The Art of Jason Brady

Goliath Beheaded

"Goliath Beheaded" 24 x 18" Charcoal and Pastel on Watercolor Toned Paper
“Goliath Beheaded”
24 x 18″
Charcoal and Pastel on Watercolor Toned Paper

The drawing is a tribute to Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath. Whereas Caravaggio portrayed himself as Goliath’s head, I drew a double self portrait making myself the hero as well as the monster. This also represents an ego death where I am wielding a paintbrush to save me from myself.

“Goliath Beheaded” draws upon influences from Caravaggio’s “David with the Head of Goliath”. Whereas Caravaggio painted himself as the decapitated head of Goliath, I drew a double self portrait portraying myself as the hero as well as the abomination. The paint brush is the weapon that saves me from myself.
The writings of Joseph Campbell influenced the concept of the beheading.

“And where we had thought to find an abomination,
we shall find a god (hero);
where we had thought to slay another,
we shall slay ourselves;
where we had thought to travel outward,
we shall come to the center of our own existence;
where we had thought to be alone,
we shall be with all the world.”

“David’s Demise”

"David's Demise" 10 x 8" Oil on Panel
“David’s Demise”
10 x 8″
Oil on Panel

“Pyrrhic Victory”

"Pyrrhic Victory" 18.5" x 24" Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper
“Pyrrhic Victory”
18.5″ x 24″
Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper

The Nike of Samothrace was created in honor of the Greek goddess of Victory during the 2nd century BC. She is considered to be the greatest masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture. The fallen goddess now lies broken in shambles, a fragment of what she once was; though her beauty still remains, perhaps even elevated by the tragedy of defeat. Upon her broken wing, a man sits in virasana, hero’s pose, agonizing over the sight of her remains. The journey that led him to behold this vision has taken its toll. The hyperkyphotic curve of his spine embodies his self-defeating tendencies that prevent him from realizing his true heroic potential. Perhaps this man is agonizing over the fall of the ancient ways or maybe a love turned to stone.

“Fiery Obsession”

"Fiery Obsession" 16 x 21" Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper
“Fiery Obsession”
16 x 21″
Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper

The Sufi mystic Mansur Al-Hallaj declared himself to be like the moth, which seeks neither the light nor the heat of the candle flame, for these were never enough. The moth only desires to be engulfed in the flame to experience the Reality of Realities, sacrificing everything to be consumed by a fiery obsession.
The moth undertakes this illuminating transformation as well as the destruction of the self to reach the unknowable. Above the flight paths of moths are seen chaotically whirling about the pillar of light. Another moth fails to reach the flame. Waiting too long, it now lies imprisoned in the wax of a fallen candle. A polyphemus moth resting upon an ancient book watches the scene unfold. The knowledge within the pages preventing him from becoming involved with the flame. Finally, a hawk moth with a scorched wing lies next to a poem warning not to chase an external source of light but rather to feed the fire within.

“Until this moment,
Now i see that i will never
Find the light
Unless, like the candle,
I am my own fuel
Consuming myself”

“Unblinding the Seer”

"Unblinding the Seer" 21.5" x 19" Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper
“Unblinding the Seer”
21.5″ x 19″
Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper

Some say it is impossible to see what truly is. The seer is blinded either by the illusions of the external world or the inner distortions and perceptions of the mind.

 “Desert Pilgrimage”
"Desert Pilgrimage"  25 x 19"  Charcoal on Paper
“Desert Pilgrimage”
25 x 19″
Charcoal on Paper
“The Burden”
"The Burden?" 15 x 22" Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper
“The Burden?”
15 x 22″
Charcoal and White Pastel on Paper
The man is emerging from the shadows as he struggles to shuck off the shell that was once his armor but now seems a burden. He is tired of the self-contained darkness and emptiness as he strives for the light and unknown. Does he have the strength to carry out this Sysiphean feat or will he be crushed? Is he prepared for what is out there? He seems paralyzed by fear, not even sure of what to do.
“Just a Game”
"Just a Game" 23 x 13" Charcoal on Paper
“Just a Game”
23 x 13″
Charcoal on Paper
This vanitas portrays just a game, yet a struggle for life. The player’s lone king stands against the reaper’s army. Checkmate appears to be inevitable. The board of life is itself quite bland, abiding by the rules with its monotonous predictable pattern. On the other hand, the reaper’s drapery is a chaotic whirl of beauty spiraling into the jaws of death. How will you meet your end? Is death a beautiful release from the shackles of life or just an utterly black void of nothingness?

 

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