John Seal

The work of John Seal. He is currently showing at Workspace in Los Angeles. The exhibition comes down on 2/26.

Workspace is pleased to present Fighting With Phantoms of Purple Prose, an exhibition of new paintings and objects by John Seal.

To the 17th century Calvinist Dutch, the flower was the quintessential momento mori symbol. Life in the mortal sphere blossomed forth beautiful but brief. To look at a flower was to see the desire for immortality and the inevitability of death had but one origin. It was to gaze at the certainty of our uncertainty simultaneously celebrated and mocked.

Language, too, has a momento mori aspect. To say “flower” or to think “flower” or to paint a flower is to completely divorce ourselves from the original. It is to be carried away to our deaths- cut off from the life that we shared in common with that beautiful thing before we named it. But if we can take that thought “flower” and make with it another object in the world, we can briefly escape that death. With it we can build a bridge back to the world.

No, the object we create is not a flower, but it relates. What we make is a flower. It becomes a parallel through which we can live with our thoughts and language in the world, staving off death and estrangement for a moment longer.

**All italicized text is from Workspace.
**All images are from John Seal’s Website.

1 comment

1 sonya gallardoNo Gravatar { 02.29.12 at 9:07 pm }

OMG I’m so glad I ran into this on here! I saw the piece with the cat looking at the landscape painting and forgot to get the name of the artist. But now I got it!

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