The Answers Are Black and White

by Jody Godoy '05

For a week in mid-March, APU's Art Gallery West was transformed into one student's exploration of existence and meaning in today's world. In Ghosts and Empty Sockets, Art and English major Jared Mees '03, delved into questions of the human condition, and offered provocative portrayals of how American society handles them.

Mees wanted to "tap into the social unconscious of America," asking "What makes us tick?" It was also his goal to bring viewers back to the deep issues from which society distracts people, and suggest that the "thousands of answers" be set aside in order for the questions to be seen clearly. "We must either attempt to answer the questions, or forget them," he said.

Mees presented his weighty content with a distinctive style. Part of his technique was to include de-contextualized quotations from contemporary musicians and novelists. Dave Nuss '02 called the exhibit a "unique visual synthesis of words and images compounding a passion for the arts and literature in one broad, bold stroke."

Another feature of the exhibit was that every piece was done in black and white. Mees explained that he used these colors in order to evoke thoughts of duality. The pieces deal with subjects that make him feel peaceful, and those that make him feel uncomfortable.

For Mees, facing both sides of the black and white world is a part of struggling with and attempting to answer the big questions. Dealing with these questions means "to embrace both feeble frame and unwilling mind in order to understand the true meaning of existence," he wrote. Mees said that he tries in his art to reconcile dualities of life and death, salvation and damnation, and see the world according to the fact that "Christ asked us to embrace duality."

For more information on Jared Mees' art, please contact him at [email protected].