Real Life is Right in Front of Us. Often it isn’t Pretty

Nicholas Sperakis, Mask of Death, 1969, Woodblock print

Nicholas Sperakis, Mask of Death, 1969, Woodblock print

Nicholas Sperakis, Bowery Death Struggle, 1966, Woodblock print

Nicholas Sperakis, Bowery Death Struggle, 1966, Woodblock print

Nicholas Sperakis, Genocidal Furnace, 1967, Woodblock print

Nicholas Sperakis, Genocidal Furnace, 1967, Woodblock print

“I am completely opposed to cruelty, sadism, and brutality. That is why I deal with the kind of material I deal with (ritualized murder, insanity, torture, debasement)…Some people believe that real guts and real blood should be used in art. Some people slay real animals on the stage. That reminds me of the geek in the carnival who bites the head of a live chicken. I am totally opposed to that attitude. It lacks all subtlety and aesthetic value. My work is about people at war with themselves. I’d like to see us win that war but the battles are awesome and it is the battles that I deal with.” – Nicholas Sperakis

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