1xRUN Thru Interview
The Fool by Beau Stanton
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Beau Stanton: This piece was created for my solo exhibition at Last Rites Gallery in NYC that took place last July titled “Arcane Archetypes” . The original and a preparatory sketch are available along with the print RUN.
1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Beau Stanton: The Fool was the central piece from my Arcane Archetypes exhibition where all the paintings were based on images from the Major Arcana of the Tarot. My first intention with this body of work was to create a series of images that instill a lasting imprint into the viewer’s subconscious. As an initial point of departure I started to research one of the most recognizable and iconic sets of images, the Major Arcana of the Tarot. After studying several existing decks, I discovered that some of the images shared common ground visually and conceptually with several paintings I had created in the past. This lead me to fuse elements from both my existing visual language and the ancient iconography of the Tarot to construct a revived interpretation of the Major Arcana. As the series progressed, entirely new images developed out of the process incorporating symbols from Alchemy, Freemasonry, and Ancient Mysticism resulting in a series of paintings excavated from the past and re-imagined for the present.
Although the images of the Tarot are widely known and instantly recognizable, the reason for their visual potency and lasting impact is rarely understood by the uninitiated. In Arcane Archetypes, I aimed to present these images in a contemporary way in order to provide some insight into their meaning and potential as extremely dense communicative devices.
1xRun: What materials were used to create this piece?
Beau Stanton: The original is an oil and acrylic painting on a cradled wood panel.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Beau Stanton: When I first thought about making a series of paintings based on images from the Tarot, I knew that I would have to include the Fool since it is the “zero” card and an extremely important archetype in the set. I started by researching all of the iconic tarot decks to see the ways the symbols had been interpreted in the past along with reading a few books by 19th Century occultists who were really into tarot. From there I applied some of my own symbols that I often use in my work that had common ground with the overall significance of The Fool to concoct a fresh take on an ancient iconic symbol.
Creating the final painting started with building the wood panel, several layers using white. yellow and burnt sienna acrylic paint, sanding to create texture, drafting out the geometry and overall composition and finally layers of transparent and opaque oil paint.
1xRun: When was this piece created and how long did the piece take?
Beau Stanton: The painting itself was done last summer and only took about a week to complete, but all the research and preparatory drawings took a few months.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Beau Stanton: This painting is the first time I’ve created an entire environment where the figure is grounded in a somewhat traditional landscape. Also, I referenced several Renaissance works that can be identified in the landscape, composition, and gesture of the figure (see Da Vinci, Vasalius, etc).
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Beau Stanton: The print is about 85% size of the original so no detail is lost. Every brushstroke and under painting texture can be clearly seen. The photographer, printer and I worked really hard to get the color and contrast just right to do the original painting justice. We definitely succeeded here.
1xRun: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Beau Stanton: Journey.
1xRun: This past December you had some work down at Scope for Art Basel, how did things go?
Beau Stanton: I exhibited at SCOPE Miami Beach last month in a collaborative booth that I designed and built to house a group exhibition titled “Message in a Bottle” curated and facilitated by Lori Zimmer along with Quattlebaum Foretich Gallery. The booth featured work by over 50 artists including Kenny Sharf, Ron English, Tara McPherson, Shark Toof, David Shillinglaw and tons of other amazing artists. You can read more about it at Message in a Bottle Scope Art Show Miami.
The booth also debuted my first multimedia piece (or as I like to call it, an animated painting) titled A Precarious Voyage. Here’s a little statement about it: A Precarious Voyage is an animated painting that follows an antiquated sea faring vessel through the cycles of day and night as it rises and falls with the tidal restlessness of the sea. The appearance of archetypal symbols, rotating clockwork-like designs, and cataclysmic forces of nature create a romantic sense of the past while reminding us of the cyclical nature of time. The work provides a unique opportunity for the viewer to continue to discover new elements and events that appear throughout the duration of the piece to create a living, breathing painting.
1xRun: Along with that, what have you been up to since your last RUN with us, bring us up to speed.
Beau Stanton: Since the end of summer I traveled to Chicago to do an installation at Fountain Art Fair, then I headed to Europe for about three weeks where I worked on murals in Northern Spain, Rome, and London as well as a scouting trip for a future project in Bristol.
1xRun: Any artists really inspiring you as of late to push yourself?
Beau Stanton: When I was in Miami last month for Art Basel I was introduced to a couple of new artists that really blew my mind. One in particular was Meredith Dittmar who makes these insane clay shadowbox pieces.
1xRun: You’ll have a show coming up at Corey Helford, what can people expect and when will the show be going down?
Beau Stanton: I am really looking forward to my next show at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles that opens in mid April. There will be a new series of paintings as well as a new animated painting as part of the installation.