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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Jung’

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In my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to temperament and disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

–Carl Jung

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My annual show at the Principle Gallery each June is normally made up of solely new work. But I think we can all agree that this year is anything but normal. There’s been a little bit of everything thrown at us. I think that if a swarm of Bigfoots — or is it Bigfeet?— suddenly descended upon us from every mountaintop, we would just shrug it off as being just the next shoe to drop.

So, this being such an unusual year, I chose to change things up a bit and include a group of vintage pieces of my work in this year’s show. My only criteria was that they had some sort of link to the theme of the show which is, as the title states, Social Distancing.

Many of us are new to the concept of social distancing but for me it’s something I’ve been practicing for much of my life, even if I didn’t use that particular phrase. I have, especially for the last twenty five years, kept to myself, more or less. I have tried to simultaneously live in two worlds, the outer and the inner. Much like the view Jung takes in the words above, I have tried to straddle both of these worlds and have found that Jung’s observation is pretty close to the bone. The more and more time I spend in that inner world, the more real and expansive it becomes. I then find myself willing to sacrifice more and more of my connections to the outer world.

Reading that last paragraph just now, I realize that it doesn’t sound exactly healthy.  But even so, it seems to suit my temperament and disposition, to use Jung’s words again. Plus, in my inner world, it’s not considered unhealthy.

Two of the vintage paintings from this show that I think relate directly to this straddling of worlds are shown here today. The one at the top is a piece called Flower Shadow, that was painted back in June of 1995, twenty five years ago. It was never shown publicly but was always a favorite when I went through my older work, a piece that always made me stop for a few extra moments to consider it.

While part of me is attracted to it because of how it connects me to that early work, there’s something in it that speaks directly to me. Maybe it’s the idea of this rough flower, inside looking wistfully out a window. Living in two worlds, the inner and the outer, with an air of lightly wistful melancholy around it. It still speaks clearly to me, twenty five years later.

The other vintage piece is from ten years later, in 2005, and is from a limited series from that time that I called In the Window, which featured interior spaces with a window looking out on a landscape, which was the focal point of these pieces. This particular painting, In the Window: Dream Away, shown here on the right, was one of the first from that series.

Initially, this series was intended as a means to present my landscapes in a different way, like placing a gem in a different setting in order to highlight that gem. But as time passed, this concept of two worlds became more apparent to me in this work. I believe this particular piece, with its clarity and clean expression, exemplifies both of those concepts, the gem in a new setting and the being existing in two worlds.

I am really pleased to show these pieces now, though I do not being able to get some in person reactions like those normally received at a reception. But, as noted, these are not normal times so I will just put them out there and hope they speak clearly for themselves.

Hope you can make it to the Principle Gallery in Alexandria for Social Distancing, my annual solo show that opens there this Friday, June 5.

 

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In my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to temperament and disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

Carl Jung

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Time flies.

We’re looking at another decade slipping away. I originally didn’t give much thought to any way of marking this but in recent days began looking back at work from the past ten years, trying to to see if there was a single piece that summed it up for me.

That is really difficult. Even trying to choose a single painting that sums up a single show or year is often near impossible. There are favorites, pieces that speak to me more personally than others, but they often don’t reflect the body of work as a whole. But choosing one that stands as a symbol for ten years of hard work seems out of the question.

But I tried and came up with a few that stood out as possibilities. The painting at the top, for example. It’s The Internal Landscape from 2012. It’s a large piece, 4 1/2′ by 7′, and was the titular centerpiece of my show that year at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

It’s a painting that has meant a lot to me, as far as building a confidence in myself that my work had lasting value that might carry it into the future somehow. I had been a full-time artist for about 14 years at the point that this was painted yet I still wasn’t confident my own evaluation of my work. I felt that it was a real expression, not mere decoration. It was my inner reality and like, Jung’s words above, I often found myself torn between this inner realm and the outer realm of the world. I knew this as a real world but I didn’t feel that I was qualified to say if this reality was enough, that it transcended what it meant for myself.

But this painting and its acceptance by the viewers of that show made me realize that my work’s effect could move beyond me.

And that was vastly important to me in doing this thing that occupies my days and nights.

Now, I can’t say this painting fully sums up the decade for me but it may come as close any other piece I might choose. It occupies a wall in my studio now and I take moments now and then to take it in. Its size makes it an embracing piece, one that makes me feel as though I am stepping into it with the warmth of the colors and shapes wrapping around me. It’s easy to spend time in front of it and let my mind wander among the fields and hills.

I don’t know that it will ever find a home outside the studio and that is fine with me. It feels like family, like a part of me now.

 

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GC Myers- In the Window- Dream Away smIn my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to temperament and disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

~Carl Jung

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I came across this passage from the writings of ground-breaking psychoanalyst Carl Jung recently and it very much summed up what I have been saying for several years about the manner in which I view my work.  I often call  them internal landscapes, which I see as my inner response or alternative to the outer world.  Perhaps, as Jung says, I am accepting my internal view for absolute truth–as I see it–  by sacrificing the reality of the outer realm.

I don’t know.  To me, both worlds exist fully and have equal validity and I split my existence moving between the two.  Actually, my time spent in that internal land make my time in the outer realm more tolerable.  It’s when I struggle to find my way into that inner world that the outer world becomes more difficult to bear

GC Myers-  Inthe Window- The Searcher smThis idea of inward and outward perspective made me think of a series called In the Window that I had painted a decade ago of views of my landscapes as seen through windows.  The piece at the top, In the Window: Dream Away,  was the first from this series.  It’s an inversion of Jung’s analogy with my internal Red Tree landscape existing here in the outer realm and the external reality occupying the inner space, the window serving as a real and symbolic portal  between the two worlds, one through which I can move back and forth easily.

I had never really thought of this series in those terms.  Initially, this series was meant as a way to present my landscapes in a different manner.  Like a fine piece of jewelry, the landscapes would act as a precious stone and the window and internal space would act as a setting for that stone.  But it really comes down to a perspective on reality and I think at that point I was just beginning to see that these landscape were as much internal as they seemed external while looking out that window.

Hmm, something to think about on a thankfully rainy day…

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Chagall


Marc ChagallI thought I ‘d briefly talk about the work of Marc Chagall and some of the things I’ve gleaned from him over the years.

Marc ChagallHis development of his own vocabulary of imagery and symbols always fascinated me.  His flying brides, goats, roosters and such were all like Jungian archetypes in his paintings, each seemingly representing a psychological facet of our universal consciousness.   His use of such iconic imagery really inspired my decision to create my red trees and chairs and roofs.

I was also influenced by his distinctive and bold use of color.  His deep blues and reds glowed and made one believe such colors were naturally occurring in the natural world.  The mind easily translated his colors and images.  His vocabulary was unique and universal at once.

marc-chagallthe-rooster-in-love2

marc_chagall-wedding-imagemarc-chagall-1487marc-chagall_the_war_

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