Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


1 Comment

Art is resistance

It’s always an exciting step when your publisher tells you the cover of your book is finished. Here it is.

Relief Execution Cover final

The release date is October 8th. Pre-order begins on Amazon and Barnes and Noble some time late next week, February 21st. Follow Liquid Ink to keep up with the details, including news about the launch party, scheduled for October.

Here’s what Mikhail Iossel, the founder of the Summer Literary Seminars, and a samizdat writer born in the USSR, had to say after reading it:

This short text packs a powerful punch. A searingly raw exploration of one’s roots, one’s original milieu, one’s upbringing and one’s own conscience. At times difficult to read, it is nonetheless entirely engrossing. Hard to look at yet impossible to look away. A remarkable piece of writing.

From the back cover:

Between the years of 1996-1999, Gint Aras lived a hapless bohemian’s life in Linz, Austria. Decades later, a random conversation with a Polish immigrant in a Chicago coffeehouse provokes a question: why didn’t Aras ever visit Mauthausen, or any of the other holocaust sites close to his former home? The answer compels him to visit the concentration camp in the winter of 2017, bringing with him the baggage of a childhood shaped by his family of Lithuanian WWII refugees. The result is this meditative inquiry, at once lyrical and piercing, on the nature of ethnic identity, the constructs of race and nation, and the lasting consequences of collective trauma. 

Fussweg


Brilliant Lithuanian street art

All art is political. All art contains truth, although some art is more true that other art. This is about the truest works of art I’ve ever encountered, and it’s from Vilnius, on the wall of Keulė Rūkė BBQ, where I will most certainly be dining next week.

5Q3OyuA

Photo originally discovered at Imgur, posted by gintrux24.


1 Comment

The world’s greatest living painter: Šarūnas Sauka

Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.” -Banksy

I’m thinking of begging for money, opening up a Go Fund Me page or something to be able to make it to Vilnius before March 6th when the following exhibit will end. Here are a few of the milder images:

ImageGen.ashx

Image from Nacionalinė Dailės Galerija

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 12.10.35 PM

Image from delfi.lt

I first encountered the paintings and visual art of Šarūnas Sauka while wandering the streets of Vilnius in 2006. I walked past a small gallery with a modest glass door and was struck by a portrait of a woman that seemed to recall the work of Ivan Albright, another of my favorites. When I went inside, I was completely transfixed. The gallery contained only a few paintings by Sauka, but each one slaughtered me. It was the kind of painting I had waited my whole life to discover.

If you’ve never seen his art before, be warned: he’s not Monet. I feel his work is more intense than Egon Schiele’s or even Joel Peter Witkin’s. This video presentation of the exhibit will give you more than a solid introduction. That it’s set to the music of Massive Attack only confirms all the feelings of synchronicity I sense whenever I engage the art of Sauka.

If anyone would like to donate a few dollars to send me out to Vilnius before March so that I might write a long essay about why his work should be required in all the world’s high schools, please PayPal me.


Leave a comment

Progressive, compassionate education reform

Those of us interested in serious education reform so often bump up against intense opposition, enough to make us feel there’s little we can do as educators or citizens. Thankfully, some people are not left discouraged but take action.

Introducing, The Chicago Wisdom Project and founder Theodore Richards who is also a writer and activist. My conversation with him in a Chicago tapas joint inspired me to profile his mindful and creative approach to educating at risk youth in this week’s True Community, my weekly column about men and education. I hope you’ll check it out and share. This provocative project, which teaches permaculture and art education, deserves wider attention. I feel it’s a model for serious education reform, particularly for inner city schools and urban community colleges.

From the article:

The creative process, of course, is natural. It is not an artifice we impose on ourselves. To create, one must allow ideas to come, let them take their course as we also guide them. Creative ideas grow. Sometimes they’ll be attacked by weeds or insects. They’ll dry up in the sun or get washed away. People will taste them and like or hate them. They are born, ripen, rot and die, yet they are never “finished” completely; they lead to other ideas in endless cycles. The most valuable lesson of exploring one’s creativity, especially for a young person, is that we wish to perfect things but can never be perfect. Creating—cultural participation vs. cultural consumption—is a process. Its purpose is to journey, not to arrive.

Click here for the full article.

Wisdom Project