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Chuck Agro

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Stinky Zen and other diversions - SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Northern California, the place I call home, has more spiritual workshops per capita than anywhere else on Earth. On a given weekend, you can choose from yoga retreats, meditation classes, astrology intensives and a hundred other adventures in woo-woo. Grizzled veterans of the scene have a phrase to describe the attitude of workshop leaders who are overly proud of how enlightened they are--who ooze a pretentious solemnity that belies the divine grace they're supposedly championing. The term is ‘stinky Zen.’ It's a perfect way to convey the fact that humorless self-importance can sabotage even the finest ideals. Be on the alert for this stench,
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Sagittarius--not only in New Age types, but in everyone else, too. I nominate you to be the earthy whistleblower who makes sure that all the deep truths stay fun and funny. - Free Will astrology – Rob Brezsny, The Village Voice, 2/26/2004
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On February 26th, while working on the paintings that are my current body of work, I happened to read my horoscope. The phrase ‘Stinky Zen’ tied together perfectly the unnamed themes and ideas that I had been developing in my paintings and something about the way it sounded amused me. I find a perverse entertainment in the outward signs of individuals who are grave, earnest, humorless, apathetic, arrogant, ignorant, self-important, gluttonous, and all the other wonderful traits that we use to hide our fears and to protect ourselves. I recognize these traits because I, like every other person, experience these weaknesses or lacks of faith, and I, like most other people, work hard to contain them. Now I had a name for it that I could laugh at as well. These caricatures of identity become playtime for caricatures of painting. The personality of the caricature becomes the playing field for the formal elements of color, process, and technique. The objective is to capture a vibration or buzz that defines the hypnotized quality of the narrative. It is this push and pull between high finish and low, often self-deprecating humor, this caricature of form, process, and content, that I see as a type of meta-painting in response to both painting and to the world we live in.
The paintings have become my way of accepting, creating and finding joy in the act of making. I know a painting is complete when it makes me look and smile at the same time. I know a painting is finished when I recognize myself in it. - Chuck Agro, 2004.
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IMAGE DESCRIPTION : 1. - The happy man, 2004, 24x24 in, enamel on panel. 2. - Hypnotized, 2004, 16 x 12 in enamel on panel. 3. - The inappropriate joke, 2004, 24 x 24 in enamel on panel. 4. - Nervous Norvis, 2004, 12 x 12 in, enamel on panel. 5. - Man with a strong opinion, 2004, 60 x 60 in, enamel on panel. 6. - The Sugar eater, 2004, 12x12 in, enamel on panel.
Chuck Agro
New York, NY
New York
North America

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Chuck Agro
Earl McGrath Gallery
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