Artist Credo

I am a representational symbolist painter. From the earliest cave paintings the art of painting was rooted firmly in representational symbolism. Cultural history and Man’s need to place both his glories and failures into context has informed all artistic inspiration.

In following a realist tradition the Renaissance introduced greater objectivity in observation, while using greater subjectivity in the representation. The paintings maintained strong symbolic and narrative elements while the range of acceptable subject matter expanded.

In the period between the high Renaissance of the 16th century and the Paris Academy in the late 19th century the stylization, the subjective representation, became more and more subject to rules, more and more formulaic, until the Impressionists became again objective.

The artist began leaving his studio to do landscapes, observing carefully what he saw, though he represented it with a wilder painted translation.Photography also influenced the Impressionist aesthetic and the painting became a framed piece of reality, losing its symbolist or narrative content. When a painting’s physical limitations become its actual limitations, something is lost. This paradigm shift led to a reconceptualization of painting that made possible other definitions of what constitutes an “artwork”, including pure abstractions.
Eventually this trend led to a plethora of ‘isms’ and narrowly defined movements most of which quickly ran up against their obvious limitations. When the narrative content inherent in realism was removed, society in general abandoned ‘art’. Once art’s purpose was lost, originality took its place and the avant-garde became the establishment, while the artists on the experimental fringe had to resort to more and more grotesque or obscene or scatological subjects, whose main purpose became the breaking of taboos. The increasingly jaded and blasé audience needed ever greater fixes of shocking images to impress them.

As art fragmented and turned self-referential it's image became more and more elitist . I have noticed that the concept 'art' has come to be viewed as something so esoteric that the "layman" will preface most conversations with the phrase "I don't know anything about art"

I think it is time art broadened its horizons by looking back to the relevance symbolic representational art has when it addresses questions of imagination, myth and magic and how one's own reality can relate to them.