Artist Statement - Brian Shepp

The Godshead Series is composed of large-scale (most are 3' x 3') acrylic paintings on wood. Each piece features the looming visage of a personification from the various pantheons of world mythology, from classical Greek to Nordic, Aztec, Egyptian and beyond. Some are familiar, like the Greek Apollo. Some, less so, like the Aztec Goddess of Earth and Fire, Coatlicue. The figures stare directly out, with piercing gazes that challenge the viewer to contemplate their expressions, gleaning the stories they have to tell and the wisdom they have to impart.

The series is unified not just by the subject, but also by the textural style - a deep swirling as of some primal clay. Created using mostly the artist's bare hands, finger-painting style, the result is a thick, dynamic surface that invites the viewer to reach out and run their fingers along the gooves. The images appear to have just emerged from the spiralling texture and are on the verge of warping back into the chaos of color from which they manifested.

The pieces are intended not as portraits of individual people, but rather as personified representations of ideas and symbols - the epic, emotional symbols that the ancient gods from which they draw their inspiration have always represented. To this end, each piece includes a brief description outlining the history and defining story of the deity.