CONFIRMATION BIAS.jpg

CONFIRMATION

BIAS

THE WORK OF CHRIS ZACCARIA

 

I have never been more prolific than I was during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Astrologically (I am an Astrologer), my Sun sign is Cancer – so something about being forced to stay in my home also brought about a period of intense introspection. I became interested in Numerology, began working with a Shaman and set out to unpack many of my childhood – and adulthood – demons.
Through this emotional dredging process, I learned that I was still in a deep period of mourning for my last relationship and the coinciding loss of my mother. I also realized that my old habits of externalizing my pain and its causes persisted – and that they were holding my soul back from achieving what it came here to do. Once this was apparent, I realized that I needed to work through these emotions and free myself of these limitations. To do this – and to help others understand what I am going through (sharing intimate details can be a challenge for me, so I use paintings to help me do it) – I decided to start a series right when Covid hit in March 2020.

 

The series, titled, “8, 9, 1” follows the Numerology cycle of nine years. The first painting in the series, “Nail Me One Last Time”, represents the number 8 and was an expression of my frustration over two failed long-term relationships. I needed to kill the Breakup Monster – who is the harbinger of love lost – so that he could never visit me again. In Numerology, 8 is the number of balance and harmony – for me the Breakup Monster came amidst that “balance and harmony” to show me that it was actually not real – and that reality was about to hit – hard. 


Nail Me One Last Time

Acrylic and metal leaf on canvas - 36"x48"

2020

NAIL ME ONE LAST TIME.jpg
 

The next work in the series, “Self-Hatred in the 1990’s” represents 9 in Numerology. Once the Breakup Monster was dead, it became apparent that a lot of my need for love – and the perceived stability of a romantic relationship – stemmed from internal chaos as a child. Growing up as a gay kid gave me a secret that I could not dare share with the world. That secret ate away at me on the inside – making me miserable and at times aggressive. To justify this misery and attitude I blamed my unhappiness on the state of the world – represented by the bombs, bubbles and stylized bodies of the birds. All the while, the bird (Tinitir, who represents me and my rage) was only attacking and destroying himself. When the distractions of the outside world were removed all that was left was a self-hating gay kid with a toxic attitude. I started to really introduce bright colors to juxtapose dark subject matter in this piece – something which I continue to this day. I love the idea of creating a superficially bright and cheery painting that depicts something gloomy. It reminds me of the façade that I put on for the world – pretending that all is well when on the inside a terrible storm is raging.

Self-Hatred in the 1990's

Acrylic on canvas - 36"x48"

2020

SELF HATRED IN THE 1990S.jpg
 

In Numerology, 9 represents an awakening of the soul and the ability to handle hardship with grace. The irony of that message and this painting is deliberate. Although, while I may not have always carried myself with grace through this journey, the end result of the struggle depicted was me mustering up the courage to live a life that is more aligned to my essence. Numerology also operates on a 9-year cycle, so the next work represents 1, or the new beginning.

One is the number of independence and self-determination. In the final piece in this body of work (“The Dawn of a New Beginning?”), I destroyed the old guard to make way for the new. For me, destruction is a powerful creative force – destruction brings a new beginning and an opportunity to rebuild what was destroyed. In this piece, the Party Octopus (who represents my struggle with alcohol and propensity to solve problems by distracting myself by making larger ones) blows up his home city in a desperate attempt to finally be seen. Once I mustered up the courage to come out in year 9, I found myself thrust into a gay community that basically did not know that I existed. Short and not exactly the masculine ideal that so many gay guys lust after, I was always feeling in the shadows and left behind. No matter what I did no one seemed to notice. The Party Octopus takes this frustration out on the world by detonating an atomic bomb – something so dramatic and attention-grabbing that people will have to notice him. The irony is that when you look at the painting the first thing you see is the explosion – not the Party Octopus – a powerful reminder that while destruction is creation – violence in act or words is not always the best means to that ends.

The concept of being unseen is also a theme in both my life and my work and I am currently creating a piece that continues this conversation.

The Dawn of a New Beginning

Acrylic and metal leaf on canvas - 36"x48"

2020

CAN YOU SE ME NOW.jpg
 

The next work that is being shown is called, “Confirmation Bias”. Confirmation Bias is a creature that is made entirely out of eyes and only can exist in the context of the full spectrum of colors. Even though he is all eyes and has access to the full spectrum “of information”, he still only sees what he wants. By the time that 8,9,1 was finished the 2020 election cycle was heating up in the US. At times it felt like each person was so blinded by whatever emotions were driving his decision that he could not see anything else. My personal spiritual journey had been interrupted by a seemingly endless barrage of “news” throwing toxic information in my face. I felt trapped like I could not escape the reality of life. Then the election happened. Then a vaccine came out. At this point I started to really look at what Covid had meant to me, and how it had impacted my life.  


Confirmation Bias

Acrylic and metal leaf on canvas - 48"x48"

2020

CONFIRMATION BIAS.jpg
 

In examining my Covid experience, I realized that I felt out of control for a good part of this crisis. However, I did not let it stop my life – I would meet people outdoors, go to restaurants, went on vacation and to the beach, etc. At the same time, I began incorporating spray paint into my work – and fell in love with the street art in Brooklyn – my new home. While all of this was done in a safe manner, it still provided me with a bit of brightness in this otherwise dark period. That brightness is reflected in my playful depiction of “Hovid-19”, AKA my depiction of the Coronavirus. Against a backdrop of Barbie pink, the malevolent virus comes equipped with a giant dick – because he is here to “fuck the world”. He has 19 eyes and all are fixated on his member (like any good man would be), except for the one that is intensely staring you down – a reminder that he is coming to get you. The eyes are deliberately locked in a blank stare – as the virus comes without thought or consideration for its victims. The colors of the eyes represent the flags of the US and Venezuela, because at times during the Pandemic the political state of both those countries seemed to blend…

Hovid-19

Acrylic on canvas - 48"x48"

2021

hOVID 19.jpg
 

My next body of work is focused on my experience as a short, gay man in the world. I hope to be able to share that with you all as well sometime soon! Thank you for your interest and for any questions or commissions please reach out to Chris@AbusiveRobot.com.

me2.jpg