NEW WORK: "Circe" with Meghan Page Jacques de Beaufort
My art is a response to the emptiness that I believe everyone feels on some level. It is the emptiness of our consumer society in which the individual is treated as a nothing but a transactional nodal point with no real exegetic purpose. In this world, you are in possession of no history, no future, no opportunity for connection to a larger cosmological consciousness-you are merely the nominal value of a momentary function related to a sequence of serial exchanges that have no discernable meaning or function. You are discardable, and the whole of your life has about as much purpose as a mass-produced consumer object. The Self has been cut away from a larger fabric of being and understanding, and one wall or another has been constructed to prevent access to the consciousness structures that could provide a deeper connection.
Fortunately all of this is merely an illusion.
To dissolve this illusion I have made a suite of paintings for you to enjoy. To enjoy them, you do not need to know anything special, or even read this statement because everything necessary to understand them you are already in possession of. If I have done my job correctly the paintings will help you remember these things; mythic images and ancient archetypes that structure our daily lives-a gallery of ancestral icons that are always lurking behind the mask of the ordinary.
I have chosen as my subject themes that I find compelling. As a gendered human being, naturally I am fascinated with that which I am not-and so the Feminine Other has became a focus for my work. The models that I have collaborated with are ordinary people like anyone else-but in my paintings I have tried to find a divine force that was present within them. We are all a plurality of beings and at any moment we may become an incarnation of an archetype that does indeed connect us to a larger whole. The trick is to make this transformation visible to the naked eye.
In most ancient cosmologies, godlike forces were expressive of the violent contradictions that we found existed in all of us. The Babylonian Goddess “Ishtar” (later “Astarte”) for example, was associated with both Love and War, and anyone who has ever been in Love knows that its opposite is not Hate, but indifference. As such, there is a darkness that shrouds all beauty, and the masks of this pantheon of beings are often as menacing as they are enticing.
I hope you will find that far from existing as a mere throw-away object in a world gone mad-that you, yourself are connected to a vast cosmos full of intensity and vivid purpose. The “polytheism” of my art does not require that you believe literally in anything-because that would be to miss the point entirely. The divine does not exist in some far away place, it is immanent and present within you, right here, right now. You are the miracle, you are the Godhead, and all that matters is that you remember this.
Jacques de Beaufort