What is delusionism? 

I came up with the word delusionism years ago on a road trip with my daughter where we were trying to come up with a word that we felt really outlined the impact that I wanted to give my viewers with my art. I didn’t feel that any existing historical art movements like surrealism or rococo or expressionism really captured what I do.  I love and respect fine art of all eras and types, but I didn’t “find my niche”, so to speak. 

Humor has been of major importance to me and who I am and I feel that the art world has been lacking it to a large degree. Art has become so serious. It’s become overly political and even socially divisive. And if not the art itself, the industry.  And that’s fine if that’s what you want to do as an artist, but I’ve always found the most cutting-edge art to be pushing boundaries of some sort, not riding the ass-end of some bell curve news-information-trend.  When everybody is doing it, it’s not really interesting anymore.  Andy Warhol screen printing a soup can or Basquiat creating attention-dominating work that you can’t look away from or George Condo’s crazy characters or John Singer Sargent’s color-pouring liveliness,  these masters of art were not pressing political buttons for effect or using pure shock-values for sales. They were the movement. They weren’t words that get catalogued in some art book. They cannot be truly mimicked or turned into a trend.  I’ve always respected those types of artists and have used their example to examine myself and what is it that I can put into a piece of that is simply, me.  I like getting people together. I like getting people to laugh. I like people coming around and having fun and having good conversation and enjoying the time, not arguing over media-driven divisive soundbites.  I love escaping the mundane everyday reality with friends. Humor achieves that. 

It’s a rare occasion that I’ve ever seen anybody laugh at an art museum or an art show. Some artists would be mortified if a crowd of people came into their gallery space and pointed and snickered and giggled as the reaction to their work. However, that’s the reaction that I love the most.  My talent or skill as an artist, my technique, would be useless, as with any artist I suppose, without the impact that I want to create on my viewers. The worst possible thing I think I would hear from any perspective buyer of my art would be, “I wonder how these colors would look with my couch and my rug?” 

English Dictionary and Delusionism

So, delusionism.  When you read the origin of the word delusion the English Dictionary, the word has come up over time to mean “seeing something that’s a false idea caused by some sort of mental illness”  and “some falsely or delusively believed idea.”  It comes from Latin dēlūdere to play false, equivalent to dē-de- + lūdere to play. In studying the word origin, I felt that I’d found a word that closely embodied my artistic values, my desired impacts. 

What’s the real delusion? That we’ve all become “adults” and gotten all serious and we sit around and worry about our problems and money concerns and jobs.  When I really get to know someone, they’re all still the same kids they were decades ago. When you hang out with your childhood friends as adults you all know you’re full of shit (a delusion synonym). Faking it all. Delusionists. New clothes, older bodies, jobs, all fake.  Decision by decision, we’ve all adopted this façade of being “adult “.  I, as I think most people really do even if they don’t talk about it, want to laugh until they cry, until their stomach hurts. What are we all doing? We’re “playing false” as the Latins said.  That’s the real delusion delusionism .

Inquiries