DEAR DEAD DAYS
A History Of All My Dead Pets
November 4th 2022
The Last Show at the legendary AFRU/ EGG/ Launch Pad space!
Sin City Ramblers
The Saloon Ensemble
From the Artist, BEN MILAM:
I have always been a visually oriented person, drawing and obsessed with comics. Robert Crumb and early Zap comics, as well as Heavy Metal magazine were some of my early obsessions as well as illustrations by Gorey and Mucha. I studied painting and Art History at Bard college and after graduating became more into illustration and the idea of telling my own stories this way through comics. I found truth to be stranger than fiction and more alluring. I moved to Portland in 2000 and began to work at the Saturday Market selling my sculpture and art there. It was fascinating to interact with so many people there, and the stories that flowed out of my experience became small comics in a Zine I started called Market Tales. I think drawing things that were disturbing or hard to understand (often dark) helped me process them. I use the medium to let myself make sense of a chaotic, often brutal world. It gives me closure when there is none offered otherwise.
During Covid Lockdown it was a way to stay sane and busy, working my way through the memories I couldn’t make peace with. It became my therapy. And while drawing I get to go back in time and feel those things that I sometimes was too traumatized and numb, to feel. Dear dead days was a comic I started almost 20 years ago and re-drew recently. While doing this I had memories (visual flashes) of things buried and long forgotten. It let me say goodbye to those creatures that were family to me.
The Egg was started by Me and a few friends 15 years ago. We almost called it YUM (Your Urban Market) with the idea that it could be a retail space as well as an incubator for artists, but the Egg stuck. It was a hub of community and support, where we could also throw great parties and occasional art sales. It became a place of dance, and music as well as art, with Launch Pad and later Afru art galleries. March Fourth marching band has called it home all this time, as well as countless makers, artists and performers. It’s ending is sad for me. Another spark being snuffed out. It represents how this town is changing from a place that cultivated art to something different and inhospitable. Hopefully it is merely a temporary set back and more like it will come.
AFRU Art Openings are free community events.
The show will be featured all month long during gallery hours.
Regular gallery hours: