|Homoerotic art lovers, faeries and faery homoerotic art lovers converged on MitchoĂÂ˘Ă˘âÂŹĂ˘âÂ˘s art show opening at Magnet. Pictured: Mitcho, his lover Eric Larson and special friend James Graham. Photo by Rink.
âI have been through some dark and rough terrain, but I have met some amazing and powerful allies on this journey, and they have told me many things,â Mitcho writes about his work and passage towards healing. âIn spite of everything, life is still beautiful.â Magnet is proud to display the inspirational, emotional artworks by Mitcho throughout September. The health and social hub of the Castro held a reception on September 8 to meet the artist and hear his very moving story. He recently left his job of ten years working with homeless queer youth and their allies in San Francisco, and has also earned his certificate as a clinical medical herbalist. He currently lives in his home in Sebastopol, the Shamanastary, with his partner Eric, his parrot Garnet, and many amazing plants and creatures.
âThese visions and journeys are real. They are mine to share. I realize that I often have lived in a different reality than most since I was a child, but these images illustrate my own experiences,â he explained. âLike Tarot cards, they offer rich symbolism for those on the same path of healing in a time of global social dis-ease, war, and warming.â He said he has survived disease, two surgeries, and has been declared officially dead in a hospital but returned to life. âI have survived rape, but my ass still hurts,â he said. Then on a completely different note, he said, âI am tired of an elite few driving my planet into ruins for their greedy desire for wealth and power.â
In his quest to heal and to exorcise the demons, Mitcho returned to using watercolorsâhis first love in art and expression. The paintings are lovely and rich in color, light, and subtle nuances. More than any medium, watercolor is about trusting in the universe, and letting go of having control, he said. Mitcho said he is not able to let go totally, so he also uses pen and inks, and black acrylic for certain special effects and images, such as a night sky. In each painting of this series, Mitcho/man is always portrayed in the nude. Perhaps it is an illustration of the proverb that translates to: We enter this world naked and we leave this world naked. In painting number 9, âThe Destruction of the Temple,â he has used a recurring negative symbol of the American flag, explaining, âOur government scares me. Sucks to be such a conspiracy theorist, but I am there. I worry about the future. Things seem so grim, with our planet changing the way we all will live.â
The underlying symbol in almost all the paintings in his yearlong healing project is the Goddess of Filth. Painting numBER 14, âThe Goddess of Filth,â portrays a sin eater, who will eat your filth so you can go on to a higher plane. Mitcho said when he painted this piece his life was revolving around excrement. âI was feeling quite shitty, so I kept having dreams about the goddess of shit,â he said. He figured this earth mother creature with long flowing black hair and frightening face was probably Mayan or Aztec.Â
At the reception, he told Bay Times a fable about Shiva hearing from other gods and goddesses that a great demon was running amok in the universe, eating everything in its path. âWhat is eaten seemed to be goneâlike it wasnât there anymore at all,â he said. When the demon explained that it was hungry and had to eat, Shiva commanded it to eat itself. The creature gobbled up its feet, legs, arms, torsoâright up to its neckâso only the head remained. It then renamed itselfÂ âLife.â Then Shiva grabbed the disembodied head and hung it on the portal of the world. In Mitchoâs words: âEveryone knows about the portal to this existence, and how when one is about to enter this plane and to be reborn here in this world, one must enter through a very small gate. You must bow and bow low, before Life. One acknowledges then and there the contractual deal one is making with creation to exist here on this Earth.â All of this is interpreted in painting number 5, âThe Gate of Life.â In painting number 1, we see spirituality combining with humor in âJoyful Participation.â A naked man has set down his diary, in which he has written one of his conversations with a spiritual being: âYou are here to joyfully participate in the sorrows of this world.â âThat sounds like a crock of shit to me,â the man replies. âYes, but you agreed to these terms.â âI did?â âYes.â âWhat on earth was I thinking?!â âWe thought it foolish at the time,â she smiles as he bows.
In painting number 6, âThe Fire Ant Queen,â Mitcho meets up with Solenopsis Invicta. âThese ants have an amazingly successful, highly regulated society,â he said, âbut they can be quite violent.â He said her title comes from the Latin name for fire ant. He said in a conversation with the Queen, he discovered that all creatures and humans are invasive but we all have our spot in the universe. For instance, he not only fears the demons, but he also honors them. âI canât take back things that have happened and my own personal history,â he told Bay Times. âI have to honor it, because itâs part of me.â
One of the last pieces painted, number 10, âIn the Kitchen on Noe Street,â reminds those of us who have been to many of Mitchoâs and Ericâs fabulous parties in San Francisco that there are always happier timesâin the past and in the future to come. His cryptic comment: âYou are where you need to be. When you look back, you will see that you are already here.â Come by Magnet and check out Mitchoâs amazing, beautiful, hideous, humorous, frightening, healing pieces on the wall. You might just get healed in the process!