Est-il possible de regarder le monde avec l'oeil pur d'un animal-conscient ? C'est la quête de Robert Bissel, un américain contemporain (il a sa page sur facebook). L'homme, homo sapiens, est réduit à quelques sages bouddhistes. Non, les êtres supérieurs qui peuplent la planète sont les éléphants ; les ours ; et les lièvres. Ils vivent en harmonie les uns avec les autres, et la preuve qu'ils ont une âme (puisque Robert Bissel leur en concède une) est donnée par les vols de papillons, qui tournent en abondance autour des personnages.
Mais les vrais héros sont les ours :
et le peuple le plus courant, ce sont les lièvres :
qui donc sommes-nous dans l'Univers ?
While it is clear that artist Robert Bissell (American, b. England 1952) derives his inspiration from the animal world, his paintings are not simply portraits of bears, rabbits, and other creatures. They are allegories for the challenges and discoveries all living beings encounter on life’s journey.
Bissell’s work is largely informed by the writings of the mythologist Joseph Campbell (American, 1904–1987), who held that myths from disparate cultures and eras all share fundamental structures. Bissell’s reading of Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces initiated his own journey as an artist to portray “the callings we have, the quests we undertake, difficulties we share, helping hands that appear out of nowhere (it seems), and finally the elations and conclusions we all have in common.”
Hero: The Paintings of Robert Bissell is organized according to the construct of Campbell’s hero’s journey. Each of the ten chapters—from “Genesis” and “Vision” through “Crossing” and “Initiation” to “Return” and “Elixir”—presents paintings that interpret these archetypal experiences. Bissell’s grand and detailed landscapes provide Edenic stages for each scene in the journey.
Carl Little’s introduction offers biographical background and explores Bissell’s process, motivations, and revelations, and the artist has supplied brief stories for many of the paintings. The path of human experience is joyfully recounted in Hero, illuminated by Bissell’s animals, who invite our contemplation as they mirror our own quests, conundrums, and resolutions.
About the Artist: Although the English-born Bissell started out surrounded by animals on his childhood farm, he did not start out a painter. After studying photography at the Royal College of Art in London and later moving to America, he spent a decade in the corporate world before starting his own catalog company.
Soon, however, he decided to follow his heart and create art full-time. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and regularly exhibits in museums and galleries across the United States and Europe.
About the Author: Carl Little is the author of many books, including Edward Hopper’s New England and Winslow Homer and the Sea, both published by Pomegranate. He is a regular contributor to art magazines and museum and gallery exhibition catalogs. Formerly the director of the Ethel H. Blum Gallery at the College of the Atlantic, Little lives with his family in Somesville, Maine.
car y a-t-il une vie après la mort ?
ne se frotte pas aux étoiles qui veut !