Lux Paints: Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother (plus a brief discussion on celebrities and fandom)

by Lux

on 07.17.12

This week’s Lux Paints features the lovely and talented Ryan Guldemond, front man of the Canadian indie rock quintet Mother Mother. The band’s fourth studio album, The Sticks, is planned for release in the fall of 2012. Even my least favorite Mother Mother tracks are inarguably better than pretty much anything I have ever heard, so I have high hopes for their fourth LP—possibly too high. If I were anyone else, I might describe the group’s aesthetic as colorful and eclectic, using buzzwords like transcendent, melancholic, or breathtaking to describe their lyrics and intricate harmonies. However, I know the truth about songwriting, and I think that Mother Mother does too. The creative process involved with musical and lyrical composition is largely arbitrary and undirected; any meaning or metaphorical resonance is imposed upon a song after its completion. Because the realm of human experience is so limited and superficial, there is very little for anyone to say through any artistic medium, let alone one as characteristically restrictive as lyrics. To put it bluntly, everything is bullshit; I think the most respectable thing an individual can do as an artist is to acknowledge that. However, the very existence of fandom and the idea of celebrity relies upon people’s unwillingness to do so.

The appeal of celebrity revolves around the general public’s superficial awareness of another individual’s existence. Because the people know essentially nothing of value about a celebrity, the celebrity is elevated to an almost godlike level, shrouded by an aura of mystery and superiority. This social phenomenon is provoked by people’s desire to escape the animalistic reality of human nature, driven by the search for a state of being that is inherently significant. A large portion of everyone’s days are spent eating, sleeping, masturbating, and shitting; this makes most people uncomfortable. If we turn a blind eye to the fact that this is also the case for celebrities, a superhuman existence almost seems attainable.

The existence of fandom also provides a sense of community that gives many people a false impression of greater worth and purpose, allowing them to avoid true self-awareness. By associating oneself with the label of “fan,” an individual is attempting to project some sort of social preconception or characteristic upon himself; his character is dictated by his tastes, not by his true values or beliefs. Often these tastes are developed with little conscious thought, for if a celebrity is godlike and therefore can do no wrong, fans must support all of the celebrity’s choices and endeavors. I, of course, beg to differ. Just because you enjoy what a person does or makes with some portion of his time does not mean that you should or will like the person as an individual—and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Indeed it is essential to form opinions based upon conscious thought in order for any sort of standards to exist. And always remember, everyone shits.

painting of Ryan Guldemond

Watch me art live, Monday through Friday, at Purple Pwny.

The tracks featured in this video are:

Thanks to Ryan Guldemond for providing me with quality music and a face to paint. Thanks also to Chris McKibbin for the reference photo.