“When I was a young skate rat in the wilderness of North Carolina, the nearest cool spot to skate was a really sketchy narrow drainage ditch near Hanes Mall. It was maybe 10 feet wide between a rusty orange pond of stagnant run off water and a 5-10 foot drop to sharp chunks of broken concrete, jutting up from a disgusting pit of red mud. It was truly apocalyptic and extremely dangerous.
That didn’t stop my brother and I from walking a few miles to get there and skating until we were tired. We never got seriously injured at the ditch, but it was an all or nothing prospect. If you wrecked bad there, you were probably dead. The figure in the center represents that fork in the branches of the multiverse where instead of being careful, my lame attempt at a boneless spun into a whirling pentagram of broken limbs. Fate spins a capricious, apparently random wheel.
The apocalyptic setting matched the nuclear brinkmanship that reached a fevered pitch in the mid to late 1980s, and this was a persistent bogeyman while I grew up. The prospect of nuclear annihilation was both a nightmare and a fantasy. Games like Gamma World let us explore the positive potential of genetic mutations, and movies like Cherry 2000 and Damnation Alley were a lot of fun.
It was an intense time to be alive, like the life of a repo man. At the top of the painting hovers a glowing ’64 Malibu, cruising serenely over the chaos. If you can rise above the chaos, the jealous cowards, and society’s arms of control the view is really incredible.”