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Artist Statement

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What is JABS?

Artist Statement

There is perhaps nothing more frightening to a human than the knowledge that one day they will die. Yet, armed with this knowledge, many humans walk through life already dead; content to waste their life either on fruitless pursuits, or no pursuit whatsoever. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Dance of Death served as a reminder of life's brevity. Today, those reminders are few and people seem to deny that death even happens.

Death is a great mystery; you can experience it only once, religions are based on it, and it is promised to every one. A large part of my work focuses on my fascination with the life—death struggle. Through my explorations I seek to not only enlighten myself about the mechanism of death, but to also send a wake up call to the viewer: “Do something with your life!”

In addition:

I have always been fascinated with the notion that, when we die, a shrouded, scythe wielding, skeletal figure shows up to claim us. The Grim Reaper is a symbol onto which society attaches its fear of death. But, people in Western society are so terrified of the topic of dying that individuals generally avoid open, direct discussions. In turn, death symbols have been pushed to the background, presented only at Halloween when it is safe and humorous. But, the use of symbols like the Grim Reaper are important to help us accept death as an integral part of life. When we begin to accept death symbols into our psyche, our fears of dying begin to be addressed. My work asks the viewer to consider their mortality, for only then can they truly begin living.

 

Memento mori.

 

former Brian Seefeldt of Marinette Wisconsin