Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Flowering Nose Day--twelve years later

I have been contemplating Seth these past few days.  Someone asked me today if this was a hard day for me, and I had to tell her that it is not.  Seth inspired me: his art, his life, his life as art.  Seth refused fear.  Almost everyone has fears that run a greater or lesser portion of their lives: fear of what other people think; fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of abandonment, fear of pain and suffering, fear of not being loved; name your own...  Seth was not naturally fearless, but he consciously refused to make decisions based on fear.  In some cases his decision to face down his fear added up to recklessness.  It is OK, for example to be afraid to walk on the edge of a rooftop at night in the rain without your glasses.
But he said that the one thing he did not want to say at the end of his life was, "I have missed out on opportunities because of fears."

Seth did not make his art to please other people, and sometimes it didn't.  When he was drawing an iconic figure such as Batman, he drew some images that outraged some fans.
Most especially this one...

...and this one

And some of the things he drew did not make it into the book: the editors took them out:

the little cartoony Batman and Alfred,
as well as the bunny on Alfred's head

Bats and butterflies

skulls with haloes circling about the head
of the deceased
For an artist, or anyone trying to live a life that has meaning, I believe it is essential to recognize the ways that we have kowtowed to people whose values we do not respect, to break away from that, and instead live our life, do our job, according to the brightest light that we see.
I may not have agreed with all of Seth's lights, but the fact that he followed them, and NOT his fears, NOT what Other People wanted is something that is in itself a light to me.

May something of that spirit be a guide to all of the people who love him, and who love him through his art.

Happy Flowering Nose Day!


j_ay said...

Happy Flowering Nose Day indeed!
Thank you Seth..

Jon GlassMan Gardner said...

I can't believe it's been twelve years.....