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#BLACKLIVESMATTER FRONTLINE ARTISTS
RAFAEL SANTAELLA (FIVEFINGAZ)
Some good alchemy must be in the air mixed with the grit and rubble here in historic Norwalk, because this town has a gift in the creative artist who is reaching out and connecting with people of all walks everywhere in this country and beyond. Born and raised in Norwalk, CT, 5iveFingaz splits his time between there and Chicago. Having been on the receiving end of some timely genuine kindness while attending Norwalk High School some years back, Mr. 5iveFingaz established a scholarship fund where annually selected students at Brien McMahon High School (and soon Norwalk High) will receive scholarship awards based on their “kindness, love, and leadership.” This began initially through him putting his own money in, and it inspired others to join him in donating. 5iveFingaz will not rest without pressing hard to improve others’ lives. It appears that is genuinely his primary motivator. The threatening national climate and the emotional instability many are sharing in common these days has given 5iveFingaz more impetus than ever to sift through the enormous stream of information and paint late into the nights to share and connect with his ever increasing following. He is listening, and sifting through to what really matters. This gallery is convinced that his messages – paintings most often with precise phrases – are providing a new hope and guidance helping people to have something that’s not damaging and worth focusing on. And since he is more often than not giving his works away via scavenger hunts conducted on social media, the coveted art pieces really are his gifts to humanity starting with one person at a time. 5iveFingaz’ alma mater is Sacred Heart University. Uncannily, the gallery happened across an ad for this university in July just as we had begun to know and work with the man during the “Summer Of Love” pop-up that was another collaborative fundraiser benefiting a neighbor gallery. The ad read like a description of 5iveFingaz: “Courageous leadership, passionate service to others. Creative, innovative thinking. A willingness to take risks, to transform themselves and the world around them.” The bottom line is this; 5iveFingaz is all about his ART, the individuals who view it, and the positive effects it can have. When asked what artists influence him the most, the answers make good sense…Dali, Kahlo, Basquiat, Picasso, Warhol, Harding, adding that he is “attracted to each of their eccentric personalities more than their actual art.” Indeed. His works are not puzzling like Dali, nor does he dwell in images of opposites and negative angst often found in Basquiat. Yet, what is clear is 5iveFingaz’ unrelenting exploration of his mind in search for simplification of truth and meaningfulness that is universal to all humans. He feels a tremendous sense of responsibility to humanity, and we believe he is succeeding in making an impact that is pleasing. For those who would think that his #LoveMoreThanEver Movement is too saccharine, think again. It is a successful renewed translation of the messages so many rockers of the 60’s (esp. John Lennon) delivered to us of peace and love. It is the universal urge of a humanity who is sick and tired and #morereadythanever for peace, love, and positive change.
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