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Surreal Paintings by artist Chuck E. Bloom

A Paracosm is a detailed imaginary world frequently born out of the creator’s need to escape an extended period of trauma. A rich history, detailed geography, and even language can all be hallmarks of this alternate universe. A story space in which a new narrative can unfold.

As a queer neurodivergent artist I have struggled to find my footing in a world that my brain is not made for. I feel as if I inhabit the space between the mundane and my fantastical domain, a ghost caught between the physical and the ethereal. The art I create is not simply something I do because I want to and enjoy it. It is something I have to do, and it is often the antithesis of enjoyment. It is how I learned to survive growing up and living in a world my brain was not equipped for. I have been on a decades-long journey in which I have been diagnosed with everything from Borderline Personality Disorder, to most recently, ADHD, Complex-PTSD, and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. Looking back; my childhood was a series of atrocious situations, often perpetrated by those a child should trust most.  It is no wonder I created these eldritch worlds devoid of people, but rich with symbology in fantastical landscapes, ready to host a new story. A better story than the one I was living.

A smoking chimney is evidence of possible habitation, but many people are hidden or missing. I choose not to have them influence my story. These paintings are open books of illustrations without words. There is no right or wrong way to interpret the contents of the paintings. A coffee cup, tree or treehouse, a stained glass window, or an open portal to a forest glen or distant galaxy can mean something different to each viewer. In fact, they can mean different things to me at different times in my life. what they do is create a story space ripe with deeply personal meaning waiting for you to explore and create your own narrative free from judgment – a brief sojourn from the chaos we live with day to day. Populate as you desire. This is my paracosm, my safe space, a subjective world that I have a complex and profound relationship with. It is an alternative universe that is the result of coping with mental illness every day of my life, a place to live another life when existence in the physical world can be unbearable. Enjoy your stay, there are as many tales to take place here as there are eyes to see them.

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of degenerative genetic diseases that affect the retina of the eye. I have several uncles with it…my brother has it…I have it.

In Retinitis Pigmentosa the rods and cones of the eye slowly break down resulting in loss of vision. So far it is progressing slowly, but it limits the amount of time I can spend painting. Especially, when creating the small details that people look for in my work. It is unfortunate, but it puts the pressure of a distinct deadline on my ability to continue doing the only thing I have ever done. No longer can I spend hours hunched over a two-inch painting. Frequent breaks and rest are necessary, slowing an already slow process. I will continue because I have to…for my sanity…

Learn more about his work in the interview we did with him.

xThe Nature of Things 7 x 5 2023.jpg
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