My Painting

Throughout history art has most often been an exploration of deep cultural, spiritual and mythical themes.  Thus I have followed that paradigm, trusting my own voice, my own vision, rather than following artistic trends, striving to create images that connect and reinvigorate deep archetypal and mythical ideas, most often connected with humans’ relationship to the earth, ritual, spirituality, and male identity. 

 

Like a story teller I arrange complex and abiding themes through my work, story lines that connect disparate and abiding themes together, connected by literal threads navigating through the images. 

 

The mythic, symbolic connection between human - animal, past - present, through the collective unconscious, storytelling, art, music and dance in celebration of this connection:

 

Psyche and the symbol of the divine feminine and the exploitation of the feminine by Pop Culture and the story of Genesis.

 

The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, the cup of blood, the wafer of body, the sacrifice, the crucifixion, a prayer offered for healing and in penance for the creation of wounds:

 

Pagan symbolism, the Earth God Pan, the sacred covenant of hunter and prey, the ritual of dance of initiation, the magic of the Shaman, the painted priest who divines what cannot be ordinarily seen, who illuminates on a spiritual and psychological plane, the one who possesses magic: 

 

Reverence and desecration, wounding and healing, illumination, the bringing of light to the dark, the beautiful colors of the earth, dirt, water, sky, dry grass, trees, blood, and fur:

 

The cycle of birth, death and rebirth in the dance of the hunter for the life of the prey and the mourning of what has been lost, and prayer for what can be healed.

 

These symbols are then juxtaposed to create a new dialogue between the modern and the ancient, sacred and secular, seen and unseen.

 

I am proud to call myself a painter.  Humans have been painting for about 30,000 years.  I am honored to follow in the footsteps of so many.  In that sense I have been dramatically influenced by art from the past: including Paleolithic cave paintings, Meso-American sculpture and architecture, Oceanic sculpture, and early Renaissance frescos, to name a few.  Contemporary artists who embrace the mythical, spiritual and corporeal, and who master their materials have influenced me as well, these include Susan Rothenberg, Anselm Kiefer, Kiki Smith, Kerry James Marshall, and Richard Yarde.

© 2013 by JS Bird/YELLOW DEER STUDIOS