hugh’s artist’s statement: “remember who you are”

[UPDATE: Download the high-res poster version here.]

This image to the left you should be seeing a lot of from now on, scattered around the gapingvoid empire. It’s now our official logo.

OK, so why “Remember Who You Are”?

Because it ties up everything I’ve been working on these last few years. First with the cartoons, the prints and the “Cube Grenade” private commissions.

Like I said earlier:

I’m inte­res­ted in how art affects “The Real World”- the work­place, the world of work, the world of busi­ness. That’s what the Cube Gre­nade idea is all about.

My adver­ti­sing buddy, Vinny Warren, grew up in a Roman Catho­lic hou­sehold in Ire­land. He was telling me that his parents would always have a few reli­gious icons han­ging on the wall somewhere. Pic­tu­res of Saints, Mary & Baby Jesus, that kind of thing.

Why? Says Vinny, “To remind us who we were.”

My work has never been about getting the approval of the New York art gallery mafia. My work has always been about “What Really Matters” to people, especially to my peers.

Art that reminds you who you are. Exactly. What applies in Catho­lic hou­seholds also applies in pla­ces of busi­ness. Sha­red Mea­ning. Shared Purpose. Exactly. Social Objects. Exactly.

Secondly, I think there’s an insatiable hunger for it. Not to lose ourselves in the hopeless muddle we call Life, but instead, doing something that matters, making a difference, creating good in the world, creating value. Remembering what’s really important, remembering who we are.

This is not just about Art and cartoons, this is about EVERYTHING we do.

I’ve been saying this to my clients for years- to have a successful brand, personal or otherwise, it can’t just be about you, or even your customers, it has to be about something HIGHER than all of us. A “Purpose-Idea” .

gapingvoid is no exception; neither is your work.

“Remember who you are.” I’ll try to live up to it; I hope TO GOD that you will, too. Amen.

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark