Artist's Statement

The poet Wallace Stevens wrote in his Adagia give as sense of the freshness or vividness of life is a valid purpose for poetry...

I feel this holds true for the visual arts as well, and it is one of the essential qualities that I strive for in my work.

My work has spilled out of the large reservoirs of two distinct traditions: mythic storytelling and the need to find and explore new worlds for myself. The tributaries of these traditions are rich with nobility and trespass, and commingle in the images I make, whether from observations or imaginings. They represent a series of departures and returns to both known and longed for worlds where I can experience the scintillations and the scents of faded Edens and Ithacas.

These lines from Shelley are often in my thoughts:

I love all waste
and solitary places; where we taste
the pleasure of believing what we see
is boundless, as we wish ourselves to be

I have always thought that art can provide the most profound, engaged examination of our lives. It can confront our grief, repurpose our sorrows, and explore the intimacy of our needs, applying a joyous salve to the lacerations and deeper wounds of mortality. In my art, I am constantly revising and adding to my visual hymns, creating a liturgy that affirms and celebrates the lives we live together.

Colman Rutkin