/ (1 of 1)

John M F Casey

"'Both the colour paintings and the monochromes are usually conceived during a recurring mood state, where anxieties and deliriums are channelled into a creative instinct. The art practice therefore relies on a philological process, and more resembles a condition than a vocation, with both psychotic and neurotic characteristics. The psychoses being the explosive phases of creation, and the neuroses being the long subdued periods between: where the ideas incubate within the subconscious. The subject matter of the work - which includes executions, orgies, satanic imagery and hallucinogenic nightmares - is drawn from the compulsive studies and meditations of the neurotic phase. The work swims with allusions to poetic, historic or philosophic subjects, sometimes with depictions of recognisable personages, with allegorical symbols, or with carved fragments of verse or prose. This sits uneasily with the crude and perverse aspects of the paintings, which is reflective of the primordial id that favours obscenity, farce and destruction.

This nauseating confusion of reference the strands of multifarious cultural sources interwoven arbitrarily with personal experience and nonsense - give an interesting model of a specific mindset, with it's own slightly dubious tastes. However, to reach beyond the banal classifications of psychology, we must also consider the "soul", or the lack thereof.

Like the alter pieces of some obscure Gnostic sect, there is a religious feeling to the works, an ill founded sense of adoration that is in discord with the disturbing nihilism of the subjects. This heretical supplication could be viewed as an expression of a godless man's lament for the demise of dogmatic certainties, his frustrated religious desires coagulate into a strange vortex in which all morality and value is devoured. Depravity and reptilian cruelty become indistinguishable from virtue and righteousness. Once the old faiths are utterly consumed all that can be meditated upon with any clarity is the abyss, the black hole; the last god of the dissolute western intellect. Maybe the paintings are a mystification of this grim condition, taking advantage of the flux of imagery as it is drawn in by the gravitational pull of oblivion, becoming stretched and fragmented; the luminous glow of The Void.

Though perhaps this is too bleak; there does reside some strange joy in the paintings as if they revel in their damnation. Freed from the constraints of oppressive doctrines, they could be viewed as the celebration of the secular black magics, such as art, dreams, music, quantum physics and intoxication. When the immense beauty and terror of these great mysteries is meditated upon, the abyss appears less stark."

www.myspace.com/jmfcasey