20 de agosto de 2013


Joe McFadden. After graduating from college with a degree in painting, and after the obligatory pilgrimage to New York City, where I was told, all serious painters lived, I quit painting. It was not that I was critical of what others were doing; in fact I enjoyed the circus-like atmosphere of the big city art world. There were lots of ideas and everyone I knew was passionate about what she or he was doing. It was just painfully obvious to me that I had no personal connection to it. It has always been my opinion that painting is first and foremost a unique form of communication.
A painting can make a statement that a poem or piece of music cannot. Most of the information we absorb, conscious or subconscious, is visual, and as we go about our lives, we constantly make connections between disparate images. Usually these connections are subliminal, but we still assign meaning to them and I believe they play a profound role in who we are. Even though I was not painting, I was continuing to study Art History and whenever possible, to visit museums. While in Italy, looking at work that was religiously inspired, it occurred to me that the concept of a Saint is simply an idea with a face. The human face is truly a magical landscape and I believe the expression of any idea or emotion can be found in it. I started painting faces, making them up, twisting them, distorting them, looking for a dialog between the painting and me. I added references to things from my life that I find important; history, literature, mythology; anything that occurs to me while the piece is in progress. In many of the pieces humor plays a role, breaking the unspoken rule about combining humor with fine art. Humor is an important part of my life, so it is in the paintings. The collar and thin necks are trademarks of the Saints; they offer an effective barrier between mind and heart, an essential element in the human condition. The Saints are quixotic; grounded in history but very contemporary, serious yet whimsical. The fundamental idea is that of the shared universal experience; the more of a connection I have to the painting, the more honest it is, the more of a connection the viewer will have.

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