Ron Rege explains on his blog:
At the beginning of 2008 – I started to create a series of numbered 4×6” drawings, as an exercise – to start to flesh out ideas for a kind of “science fiction universe” that I’ve been slowly imagining over the last few years – the idea of a “Cartoon Utopia”. So many imagined futuristic “fantasy worlds” seem to be “dystopian” in nature –dark and pessimistic. I thought it would be nice to imagine a “futuristic” fantasy where humanity had progressed in a more positive way…
While spending time as “artist in residence” (thanks to D&Q!) in Montreal this past summer, I decided to create a series of much larger (18×24”) drawings as part of this “Cartoon Utopia” series. I had begun reading a biography of Manly P. Hall – founder of The Philosophical Research Society, and author of the classic Secret Teachings of All Ages. After finding a worn out paperback on Alchemy on the sidewalk in Montreal, I became totally hooked on looking more into ideas related to “Ancient Wisdom”.
These large drawings ended up containing & being inspired by quotes I had come across in books I had been reading. So, this second phase of the drawings shifted from describing aspects of my fictional “Cartoon Utopia” universe – to presenting drawings based on quotations that help me describe the building blocks of my ideas for this “fantasy world”. I think I’ll be working on this phase of the drawings for quite a while. The more things I read – the more curious I become – and I have ideas for many more drawings, both large and small.
The ideas, and history of Alchemy & Hermeticism have really opened up a new way for me to relate to a wide variety of philosophical, religious, and mystical traditions, as well as modern ideas in both science, and the “New Age” movement. Instead of being universally skeptical of everything, it’s helping me see similarities between all the different ways humans have invented to help describe this wonderful fascinating world we find ourselves in. By taking it all kind of lightly, and by creating “cartoon” artwork about all of these ideas – I feel like a bit of a trickster. It’s really fun.
I don’t want to offend anyone who relates to any of these ideas in a serious fashion, but I find by having fun with all of it – I hope to be able to present some really amazing ideas in a lighthearted way that doesn’t scare people away. In a way that draws them in with a spirit of fun and inspiration.