The “Noahism” art movement 2003-2006
December 13, 2010
Noahism was America’s shortest lived, most unknown art movement of the double zeros. Practiced only by one person in near complete isolation from the year 2003 to 2006, Noahism was about absolutely nothing.
Rare vintage Noahism flyer made and hung up around Red Rocks community college in 2004 seen pictured below:
I worked on my illustration, and drawing abilities alone in my apartment every night. I didn’t have a computer, and did everything by hand with whatever art supplies I could buy at my local grocery store. Glitter glue, crayola markers, construction paper- anything that a little kid would need for elementary school was used by me. Walking into my Lakewood apartment in 2004 you’d find scattered all around my floor and on my apartment walls different “art” projects. None showing any sign of an accomplished artist, but of a primal, often hopeless struggle to learn how to draw well. I called this great struggle Noahism. My aspirations were to someday figure out a meaning to my newly created “art movement.” All I had was a name.
packing up my bedroom this evening, getting ready for a move, I found a box of old drawings that I had kept from the Noahism era.
The Library story
One afternoon I brought an armload of paintings to my local library. This library had a wall space of about 6 feet, on which they’d feature local artist’s work every month. I wanted to be on that wall, and I thought I was good enough to be.
A librarian sat down with me inside a little cubicle and looked at my paintings. Looking but not saying anything. I could see it all in her facial expression. I began to understand. There was something wrong with my line. The line that everybody is born with. The one that comes out of your hand when you put pen to paper. Mine expressed an obvious desperation. It was a line leaking my angst and fear. My uncomfortableness.
I first saw who I was in the burrowed brow of that librarian. I didn’t fit in. My work didn’t reflect the calmness of a still life, or a meadow. I couldn’t draw a proper calmness if I tried. She told me the library wall was backed up with artists, but that she’d give me a call when the library could fit me in. I sulked out of there with a new self-awareness. And I never held my breath for that call that never came.
It’s night time and I’m out in the streets. I have a can of spray adhesive and Noahism flyers in a backpack. With shaking hands, I spray the backs of the flyers and quickly press them on to bus stop benches, and metal doors. My heart is racing, and my stride is that of a man who has just murdered his wife and newborn baby. I’m seeking recognition, and other’s who will help define my art movement for me. I imagine a city of people awaking in the morning to find these cryptic images and wondering “what is Noahism?? I must know!” The camera crews, with investigative reporters will come shortly afterwards and pound my door down with questions and fists full of cash. The galleries all over America will call wanting to know when, oh when can they get their Noahism show! The magazines, the fame and recognition. All of it will help me get away from the poverty that has shadowed my entire life. Eventually I run home as fast as my crouched legs can carry me.
The following afternoon, I prove that the criminal will always return to the scene of the crime. I was hoping for sticky notes, inquiring about this new art movement, but istead discovered that most of my flyers had been peeled off, or partly torn, obscuring my message. Within the week, they would be completely gone. I was still alone.
Near the end
My girlfriend was quickly losing interest in me. She, just like her mother didn’t understand what my goals were. Why wasn’t I in college? I didn’t want to admit that I had no real lucrative future, that I probably would fail as a provider someday. And on top of that, that I had no real outstanding talent as an artist. And luckily I didn’t have to admit it verbally. It was written all over everything I produced. She broke up with me and joined the Air Force, and is now married to somebody who likes push-ups more than art.
Noahism couldn’t have survived. It wasn’t meant to be. What is an art movement without the press, word of mouth, or even a definition? There were no art shows. No patrons. No public awareness. There was nothing to explain. There was only a word. A name tag pinned to a stack of painting and drawings, in a small (way over priced) one bedroom apartment, in a nowhere town.
In the end, all Noahism was was a quiet declaration that I was hungry. A whisper that nobody heard.