Real Hallucinations: George Redhawk on Metamorphic Art, Metaphysics, and Impact.

I love George Redhawk's work. The artist has been turning heads and inspiring the current generation of creatives with his mesmerizing imagery. 

George’s work attempts to recreate the vivid hallucinations that he experiences as a result of Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), a disease that is common amongst patients with partial or severe blindness.

Using software to aid the visually impaired, George is able to apply fluid-like, vacillations onto preexisting images to create something that is truly awe-inspiring. His brand of unique motion art (now coined the “Redhawk Effect” by the artistic community) has helped to pique the interest of aspiring visionaries.

George’s signature style has led to his meteoric (and celebrated) rise within the art world.

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Prox: What keeps you going these days? What does art and creation do for you on a deeper level?

George: The primary thing which motivates me is my love of art, but there are many things which continue to push me. Defiance against the limits of my disability, my acceptance and desire to take on a good challenge, my desire to express to my parents, family, and wife that I am going to be "Okay" and that I am "still in the fight".

On a deeper level, my continued success and ability to progress reaffirms to me in my faith in The Creator and humbles me that I should be so blessed. People say that I inspire them and look upon me as an inspiration... This is not something which I readily embrace. I may be a part of that story, but I am only following a path that has been laid before me by something much greater than myself.

Prox: I asked you this in our previous interview but considering it has been quite some time i’m curious. How has your internal dialogue and outlook shifted since your initial diagnosis with CBS?

George: Unlike many in the visually impaired/blind community I never doubted my mental stability when I began to experience CBS. Although no one had told me that it could be a "side effect" of my profound loss of sight, I immediately associated it to the disconnect and faulty data that my brain was receiving. As my loss of sight has progressed, the effects have as well. This has had the emotional impact of increasing my awareness of living in an "altered state of reality" and being disconnected from the "real world" as others know it. It has caused me to rely on my other senses in order to function and an extreme dependence and bond with my service dog.

Prox: What typically dictates the type of art you gravitate towards for both leisure and applying your creative spin?

George: I like to find art that invokes an emotional response from me... something that I can relate to and expresses my inner emotions which I have difficulty to express vocally. As i look upon the image, my Charles Bonnett Syndrome causes me to "see" the image already in motion, so when I see an image that relays my emotions and triggers the effects of "my vision", it is something I can't wait to reproduce! I try to express the emotional impact of this "disconnect" that I mentioned previously and the attempts to "reconnect" on any level possible.

Prox: A lot of your work flirts with the astral and metaphysical. Do you meditate or use any other visualization techniques? 

George: The subject of astral and metaphysical, and looking for a deeper meaning in life is a constant and integral part of living in an "altered state of reality."

Wondering what is real, what is not real, and what truly defines reality defies the experience of living with CBS, ha ha!

As an example, I could even encounter a family member, and although I can see their shape and shadow, I cannot identify them. But if I were told who it is or recognize their voice, suddenly I can "see" them clearly.

My mind is projecting "vision" to me based upon data I have received just as it would if the data had been sent from my eyes. It is said that "seeing is believing", but in my world it is a constant question of is this "real" or simply an illusion created in my own mind...

Prox: The metamorphic style that you popularized (or even arguably created) has seen widespread recognition and a few copycats here and there. Are you flattered by these developments or are you disappointed in the way people have commandeered this style?

George: Technology is infiltrating every aspect of our daily lives... it is inevitable that techno-art will be a part of that world and I am very excited and proud to have played such a major roll in progression towards this new dimension of expression. The RedHawk Effect (or affect) has caught on in the world and I am excited to see others take my original effect and expand upon it in new creative ways! It is difficult to express the joy and excitement that I, as a member of the blind community, could possibly make such a contribution to the world of visual arts and actually create a new medium that others wish to reproduce and enjoy doing! But they must remember to respect the artists of the original works... some have made it a "free for all" and simply making things move on anything they "find" on the internet simply because it can be made to move. I do not support this practice and sometimes feel that I have "created a monster", lol

Prox: Could you tell us about your current work setup?

George: My current set up is a basic laptop which I connect to a large screen TV via VGA or HDMI cable which helps with making things larger for me to see. Of course, I have tinted glasses (due to light sensitivity issues) which have magnification correction in the lenses, plus I use a head piece with further magnification to assist me as well as magnification features found in every basic computer system. But for my next set up, I am very interested in a 28 inch Surface Pro and i'm dying to experiment with the use of a stylus as opposed to a mouse! I am hopeful that this may lead to further advancement and ease of use to expand upon my creativity. 

Prox: What are some tips you’d give to aspiring artists? How can they begin to make a living from their work and secure high profile clients like you have?

George: Respect, Respect, Respect... Be respectful of the artists of the original work, reach out to them, show your work to them, gain their permission and support BEFORE you post to social medias.

Credibility is critical in the world of art...

I would be nothing if not for the love, friendships, and support I have received from these talented artists and the art community. They are the artists, I am only the animator... I never forget this!

Prox: Any new artists, books, music, or movies/shows you’d like to recommend?

George: I am fortunate to be introduced to talented artists from all over the world. Some well known, others just starting out. But there are a few I'd like to mention that have impressed me who have taken The RedHawk Effect and advanced it to the next level!

1. Dave Letelier, Santiago, Chile

2. Joe Lavery, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

3. Victor Hugo, Portland, Oregon

You may not know these guys today, but watch out ! They have skills :)

Prox: Would you like to share some information on any upcoming releases you have on the horizon?

George: As my work has progressed, as you are probably aware, I have signed with the world renown agency, Next Management New York: Next Artists and I now deal with an entirely different level of clients. As it has evolved to a professional level, there is very little I can disclose with having signed Non-Disclosure Agreements for most of the projects I am involved in these days. But keep posted, there is more to come!!

Prox: Final Thoughts?

George: Video and .Gif art is exactly that... it is art. Art should express, invoke, and release feelings and emotions. It should invoke an emotional response from the viewer. It should be "thought provoking". It should express the human condition and be something that we can relate to on a humanistic level... in essence it should possess a soul and express this from deep within the heart of the artist. Making an image move has become easier but not just for the sake of creating movement... it was born out of a desire to express the challenges of a  man who's life was destroyed by blindness. It's deeper than a toy or a fun app to play with: It is The RedHawk Effect and The World Through My Eyes.

You can follow George and his work on Facebook and Google+

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