When Things Get Dark

June 11, 2012

I’ve been pounding out the Unsolicited Advice signs and I usually have to come up with four or five bad lines before one sticks, but I’m starting to get to ones that really stick, and I’m noticing that they’re not just “bad” advice, they’re really dark.  I posted the image below on Facebook and it got liked but no matter how you read it, in my eyes, it’s just unrelentingly bleak.  So that leaves me wondering about the nature of transformation in making this text into an image.  Just typing “Don’t give up hope but load the gun anyway” somehow lacks both the grandeur and the urgency of the “public” sign mimicked in the image/performed by the image.

This leads me to think about all of my text work, and it’s all pretty dark, but maybe there’s something about a word or phrase that’s charged but ambiguous that reaches people in a way that didactic or comprehensive language couldn’t, because, maybe, it looks complete without the reading and thinking of the reader/viewer.  I’ve always had an approach to text art more poetic and ambiguous than factual and straightforward though so maybe it’s the unfinished quality that allows some of the darkness of the text to be an easy swallow.


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