Artist X
Artist X graduated from Thomas Worthington High School in 1991. He then went on to earn a BFA and MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and The Ohio State University respectively. For the past twelve years he's spent most of his time as a guerrilla city planner and Commons social entrepreneur trying to advance a disruptive innovation that would situate Columbus at the center of a new Arts and Crafts “Renaissance Revival” movement. He's currently shopping around for a lawyer to force the issue and otherwise take the Establishment to task.

1. Describe for our readers the most compelling art piece you have made: Generally

speaking, the most compelling art piece to me is whatever I am working on at any given

point in time. Right now I have about five projects ongoing. The first, started this past

summer, is a fence mural in the King-Lincoln District that deals with the origins of the

so-called “white race.” While that’s on the back burner, due to the weather, I’m working

on a proposal for an organization called Singularity University. Based out of Silicon

Valley, SU is the pet project of futurist Ray Kurzweil, head engineer at Google. The

singularity I’m trying to pitch is how to socially engineer an Arts and Crafts Movement,

to serve as the foundation for a “Green” Industrious Revolution, based in part on my

Commons development models. More conventionally speaking, I’m also working on a

couple of paintings, each measuring roughly 15 square feet. The one painting is a

significant challenge because it’s my first abstract piece. It’s also my first paid

commission, which ups the risk factor quite a bit. The other painting, which is very near

complete, I’ve been working on for about twenty years.

2. Tell us about your best, most successful, or most fulfilling art show: Probably my

most fulfilling art show was my Master’s thesis show at OSU back in 2001. It was also

my fist solo show and represented the culmination of my evolution as an artist up to that

point. As a sort of retrospective, the display helped validate my decision to become an

artist. It also set the stage for many of the themes that still define my oeuvre.

3. If you could work with any other artists, alive or not, who would it be and why? I’m

most interested in working with the artist of the future. For me that is anyone who recognizes the Powers That Need Beheaded need not be highly regarded. The Establishment is a traitor to the times in which we live. It doesn’t give a damn about the rights of the individual, much less the symbol of that sort of rouge civil servant, the artist. Rather, what technocrats really care about is how the arts can be co-opted to serve their authoritative, bourgeois agenda. It’s possible collective action can change this

dysfunctional power dynamic, but artists have to be willing to challenge the wisdom of the Establishment’s authority. If that happens Columbus has a chance to become that Creative Class wonderkind we all know we have the potential to be. Unfortunately, art movements of this nature rarely emerge. Artists first have to see themselves as change agents. Next, they can’t sell themselves short. Too often apathy, which can be construed as a form of class self-satisfaction, or its opposite, poverty mindedness, undermines real solidarity, since the idea of scarcity frightens people away from the bigger picture. In my mind the potential largesse of a critical mass windfall is something worth fighting for.

4. How do you integrate art and politics or social justice issues? Through a dual

process of radical confrontation and behind the scenes guerrilla warfare. In fact, if anyone

is interested, I recently finished a compendium called The Hope Of Audacity which

details my successes and failures in this arena over the past few years, including how I

pressured Mayor Coleman into early retirement. Free downloads of the book are

available at my website In terms of a disclaimer: The

giant sleeps no more.