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Why “Jacob Wrestling With An Angel?”


Have had some questions lately on my new painting, and some confusion as to how the theme “Jacob Wrestling with an Angel,” fits in with my other work. While whatever bridge between expressionism and pop art might blend from time to time, my art isn’t generally acknowledged as a playground for religious symbolism. So, here goes:

1) Paul Gauguin’s Vision after the Sermon (or Jacob Wrestling with an Angel) is one of my favorite paintings by Gauguin. I am actually not a huge fan (read my poem “The Reason I Hate Gauguin” that can be found on Big Red and Shiny), but have always loved the use of line, color, and emotionally intensity of this work. The play between the foreground and background, that deep red against sinewy lines. So, yes, this is my remake, my remix, of Gauguin from 1888.

2) I have been wanting to do some religious paintings, long heralded as the ultimate measure of an artist. And, that said, there have been moments of this symbolism in my work (see “Photo ID Required” from 2007 for instance).

3) I am fascinated by pop culture depictions of spiritual metaphors. From wrestling matches to people getting popped on the head by rocks, the violence and comedy inherent in this type of rendering (i.e. cartoon-like) is irresistible to me.

4) Yes, that is a Victoria’s Secret angel against the angel scrapping with Jacob.

5) Look forward to seeing you all at Open Studios the weekend of the 14, 15 and 16 of October.

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