about

Born in Kansas, raised in Missouri.   

I currently live in Portland, Maine. 

About the paintings:

My artistic practice is one of controlled discovery, exploring the intersections of language and death, as well as (unavoidably) the interstices between them.  Throughout history, humans have drawn or carved symbols that negotiate what death means to the living.  The philosopher Martin Heidegger said that the human invention of language is motivated by the drive towards immortality.  Since moving to Maine three years ago, I have taken hundreds of rubbings from head stones, some of them weathering on from the 18th century.  My current paintings draw directly upon the poems, symbols, patterns, and geometries that I find at these gravesites.  I use the rubbings as foundations, and then, I layer on and interweave antiquated symbols, traditional patterns, colors used in traditional death ceremonies, found language, and invented symbols.  This assemblage of symbols and words - each one of them subject to evolutions of meaning and tides of relevance - continues a dialogue that was begun when these modest monuments were planted in the earth.  They reflect our contemporary culture's ongoing practices of appropriation and invention - its ongoing drive toward the eternal.  

 

adamjonathanstockman@gmail.com