Back to All Events

First Friday Featuring John deRoulet

IMG_0062.jpeg
There is a poem by a wonderful Sufi mystic by the name of Jelaluddin Rumi. In it, he says, “Work. Keep digging your well. Don’t think about getting off from work. Water is there somewhere.” This is the essence of my painting. Striving, compulsion; I feel as if I am being driven to discover something and I have only just begun to catch glimpses of it.



For me painting must be a spiritual experience. The things I paint are somewhat mundane; fruits, flowers, people in their homes and going about their days. These are all just ordinary things, yet, underneath that there is always this edge. There is an implied emotion, a visceral reality which is a fragment of all the tragedy and triumph we call the human condition. I work to show how every ordinary object and situation can be a vessel and expression of that which is uniquely human. In my work, I struggle to undermine the superficiality of the commonplace with intensity of emotional expression; revealing how any object can become the symbol and source manifesting the collective experiences of our species.



I use the term Recollection to describe both my process and the experience of my audience. I primarily work from life, with the actual object or person in front of me, and as I stare at it, I soak it in and visualize it with my inner eye. Then, I must turn away from the source and let my arm take control. Each time I glance back, I am checking the authenticity of my perspective against the truth of the reality before me.



It is in a similar way that I hope my work becomes a mirror for my audience. My paintings do not rely on an overt narrative as the key to understanding, but in each painting, I hint at a part of the fundamental narrative of human experiences. I hope to evoke in the viewer a vague sense of mystery at the implied emotions welling within them and give them the impetus to start naming those feelings against the backdrop of their own experiences. And if I may again rely on Rumi to put my own feelings into words, “Show me the way to the ocean! Break these half measures, these small containers, all of this fantasy and grief. [And] let my house be drowned in the wave that rose last night out of the courtyard hidden in the center of my chest.
— John deRoulet (artist statement)
Earlier Event: February 1
Tinderbox Presents: Business Brew
Later Event: February 2
TT Co Lab