Jesse Willenbring

February 09 - March 18, 2017

Jesse Willenbring

February 09 - March 18, 2017




 Don't fall into the Lotus vortex because Clops might just devour you !


This new group of paintings are part of my ongoing use of Simon Armitage’s The Odyssey: A Dramatic Retelling of Homer's Epic as the primary tool. Specifically, Don’t fall into the Lotus vortex because Clops might just devour you! revolves around the stories of the Lotus Eaters and the Cyclops.

My toolkit, is an evolving set of context-defining, studio-based rules, curated references and painterly techniques. By using the stories of the Odyssey, I combine the familiar images derived from each story with highly subjective parameters of my own making. These include, but are not limited to, investigations into modernist tropes, branding, advertising, graphic design, and the painted gesture.

While explicit allusions to the Lotus Eaters and the Cyclops are readily employed, the compositions are collisions of linguistic, graphic and painterly activities that disguise meaning just as readily they generate it. I never expect a painting to act as a distilled representation of a specific Homeric story. Instead I like to think about using this contemporary translation of the Odyssey as a way to illuminate a purpose for interrogation, deconstruction and assembly of a painting. My translation of the Odyssey is the central framework for repurposing and combining of canonized discourses as a means of bringing about new visual languages.

The Lotus Eater and Cyclops paintings are the third set of paintings in this series. In light of the increasingly intense political and cultural climates around me, they are also the most overtly metaphorical paintings of the series. The patterns and repeated gestures that create the visual glue for the exhibition are illusions that become allusions. Themes of seduction, disorientation, and deceit found within the stories of the Lotus Eaters and the Cyclops mirror sensations all too familiar in my actual surroundings. Simultaneously, themes of perseverance, conviction, ingenuity and optimism scream even louder.


Jesse Willenbring, 2017. 




Artist : Jesse Willenbring


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Ceysson & Bénétière
23 rue du Renard 75004

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