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Brian Hoover

"The imagery in my work revolves around dreams, myth and spirituality. For several years now, I've been very regimented about keeping a dream diary by my bed. Just scribbling a few notes when you wake in the night is crucial for remembering a dream the following morning. Dreams are important to me because they stand as a reminder that all is not orderly in the universe. Life is an enigma. Life is surprising. The unknown and the unknowable and our relative smallness in the universe are very important in maintaining my own spiritual ideology.


Apart from the inspiration I derive from a powerful dream, these night diaries also represent veiled insights into my own psyche. Houses, both strange and familiar, are reoccurring themes in my dreams, as well as elemental things such as wind, water and fire. I am aware of the Jungian impulse to interpret these things outright, but I am equally satisfied to be awed by the seemingly infinite and unknowable well that they originate from.


This makes most of my paintings very autobiographical. This self-indulgent stance is perhaps not very fashionable in the current postmodern trend to deal with global issues, politics or esoteric aesthetics.

Ultimately, I would like people to respond the same way I do to many early Christian works - not for religious reasons, but for the fact that they were often strange, unworldly, powerful and even fearsome objects of reverence.


I approach my work in two distinct ways. The first being what I call “splash” paintings. I begin a painting by spilling and splashing liquefied paint onto the surface of a canvas; not unlike an abstract expressionist would. After the paint dries I begin to “Rorschach” images that my subconscious sees in the abstract puddles of paint. I then try to render in a more traditional manner- without completely disturbing the freshness of the spill- a representational narrative that often equals the strangeness and absurdity of dreams.


Beauty, levity and horror are often combined in what I hope to be a seductive if not disturbing image. The other approach is almost the polar opposite of the first. This is much more of an academic approach to painting. I first conceptualize an idea in a pencil sketch, then a drawing with a full range of values and then the final painting. The “Harbinger” series started out as a portrait of my dreaming self-conscious. It evolved into a succession of paintings of floating celestial beings that represented the seasons, gods, goddesses and ghosts."

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