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Paul Whitehead


QUESTIONS? by Paul Whitehead

A bird looks at a tree and sees a nesting place, a small boy looks at that same tree and sees something to climb, maybe somewhere to hide. One man looks at that same tree and sees a beautiful manifestation of nature in all its glory and another sees the possibility of turning it into FURNITURE. The visual appreciation and the concept generated in our minds by an object, or the depiction of an object, is greatly determined by our social conditioning, our environment and the precepts that we bring to that object. The same is true of a painting. Ever since Magritte painted his famous painting of a pipe and named it “This is not a pipe.” (it was of course not a pipe but a PAINTING of a pipe) painting, for me, has taken on the role of questioning reality & challenging our perceptions rather than just being works to hang over the couch or an investment. Painting, as a means of communicating human feelings and realizations, is much more powerful than that, even though the competition for our time & attention these days is daunting.

In my series QUESTIONS? I have attempted to generate a mental and verbal dialogue by using my paintings to pose a series of questions, usually somewhat enigmatic questions & - hopefully – questions that have as many answers as the number of viewers who see them. The subjects cover everything from peace, religion, love, the environment, cosmology, success and even Rock ‘n Roll, a subject I know more than enough about. I tried hard not to get in the way of the viewer’s engagement with the art but obviously I have revealed my hand merely by the kind of questions that I am asking.

If I have amused you, made you question your own values or made you mad to the point of wanting to “do something” or engage me in a dialogue, I have done my job. It is not often in these days of electronic, jump cut realities, where everything is nothing more than fleeting pixels of instantly disposable information generating 15 minutes of fame or scandal for everyone, that a painting can achieve any of those responses.

These paintings were first shown in Dec 2009 in Bali, Indonesia, and received favorable and enthusiatsic reviews. One critic noted that the work, “struck the perfect balance between whimsy and self-effacing wisdom.”

Paul Whitehead

Gallery of Questions?

Easy? by Paul Whitehead

Food? by Paul Whitehead

Furniture? by Paul Whitehead

Home? by Paul Whitehead

Karma? by Paul Whitehead

Love? by Paul Whitehead

Music? by Paul Whitehead

Peace? by Paul Whitehead

Religion? by Paul Whitehead

Sculpture? by Paul Whitehead

Success? by Paul Whitehead