Monday, March 19, 2012

Ode to Anthony

One of my favourite singers and artists of all times might just be Antony Hegarty. Part of the group Antonty and the Johnsons. There is much to say about this man, his character and persona. Aside from stating the obvious, that his art is coloured by him being queer and sympathetic to transgendered ideas, he is quite the opposite of a simplistic character and artist.

That's probably what I like the most about him.

Perhaps he is mostly recognised by his seminal duet with 80's pop figure Boy George, but although You are my sister is a very beautiful portrayal of family love, the same album that saw that song also had songs about emotional abuse, all layered around deep anti-modernistic themes of spirituality. No wonder he attracted the attention of outsider art promoter and musician David Tibet, who released Anthonys first album through his own record label. This song below is not from that time though, but rather part of one of Hegarty's later albums, where he has matured into a artist of rare emotional impact.

The above video is very much open to interpretation. Not unlike his lyricism. To my eyes it's clearly about death. The time of tragedy and staunch opposition of the inevitable fact. The time where we see a complete absence of comfort. The words are mournful. What comes in the hereafter?

The second video I'd like to include in this very short blog-post is at least is a very strong combination of pagan and Christian imagery. It does however contain some nudity and the dance might be interpreted in a sexual way, which is enough to grant it a 18-year old recommendation by Youtube. If you ask me there is a whole lot of more destructive and violent videos out there that I'd rather not younger audiences see, which makes this danceful portrayal of nudity pale in comparison. I partially believe that the numbing pro-consumer culture is making us afraid the impact of art, the more mundane explanation though is that you can see a woman’s nipples (sort of).

To understand more about this man, one might want to read this interview in The Guardian from 2009. I like how he seems sincere and genuinely upset about what we are doing to the environment. Like we should all be. Judging by our inability to change our way of life into a more green and sustainable way of living, I believe that voices such as his are very much needed in the years to come.

No comments: