"please don’t worry, when i wake up i’ll be something new"
12x36” 6 color screenprint. open edition. 2014
there is a considerable amount of backstory to this print. its covered rather well in the documentary “Just Like Being There”, but the short of it is this… back in 2005 someone very important to me was killed in a particularly brutal car accident, and i didn’t handle it well. she, a firm believer in reincarnation, had often said that if anything ever happened to her, she would simply come back as something new. this was usually said in a voice halfway between a knowing warning and whimsical Vermont summer youth jibberjabber. possibly dismissed at the time, i found comfort in it after the accident. i began drawing an earlier version of this image a few months later as a means to try to get some of that out of my skull and onto paper, knowing that laboring over something meaningful would help my frazzled head. i made a run of screenprints of the piece which i gave to her mother, family, and friends as a means to remind them of what she had said to us. it helped. it helped me.
in the many years that followed, i brought that print around the world with me, to galleries and poster shows and rock festivals, and in the process met near countless people who found their own comfort in the statement. they had their own losses, their own tragedies, and they connected with the piece in a way that is somewhat indescribable, and many brought it home with them. i saw this play out again and again in front of me as i talked with people, and in my head the print collected more and more meaning. that is to say; when i started this print it was about Grace, and now almost ten years later this print is the collective memories of thousands of people i’ve met or who have written me. I’m endlessly and eternally lucky to have been able to connect with so many people over the years through this piece, it has meant the absolute world to me, and in however small of a way i am so happy people were able to find some comfort in its message.
so over the last few months i decided to redraw it, re-approaching the illustration from scratch. i wanted to revisit the original process and message but also attempt to focus all of that into the piece as well, because its still going, it itself is new. i feel better, ive felt better for a long time.