Tag Archives: The Lebowski Cycle

The Lebowski Cycle – Sacred and Profane Love

Sacred and Profane Love (After Titian) • Joe Forkan 2011 oil on linen, 72" x 40" (182.88 cm x 101.60 cm)

I’m currently finishing the framing of the last of the paintings in the studio headed for the show at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. I framed 10 paintings this last weekend, with help from some friends. Delivering work on Monday.

Sacred and Profane Love Titian - c. 1513-1514 oil on canvas 118 cm × 279 cm (46" × 110") Galleria Borghese, Rome

My studio is going to seem really empty after sending off 14 large scale paintings for the show.

This piece is based on Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love. I’ll write more on the series once it is all installed, but wanted to post this recently completed painting from the Cycle.

Detail - Sacred and Profane Love (After Titian) • Joe Forkan 2011

The Lebowski Cycle at The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA • Sept 10 – Oct 28, 2011 – UPDATE

Paintings in progress in my Santa Ana studio

I’m pleased to announce that I will be having a large solo exhibition of  paintings from The Lebowski Cycle at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA from September 10 – October 28, 2011.

The exhibition will be the first show on the fall calendar for the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion and will include fourteen large scale paintings from The Lebowski Cycle, as well as many smaller works and sketches, painted over the last four and a half years. The timing couldn’t be better, as the series is currently close to completion.

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion is a beautiful 3,400 sq feet exhibition space, that has recently hosted shows by Ron English and Alex Grey, among others. I will be working with Director Andrea Harris in organizing the fall show, and it will be great to see the series installed there.

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College

I’m looking forward to a summer in the studio completing the paintings that are still underway, including a fairly new twelve foot diptych based on Géricault’s massive Raft of the Medusa.

I will be posting process images of paintings from the series as they move towards completion over the coming months, as well as more information about the exhibition.

An exhibition catalog is planned, and more information will be available at the time of the show.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10th 6-10pm
OCC Frank M Doyle Arts Pavilion
2701 Fairview Rd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Parking in lot D9 off Merrimac
For info and direction:

The Lebowski Cycle – The Lamentation

The Lamentation • Joe Forkan 2006-2011 Oil on Linen 72" x 40"

Here is another recently completed painting from The Lebowski Cycle. This one is titled The Lamentation, and I was working with a couple of specific Lamentation paintings in mind (by Rubens and Giotto), but I was also looking to the larger tradition of paintings dealing with this subject matter.

The Lamentation Peter Paul Rubens 1614 Oil on wood 41 cm x 53 cm (16" x 20.86") Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

What interests me about paintings from the Passion is the complex appeal to emotion that floats through them.

But that appeal is complicated by the passage of time and the shifting cultural context through which the work is seen, and by the conversation that surrounds the art (the historical importance of the paintings, the biography of the artist, the formal and stylistic structures of the depictions, etc.).

“…You look at the art of the Renaissance, mostly created by the Roman Catholic Church and commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church. Does Renaissance art as it has manifested itself over 400 years represent the church? It does not represent the church.

The kind of art we like today became the kind of art we like today because people took that art and used it for their personal ends. They disregarded its ideological content, and took it to mean something that they valued. So, if you like a Caravaggio today, that doesn’t mean that you believe in the Counter-Reformation principle of the communion, right? And so, well, then what do we like?

Well, we’re still figuring that out.”

— Dave Hickey

Meaning is always migrating. But with all of this ebb and flow, it can be a bit of a shock to wander through a museum paying close attention to the fact that, no matter what the intentions of the artists, a huge percentage of these lovingly crafted works of art are brutal, grizzly images of cruelty, torture, suffering, death, and grief. The body count is truly staggering. How many times have artists crucified Christ or skewered St. Sebastian?

Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), Cappella Scrovegni a Padova, Life of Christ, Lamentation (The Mourning of Christ)

And people complain about violence on TV and in movies…

“…There are issues worth advancing in images worth admiring; and the truth is never “plain,” nor appearances ever “sincere.” To try to make them so is to neutralize the primary, gorgeous eccentricity of imagery in Western culture since the Reformation: the fact that it cannot be trusted, that imagery is always presumed to be proposing something contestable and controversial. This is the sheer, ebullient, slithering, dangerous fun of it. No image is presumed inviolable in our dance hall of visual politics, and all images are potentially powerful.”

— Dave Hickey (The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty)