Rich Shapero considers himself normal in most respects, unusual in a few:
“For some reason, I’ve always wanted to live in a different world. My thoughts always get warped toward a place and a state that I imagine is better than the one we’re born into. The virtue of being at peace with the human condition was not bestowed on me. I’ve never felt that there was any reconciliation possible between our aspirations and the struggles we inevitably endure. This outlook may be the result of a genetic defect or some experiential trauma. I’ve had my share. Whatever the reason, I have a different perspective. And because I have a passion for words, I’ve attempted to put my ideas into story form and make them available to others.”
His projects include Dissolve, Island Fruit Remedy, Balcony of Fog, Rin, Tongue and Dorner, Arms from the Sea, The Hope We Seek, Too Far and Wild Animus.
Giving It Away
Rich Shapero is giving away books, music, apps and ebooks. Why?
“I want people to see what I’ve done. I have no commercial motive. I’m like a street musician playing for whoever might have the interest to stop and listen.”
The ideas are paramount. “When I was much younger, I was introduced to some ideas that changed my life. They were expressed by a particular group of artists, who had a particular kind of understanding. I created my own genealogy—a family of people that I looked up to and embraced. I’m reaching out to younger members of that same family, whoever and wherever they might be.”
“The truth is: I don’t feel a deep connection through my genetic lineage. Nor do I feel much of a cultural genealogy. I have an ancestor who goes back five generations in America, and I like living in California. But what really nourishes me is the love I share with my immediate family, and my sense of community with a tribe of artistic heroes who staked their claims in the unseen world.
“That’s my connection to reality, such as it is. That, along with my family, is what makes me cherish life. What I’m doing through these projects is reaching out to others like me. I know it’s a small group, but there are ‘like minds’ out there who will understand and connect with what I’m doing. That’s important to me. And it may be important to them.”
Contact Rich, really. “For those who find something of value, I hope they will let me know. One of my regrets is that I failed to do that with a number of artists who had a big impact on me. Now it’s too late. I didn’t think it would matter to them. I know better now.”