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Meet Abraham Ross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abraham Ross.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I had a bit of a tumultuous childhood, and once I graduated High School I ran from the oppressive conservative small town in which I grew up. After living a bohemian lifestyle for a few years, I majored in art at a state college in Denver, Colorado. My time in college was a struggle. I butted heads with the head of my art department and was nearly kicked out of art school until it was resolved through mediation. The experience left me reeling.

Shortly after graduating from college one of my instructors, the head of the printmaking department killed himself. I had taken several classes of his and he had actually stood up for me during the whole mediation ordeal with the other instructor. He was one of two instructors I had any kind of bond with, and his death threw me for a loop. He was a moderately successful artist, had a loving family, and had a job he enjoyed, but he still couldn’t go on; it made me question the direction of my life.

With that in mind, I pulled away from the art scene, after graduation, and, in search of some security, found a corporate job. I kept one toe in the art world, but only on a very limited basis. Sick of the corporate world and eager for a change I moved to Los Angeles, a few years ago, to concentrate more on my art. I’ve been able to work with some established artists, increase my creative output, and along the way I met someone and married her last year. I love Los Angeles and things are looking up.

Please tell us about your art.
Though I’ve dabbled in other media, my focus is on painting/drawing and photography. The subject matter, for my paintings, alters between focusing on socio-political themes and trying to capture and interpret the emotional energy, in the world surrounding us, within abstracted formats or styles. My photography is attempting to acknowledge the beauty of the world.

My socio-political pieces are, most often, in protest of the hypocritical and unprincipled right-wing conservative moment in the United States. Republicans have long been a favorite subject of mine, and in the last two years, they have validated almost every suspicion I’ve held and criticism I’ve voiced. These works of art are not meant to be a rallying cry but rather a voice of support, among the masses, for those who actively oppose their agenda.

My emotionally inspired abstract work is generally an attempt to explore the humanity. I often struggle to understand people, and these pieces are attempting to convey the confusion I feel and the conflict I see in our society. Sometimes this is through non-objective styles and other times it’s through more surrealist imagery. My hope is that others can feel this in my work and connect with it on some level.

Photography helps to balance out my creative energies with a more positive theme. It’s easy to focus only on the negative and ignore the positive around us. My photographs are a way for me, as an artist, to come up for some fresh air and clear my head without heavy conceptual overtones getting in the way.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I don’t think the artist’s role itself has changed. We are still here to enlighten, entertain, comfort and question the world around us. However, I do think the influence of the artist’s role has changed, and our voices don’t carry as much weight as they once did. It feels like the respect for the craft has changed, and with that comes a change in the attitude towards those who practice that craft. Technology has made some art easier to make and because of this, it feels like there’s a lot more of it today than ever before. If that’s true then the value of the art, and more importantly the artist, will inevitably go down, and with it our influence.

Yes, world events certainly affect my art. It has to when working with socio-political themes. Beyond that, however, I am extremely affected by global events as I believe it affects us all. We can’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening across the world because, in some way, it will affect you back at home. If you have any principles or sense of morality, then you can’t ignore the atrocities occurring every day. It’s even harder to ignore when our own government is part of the problem allowing the separation and abuse of families seeking asylum.

We were supposed to be better than this. My disappointment in our country can’t help but affect my art, and the resulting art may be a cry for justice or an escape from the ugliness of current events. Sometimes both.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
People can see my work on my website, and it also contains the contact information for purchase or commission inquiries. You can follow me on Instagram. I will be part of a group show in downtown Los Angeles this October. I’ll be giving out the details of which on Instagram and my website when the time comes. I’d also like to help any animal abuse charities or non-profits if any are interested.

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