Golgotha, 2009, Oil on Canvas, 244 x 183 x 6 cm
The Mind Recedes the Blood is Wise the Soundless Mouth is Open, 2010, mixed technique on canvas, 279 x 198 cm
Extracting from a patchwork of Western religious myths, the paintings work as a reconstruction of these traditions into a narrative exegesis tailor-made for the Religious America. In growing up in a complex array of Christian communities and later ostracized, I find myself obsessed with hidden agendas, messianic iconography, and the burden of unquestioned belief. Suggestive narratives are repeated in numerous paintings and installations, assuming various guises, but reflective of the same psychological dynamic vibrating like a seizure in the fold between reason and madness.
Joshua Hagler was born on Mountain Home Airforce Base in Mountain Home, Idaho, 1979. Born into a working-class family, he has lived in small towns, suburbs, and cities throughout the United States. After graduating from the University of Arizona with an BFA in Studio Art, he moved with his wife Laura to San Francisco, where he now lives and works as a full-time artist.
About the Artist (by Ari Messer)
When the center cannot hold, when we think we might have chosen poison and wonder if it is too late, when virginity breaks down, we turn to prayer or private language. Hagler’s figurative expressionism has much in common with a Continental tradition that blends historicism with madness, from Goya to Dix. But he works in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the end of our own continent, touching overlooked parts of the American imagination. So perhaps it is best to think of him as a poet, one who puts images to what, in Allen Ginsberg’s words, we are “thinking in secret heart.”
Posted by Carmelita Caruana