Finally and mysteriously are Haddock's Sigils 1 through 5, a series of five paintings on boards that the artist describes as "attempted actualizations based on the work of Peter J. Carroll and Austin Osman Spare." Both Carroll and Spare are associated with chaos magic, a sort of belief based on belief that I'd be foolish (or wrong) to try explaining — but sigils, like runes, are symbols charged with magical or spiritual powers. Haddock has placed a light above each painting of a geometric symbol. About two feet in front of each painting floats (from invisible wires) a red curtain panel, which obscures the work from head-on viewing. Oh, you can see them, with some maneuvering.

As Haddock explains in a comic book (mature content) he created to accompany the show (in the proof stage with plans to sell — for 50 cents, natch — in the museum gift shop), "sigils are a fun and easy method of actualizing your idios." There are steps, the first of which is to "formulate a sentence of desire." In this work, Haddock may not be hiding his paintings behind those red curtains as much as protecting his articulated desires.

Workspace by Jon Haddock
Courtesy of Jon Haddock
Workspace by Jon Haddock
Insect Apprehension by Jon Haddock
Courtesy of Jon Haddock
Insect Apprehension by Jon Haddock

Location Info


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

7374 E. Second St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Category: Museums

Region: Central Scottsdale


featuring the tandem exhibits "Masters of Collective Reality" and "Us Versus Them," will be on display at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. 2nd St., through October 2. Visit for more details.

There is much to learn here. Some viewers will, but I'm guessing that most will not know most of what's going on in Haddock's solo work. The tandem exhibit next door pays homage to the collective reality, or koinos, that we're all part of, however unwillingly at times. And in that bright gallery, we nod our heads in recognition of the eternal good-versus-evil struggle. But in this dark space, Haddock reminds us that creating a collective reality requires bravely actualizing the idios, which is always lonely, scary work.

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Dain Quentin Gore
Dain Quentin Gore

Good review. Would love to see more like this!

A note on Sigils: in another interpretation they are basically symbols composing a magical formulae to form the "true name" of who/what you wish to summon (as per Lesser Key of Solomon/Dictionnaire Infernal))!