THEN WHAT: Rumble In The Jungle 11.14.19
by Alona Fromberg-Elkayam*
Our greatest self, lives in the dark corners of the soul where there are no places left to hide. In our most trying moments, we either free fall and resign to circumstance or fight to reclaim the best parts of ourselves and live the life we imagine.
Over fifteen years ago, I started a painting called Then What? Unable to answer the question, it rested patiently against the studio wall. Only after losing the love of my life this past year, I approached the canvas. The best parts of myself, optimism and curiosity, were slowly and surely giving way to a cynicism and resignation–emotions I’d never felt before. The canvas would become my battleground. Like Muhammed Ali in the 1974 Rumble In The Jungle fight allowed Foreman to throw countless punches–tiring him out until Ali knocked him down with one punch, I let cynicism and resignation win for a time, while my true nature fortified.
Then, What? is no longer a question. It is a mantra and directive, THEN WHAT. All caps. A daily reminder that we are the author of whatever life we choose. The exhibition was inspired by this single painting, however other paintings and a design collection born along the way are featured today.
When you look out of the airplane window, the view of the world appears tidy, fixed, and clearly defined. The houses neatly aligned with the precise blue circles defining the swimming pools. Yet, on the ground everything is unregulated, a little messy, and constantly changing.
In my paintings, I assemble the floating parts of my world–the decisions and negotiations, to create maps of the mind that help navigate the everyday. I commit to lines and colors, finding solid ground in the world defined on my canvas.
The Design Collection
Far From Timid is a lifestyle brand that develops products for home and fashion from trademarked patterns sourced from my paintings. I officially launched Far From Timid in 2015, combining two prolific movements in American culture: Hip Hop and Midcentury Modern, thus Street Modern. Five percent of our profits are committed to a seed fund for emerging artists.
The name Far From Timid comes from the lyrics of a Biggie Smalls song, “Sky’s The Limit.”
Stay far from timid
Only make moves when your heart’s in it
Live the phrase,
Sky’s the limit.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me.
Music by @Patafunk