Some Notes on Shame / by Chris Hall

Christopher Hall, We are Embar(r)assed By You, c 2012

Christopher Hall, We are Embar(r)assed By You, c 2012

Today I am showing some of my drawings in a show at The Arts Exchange in Atlanta.  I do not have the unwavering support of all of my family.  Thinking on this, I wrote a few notes this morning clarifying my stance on my art, which is so much a part of who I am.  I feel a need to justify myself (how sad is that!).  Because the art I am presenting is just a small sample of what I am about,  I also want to have a clear goal in mind with what I am presenting:

The goal of this presentation is not to shock, but to encourage discussion of notions of what deserves to be public and what should be kept in private.  Shame is a destructive force that can lead to self-hate.   At times I think privacy is a sphere of shame that needs to be broken if we are to celebrate who we truly are, and as we celebrate louder, the voices of judgment begin to be silenced.   If offense still persists in the viewer, then perhaps it is important to realize that this attitude actually says a lot more about the viewer than it does the art or even the artist.  The art is just a piece of paper open to interpretation, and the viewer's thoughts and impressions are much more real.  It is also important to realize that these drawings are not a catalog of my wishes and desires.  I'm actually critical of some of the things I depict in my art.  But I also believe in celebrating our flaws instead of pretending they do not exist.  By celebrating our flaws, perhaps one day we can grow beyond them.