, practice, and full attention to what you are doing. To Life!!
Happy Seth's birthday all!


j_ay said...

Happy Birthday Seth, we miss you!

Frans Boukas said...

Happy Birthday!!