Whitehot Magazine

Every Soul is a Performance: Mystifarian Papo Colo’s Seduction of Monsters

Papo Colo, Almas, Ink on black and white photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

By JOHN DRURY with PAPO COLO, November 2020

Searching for sense in the senseless; a compendium of words, fragments of thought and implied pleas for sanity reveals media no longer social but, the place uncensored sobriety – diary, of sorts, the unraveling of reason. There is always hope, and yet every instant is new. Memory is magic. Galleries are just to see friends.

From both without and within, the deviant might pursue in the cluttered spaces of wooded retreat and the fleshed viscosities of congested urban hives, a proof of being. Peculiarities the result pandemic, the future is a change (or charge) of presentation; knock-off bags and counterfeit citizenry gather at meeting of curb and gutter, to congeal in terror and doubt. Economies soldier stands at every corner. The window is contact to the world…showing what, where, when happened with, the change of lighting…the climate talks. Someone took the tree, and the night away.

It is in the fear of monsters, that perceived place of danger beneath beds and overhead, that guides course. It is in the abstract compositions of fever and fantasy – pursuit mirage; contradictions, a reality agitated – beasts vaporous, and carried on air. Clouds seeking transparency are no longer white, they converge with the presence of color. There is no normal - no delight in shadowed retreat. Which came first, the digging of moats or the counting of votes?

One might make an art of the exit, transported by the melody of fate. Religion will never end…we need the absurdity. The alter is the experiment, and for some, death is coming early. Others insist that life is their property, only to extend the agony.

Absence reveals bone; danger so often invisible. There is in darkness, divinity. And in our reflection, the carnival of madness. Horizons are imprecise, once you get there they move far away again; the adventure is one of anguish. Nights are becoming more obscure, days insignificant and minutes, hours and seconds collapse. One survives the future, by understanding the darkness. The mind is not where the eye is. Illuminate the nature of your wisdom and carry me away. 

The smell, of fancy, is the appearance of deafening clamor. 

There will be blood.

Beware the chameleon, the name-changer, the bow-tied.

Look not to the Shepard, for understanding the flock.

See guilt, and fear in the finger-pointer.

Your search at mountaintop, reveals only your fear of the gutter.

Redemption is not in Oahu, or Taos but, Poughkeepsie and Newark.

Embellishment is hollow.

Worship divides.

Retreat is not progress. WM


John Drury

John Drury is a multi-media artist, published author, independent curator and instructor. Drury holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design (1983) and a Master of Fine Art Degree in sculpture (1985; including a minor in painting), from Ohio State University. John is the father of two teenagers, living in New York City since 1989 and has received the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Award for his work in sculpture.

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