After a while I started noticing similar patterns in logic between graphic design, and music, poetry and drawing. I could use lyrical tricks in graphic design! This was really my first realization that there is a veiled universal lying underneath. There it was, the idea that the form is universal, with particular content flowing through it giving it its meaning. That discovery, mixed with my insatiable appetite for new discovery lead me on a journey to take little bites out of every thing I could, swish it around in my mouth, savor the flavor like a fine wine, then make decision after decision, choice after choice about what I liked and did not like. If you are a specialist, and you spend your whole life doing one thing, how can you know you would not like something else better? You never tried! How can you know!? Living under this maxim, I wanted to try everything artistic, and pick and choose what I as an individual identified with. The more I knew, the more choices I made, the more I was being who I am. After a while, I started to enjoy pulling out the system in everything. Even at work, in the electronic industry, I became a Process Engineer! I looked at the systems that were in place, and I tried to better them. That is what I love to do in life, not just paint, not just write music or design. I like to draw out systems, compare them, and make the ones I work with aim at the most desirable ends (which is easy), and cleanse my means so I take the most ethical, virtuous and moral route to them (which is difficult), regardless of the time it takes. Unfortunately, the country I live in, The United States, and the people around me are kept at a fever pitch just to survive, so, no one can understand what I do. For the most part, all the areas of my work are judged individually and probably considered by some to be common and unremarkable. But, those who understand this underlying system will be able to see, that the most important work that Thomas Albany is accomplishing in his time is drawing together again all these different specialties that market force has pushed violently into specialization. Do not get me wrong, it is necessary that we are conscious of the separation, but when we know, we should not go on with endless fragmentation in some postmodern schizophrenia, but consciously draw together with valid reasons and clarity that which should necessarily be drawn together with the correct universal form, and the correct content in the right places in that form.
With my paintings and drawings, I stuck to design. I always shied away from symbolism, even before I understood why. It is pretty ridiculous, but I always despised painters or "artists". I thought of them as French men, wearing berets and always trying to do ridiculous things to gain attention, like put a crucifix in a cup of urine, or call a blank room art. I always considered myself a designer. I wanted people to understand clearly, not search for subjective exegesis. That is why there is not much symbolism in my work, I find it pretentious, and actually it belongs in the area of religion, and we must keep things where they belong in order to later consciously draw them together.
Another major theme in my painting and drawing is the battle between abstraction, and articulation. Abstraction gets a bad name, because those who are lazy, but want attention hide in abstraction and subjectivity. This was always repugnant to me. I would rather attempt to articulate something, fail miserably with some beastly and traumatic human form, and be thought a failure than risk nothing and hide in abstraction. Since people hide in abstraction, abstraction itself has an inherently bad name, and people are suspicious of it. The sad thing is, that abstraction itself is totally legit! It is lazy undisciplined people who want attention and hide in it that give abstraction a bad name. I am an abstract artist, I always have been, but I understood that to do abstraction justice, I would first have to learn how to draw articulately, and then go back to abstraction in order for it to be legitimate abstraction. If all you can do is paint abstractly, it seems there is no risk. There is reward, but it lacks discipline. Since I see art as a discipline, like science and music, or architecture I have trouble dealing with strictly abstract artists. You have to show me that you can draw, and you chose abstraction, and I practice what I preach by offering scenes with human forms, mechanical forms, perspective, design, washes, color themes, intellectual themes, and abstraction. That is how I respect abstraction, by letting it be as it is in its place in the entire spectrum, and this is true respect to me, and it is also a risk and reward scenario. When you examine my painting formulas, this is fundamental to understand, and like my other work, this theme carries into my philosophy, my poetry, and also my web design believe it or not.
So, obviously you may notice that I am a science fiction fan. My themes are science fiction because it keeps us looking forward, and it opens up so many different levels of creativity. As far as the artistic economy of the mind, science fiction is like a pot of gold because it allows you to design future clothes, future mechanical functionality, future landscapes, and on and on. It all does not have to be fanciful either. You can tone that down or up, and just keep it a little futuristic and be some pithy subtle bad ass! I have always been tawdry and flashy myself, but it is because my art is a bait to draw people in to a bigger system behind it.
So, let me just end with this: I have come to understand
that an artist is a person. When you look at a piece of art, and you know
nothing about the person, of course the piece itself has its own aesthetic
value, but you miss the back story. What if the artist has no back story,
because they specialized in painting only, or music only or maybe they
draw all these different systems together into just painting itself? How
will you know that what you are seeing is genuine understanding, or just
wonderful living room aesthetics? I guess what I am saying is that life
itself is the art project. Life itself has a quantifiable universal system
at its root, with qualifiable content streaming through. Life itself is
the sculpture and the song. Go ahead, be a specialist, but be a specialist
at Understanding, because while economics and trade may keep you surviving,
that survival is simply to sustain the sentience of this universe and
its conscious gaze back on itself as but another stepping stone to full
realization, and communion in a first cause.