"The Synthetic Guardians of Penn Station" by Raul Flores (2018)
Artist statement: Raised and born in Ecuador I found myself tangled up in between pigments, music, mountains, hope and poverty. The nightly cold of the city impulse me to hold on about what to do with my life till at 17, at the opposite side of the continent, things weren’t much different, rather shiner. The unbalanced climate of Jersey, the voices of a schizophrenic York and a confused me kept me unclear, to this day. So I make, creator? God only. I depict emotional inside and altered outsides, among them I still find myself amidst pigments, music, mountains, hope and poverty. The piece reflects a very sensitive state of the mind, commonly grasped among drug users. Drugs have spirits who dwell in their chemical compound, the way and intention which they are ingested transforms them into personalized spiritual beings who are dragged along by their foster parent till the end of his/her life. They guide, abuse, love, hurt, tickle, feed, steal, accompany, inspire, drain and kill their adoptive master, yet they remain together after. During this relationship, the drug abuser/lover develops abilities/disorders such as dream manipulation; lucid dreams, bipolar disorder, cosmic awareness, hive mind; shared mind, memory absorption and manipulation, precognition, thoughts, radio, television and internet broadcasting, clairaudience, clairvoyance, schizophrenia, etc. These are the synthetic fire drug spirits of the Newark Penn Station area, you won’t find them anywhere else in the world, they welcome everybody as long as one surrenders to their charms and participates in their lugubrious games. Period.