My recent painting "Portrait of a Zealot" will be included in the 11th Annual Human Form Show at the Hilliard Gallery in Kansas City, MO. The exhibit begins April 6th and runs through May 25th. About the power of the figure in art, the gallery states:
In the history of art the human figure bears, in different ways and through different periods in time, a huge significance, being the most direct means by which art can address the human condition.
Portrait of a zealot, latex paint on canvas, 18x25", 2017
If you're in the Kansas City, MO area, please stop by and see the show, should include lots of great examples of contemporary figurative art!
Romanticized in Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick", the historical harpooneer was indeed given a high status on whaling ships, due to their incredible physical abilities. As Melville describes, Tashtego, a Native American from the area of Martha's Vineyard known as Gay Head, was revered on the Pequod for his courage and skill with the "unerring harpoon" wielded by his "lithe snaky limbs".
Like many of my pieces, this painting is meant to emphasize the figure itself, how the body creates the act suggested through pose and gesture. The ornament or accessories to the figure are often gone, creating the feeling of a fragmented ancient piece that we must understand through bodily context.
Man with Harpoon, latex paint and graphite on raw canvas, 43 x 55", 2018
Please click on the image below to read an interview with FORTH Magazine, an art & literary journal out of LA.
Reminiscent of the angels appearing in paintings throughout art history, this piece portrays an angel in the act of blowing a horn, heralding some divine event. Like many of my pieces, this painting is meant to emphasize the figure itself, how the body creates the act suggested through pose and gesture. The ornament or accessories to the figure are often gone, creating the feeling of a fragmented ancient piece that we must understand through bodily context.
Angel of the Horn, latex paint on canvas, 30x48", 2018
Lynn Boggess was recently featured in a Portrait of the Artist with The American Scholar in a piece by Noelani Kirschner. Boggess was one of my art professors during my student time at Fairmont State. His work and views about art making were and still are a huge influence on my own work. Please click on the link or the image below to read his own words about his style and methods.
March 4, 2017 by Lynn Boggess, 46 x 40 inches, oil on canvas
Prometheus, latex paint on canvas, 55 x 43", 2018
"There lie, and feed thy pride on this bare rock" - Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound" (translation by John Stuart Blackie)
These words are spoken to a silent Prometheus by the embodiment of Might after he and Force have restrained the titan. A reluctant Hephaestus, by order of Zeus, has crafted unbreakable chains, and has bound Prometheus to a crag of inhospitable rock at the edges of the world. His crime - defying Zeus and giving fire to mortals. With fire, they would develop arts and sciences, raising them above the beasts and rivaling the gods.
Here I envision the long suffering titan as crag-like and mountainous as the rocks on which he has been bound, nevertheless enduring and defiant.
Drawing 497, charcoal and pastel on gray paper, 12x9", 2018
Michelangelo's work is often on my mind. It has been even more so lately as I was able to visit the Met's "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer" exhibit. The experience was amazing and you can see my sketches of his work on my blog.
The Italian word for stonecutter is scalpellino and Michelangelo identified with this profession as much as he did as an artist. As a child, he was reared in a stone quarry and felt at home among the cutters and carvers. This painting is a portrait, of sorts, of Michelangelo and all the other strong and hardy scalpellini that came before and after.
Stonecutter, latex paint on canvas, 36 x 48", 2018
In this series of blog posts, I chronicle ongoing paintings series. This particular series deals with paintings of the royal house of Thebes, from classical Greek mythology. Each post will highlight a painting, and offer a short explanation of the corresponding story behind the image. Check out the previous installment here.
Drawing 494, pastel and charcoal on paper, 12 x 9, 2018, private collection, Louisville, KY
Drawing 492, charcoal on paper, 14x17" 2017, private collection, London, UK
In this series of blog posts, I chronicle ongoing paintings series. This particular series deals with paintings of the royal house of Thebes, from classical Greek mythology. Each post will highlight a painting, and offer a short explanation of the corresponding story behind the image. Look for other series as well, including a series of the Life of Hercules.
The inspiration for two of my newest paintings, Gilded Man 1 & 2, came in part, from the Hercules of the Forum Boarium (an ancient Roman cattle market), that now resides at the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome.
Hercules of the Forum Boarium, 100-200 BC, Palazzo dei Conservatori
The power, simplicity and obviously, the gold shimmer of this ancient piece is captivating. When I was recently reacquainted with it, I was struck with a desire to "gild" a figure (or two) of my own. Having used metallic spray paint in the past, as attributes to the figure, I decided now that I would use it on the figure itself. Very happy with the results!
Gilded Man 1, latex and metallic spray paint on canvas, 30 x 48" (76.2 x 121.92 cm), 2018
Gilded Man 2, latex and metallic spray paint on canvas, 30 x 48" (76.2 x 121.92 cm), 2018
Born of violence, born for violence. The Giants were destined to enter a harsh world with the weight of their mother's revenge on their backs.
Birth of a Giant, latex paint on canvas, 60 x 55" (152.4 x 139.7 cm), 2018
This painting references the genesis of giants that challenged Olympus in the event referred to as the Gigantomachy. Born of Gaia, the Mother Earth, and the blood of the Sky Father, Uranus, these giants were warlike and cruel. Their brutality and violent origins are here displayed in a disdain for the sun's light and warmth.
This past December Lauren and I were able to visit the "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer" exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The experience was more incredible than I could ever have imagined. Michelangelo has always been the biggest influence on my own art, and being able to see so many of his drawings (and several sculptures) in person was unbelievable. I was glad to be able to do some studying of his work in a sketchbook, as well as some of my favorite pieces in other parts of the museum such as the Greek and Roman Art rooms. Below is a video of the sketches as well as some select photos.