Monday, May 24, 2010

Schrodinger's Karabao

My art show at I.P. Coffee is still up for those who are interested in seeing my latest pieces. Email me at if you have any questions.

The week before last I typed up an artist statement basically explaining to those who were interested, where the notion for the show and its title "Before the Storm, After the Fire" came from.

In explaining myself, I ended up using the old Quantum Physics paradox/experiment famously known as "Schrodinger's Cat." Except my version, as you'll read in the first paragraph, is localized to become "Schrodinger's Karabao." I would have given this a completely different name, like "Tun Sakati's Karabao," but since most people already have no idea what this means, I decided not to make it even more obscure.


Michael Lujan Bevacqua - Artist’s Statement

Put fabot, imahina na guaha un kuåto, ya gaige gi este na kuåto, un potta, un karabao yan un makina. Un baba i petta yan un chule’ halom i makina. Annai humalom hao, la’la’la’ i karabao ya maolek ha’ gui’. I makina un pega gi i satge gi fi’on-ña, un bomban tinatse. Un ora pat un diha (ti tungo’on), u la’la’ ayu na makina ya u tatse (ya siempre u puno’) i karabao. Achokka’ Hågu bumitatanga ayu guatu, tåya’ tiningo’-mu put ngai’an u mana’la’la’.

Gigon un huchom ayu na petta, i hiniyongña gof interesao. Kontat ki mahuhuchom ha’ ayu na potta. Matai yan la’la’la’ ayu na karabao. Siña esta matai, yan siña la’la’la’ ha’ achagigu.

The above paragraph is my Chamorro version of the quantum physics paradox known as Schrodinger’s Cat. In it, a hypothetical cat is placed in a box with some sort of poison which will be released at an unknown future point. When the box is closed with the cat and the poison device, so long as the box remains closed, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time.

This show is full of monotypes, which is a certain form of art which exemplifies very well the difficult truth in Schrodinger’s experiment. A monotype is created by printing a painting. You first paint your image onto a piece of glass, and then once it is ready, you place a sheet of paper over it and then apply pressure until the painting is reborn on the paper. The bonus to this technique is that the amount of pressure applied and the consistency of the paint all affect how the painting will be reborn and can lead to incredible effects which would be very difficult otherwise to create. The drawback is that, all the work you put into creating that initial image, may be for nothing, since if your paint is too dry, too wet, or you apply too little or too much pressure, it could become a smeared, ugly mess.

For me, all monotypes are born through that process of existing before a storm, but after a fire. At the half way point in a piece’s journey, they have just endured the violent forming of their initial image, and then await the chaotic and unknown process which will transfer them to paper. They inhabit that anxious and uncertain moment where they, like Schrodinger’s poor cat, could be vibrant and alive, or could be already dead, but we simply don’t know it.

If you are interested in purchasing any artwork in this show, or learning more about the artist, you can contact me at:


Yvonne said...

The exhibit was quite enjoyable! The more island-themed section is what particularly interested me. I'm glad I was able to purchase a piece and finally bump into you! Art becomes so much more personal when you understand the meaning behind it or meet the artist in person.

Thank you for continuing to keep the Chamorro culture alive through your words and art.

Best wishes to you and your family! Your daughter is so adorable!

Michael Lujan Bevacqua said...

Hafa Adai Yvonne, si yu'us ma'ase ta'lo for enjoying the exhibit and buying a painting. It was nice finalyl meeting you as well. Be sure to get in touch with me in a month or two so I can get your painting to you.

As we talked about earlier, if you're ever interested in organizing something for artists locally, just let me know.


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