JEFF BELLEROSE: NARRATIVES
AT PAUL THIEBAUD GALLERY, SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco, California: The Paul Thiebaud Gallery is pleased to present a two-part exhibition of paintings by Jeff Bellerose. Narratives marks this representational painter's second presentation with the gallery. The show runs from January 14 through February 25, 2017.
The first group of work truly defining Narratives takes as its reference scenes from various and disparate films. Though inspired by a specific moment in a film, they are intended to represent broader ideas. These paintings only subtly suggest the direction of narrative content, avoiding the specificity of an exact storyline. The original film's connection to the work is solely as inspiration. They are separate in meaning and function from the movies. As Bellerose explained, "The idea was to look at archetypical themes in storytelling and to paint a series that shares some form of modern, obscure narrative elements. The paintings then have a scope greater than the image presented."
Within this body of work, there is little action. They are physically beautiful and seductive, luring the viewer in initially not only by the imagery but also by the surfaces, colors, and light. Then, the deeper, reflective content reveals itself. Most involve the themes of youth, love, friendship, family, relationship, and/or introspection - all shared or collective experiences with the audience. Many feature a sole figure, isolated from its setting and from the viewer. Those paintings presenting couples also convey them as separated emotionally from one another. The inner action of his figures is considerable and vast, yet possibly familiar to the viewer. For the painter, "The idea was to present content that had a subtle and mysterious sense of something happening outside of what is visually observed in the composition."
The second component of the show continues the exploration of cities, encouraged by the combination of abstraction and realism found within them. As the painter explained, "There is something ominous and fascinating in the grand structures and caverns of big cities. Plus, a lot of the things that I paint have an element of the vanishing to them—like some mix of the modern and something that is old, in the past, or from a different era." Though referencing existing locales, the scenes are intended to offer a more universal cityscape, driven by his interest in the formal issues of painting—light, mood, form or structure.
Bellerose received a BA in physics and mechanical engineering from Tufts University. Raised in Boston in a family of artists—his mother is a watercolorist, and his father is a professional illustrator—painting is a lifelong pursuit of the artist. Bellerose lives and works in Oakland, CA.