John Woodrow Kelley
“Greek Boxer,” Oil on Canvas, 16″ x 16″ 1999
“Hippomenes,” Oil on Canvas, 40″ x 52″
“The Birth of Venus,” Oil on Canvas, 64″ x 36″ 1995
Statement of Intent
The Greek myths embody everything that is timeless about the human experience. They reveal truths and acknowledge mysteries. They survive in the subconscious of Western man to the point that to learn about them is to experience a shock of recognition. They have been a successful vehicle for man’s pursuit of self knowledge for countless generations, which is the reason I have chosen to make yet another interpretation of them through my paintings. Each generation has been inspired to a unique interpretation, and I have tried to present the old myths in a new way, showing all the irony and conflict of the modern world. The figures are contemporary, but the situations are ancient. It is a way of saying,”we are new, but we are old,” “we are young, but we must die”. History continually humbles the arrogance of man. The Greek myths tell us that this is our fate as well as our redemption.