Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aldous Huxley Rolls in His Grave

Monday will mark what would have been Aldous Huxley's birthday (well... his like 114th). Huxley explored the boundaries of fiction and nonfiction alike over his amazing and proficient career. Huxley was a scientist but when a condition in his early twenties left him blind for a few years, he turned to writing. Huxley infamously penned Brave New World in 1932, which is what's really always blown my mind since I read it as a teenager. This book which deals with a controlled society and pharmaceuticals and book banning, was sooooo far ahead of it's time.

For my Cult of Personality exhibit at MIR Gallery in Nashville this past December, I illustrated some of my favorite authors. Huxley of course made the cut. Many of the elements of this illustration center around the visionary side of Huxley's work (via the use of mescaline.) The central theme, however, is the concept of him rolling in his grave at his prophesies (really urgent warnings in the form of fiction) taking hold of our world today. Behavior-altering medications are common-place and many societies are facing constant stifling of their freedoms of speech and expression (even in the U.S., there is now twittercide where people are losing their jobs based on tweets they made or blogs they wrote on their own time.) Huxley was one of the most unique voices and minds of the past century. He brought to the forefront of the arts world many issues which effect us today including mood-controlling mediation, the role of government in spiritual freedom, and our cognitive liberties.






12 comments:

  1. If everyone smoked weed or lsd - the world would be without violence or wars.

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    1. If everyone smoked LSD, that would be giant waste of LSD.

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    2. The More You Know Anonymous- lmfao. Yes kids, please don't smoke your psychedelics.

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  2. The world would certainly be a more open-minded place...

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  3. You are right that Brave New World was well ahead of its time. It is interesting, reading modern dystopia and then reading Brave New World. So many of the themes I see in dystopia now have been explored in Brave New World.

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  4. Island is also a very interesting read and goes along the same lines. It's his best in my opinion... and his last novel.

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  5. Outstanding. Love your artwork! Thanks for reading and for the comment on my blog. I'll be visiting yours now:)

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  6. Great blog Brandt!

    You're very creative.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and commenting on my Huxley post.

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    1. I appreciate the return Dave! Keep up the great work.

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  7. When he revisited A Brave New World later in his life, even he was surprised at how fast the novel was becoming true. It's only picked up speed from there. Nice art, Brandt, great subject!

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    1. Thanks Mike! Indeed, Huxley realized the prophesies of his own dystopian creation coming to fruition in his own lifetime. "Revisited" is a great read also.

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