Joel Sheesley is an artist and art professor who's work for the last two years has focused around some puddles on asphalt, a ladder, and a beautiful way of looking indirectly at the world. These paintings are about the possibility of transcendence via an intense meditation upon the ordinary. And they address this idea in two different ways. One is symbolically, where the base crude surface of the asphalt (earth) is transformed by the rain to provide a window onto the heavens. And the man's presence with the ladder suggests the possibility of, or at least the longing for, a bridge between the two. But it is also through the act of painting itself that he addresses the idea. By focusing on something so mundane as a puddle on asphalt, and rendering it over and over, with such luminous and textural grace, he transforms it into a thing of beauty. The symbolism becomes mere adjunct to fact.
see more at www.joelsheesley.com
"Messenger" 48" x 48" 2008
"Dream at a Crossroads" 30" x 81" 2008
"Above and Below" 40" x 66" 2007
"Crows" 30" x 66" 2006
Here's two older pieces demonstrating that ladders and rain are ongoing obsessions.
"Ladder Dream" 60" x 54" 2006
"The Storm" 40" x 50"
I'd like to thank Tim Lowly for mentioning Joel's recent show at the Chicago Cultural Center on his flickr page and thus bringing another amazing artist to my attention.