New Paintings by Geoffrey Greene

New Paintings by Geoffrey Greene

I'm fascinated by the art of the ancient world, where a thousand years is only a tick of time. My recent work is intended to evoke shared cultural memory, echoing not only the modes of our self-depiction through the ages, but some remnant of those ages themselves - the astonishing, unstoppable march of time which transmutes charcoal scratchings on a cave wall into the most priceless treasures of human history.

My nudes, for example, are my humble homage to the vitality, savagery and mystery of Rome - the civilization upon which we built not only our Western world, but our view of the world. Even though they were mostly commercial works, executed by craftsmen as decoration for fat-cat vacation homes, the patina of time has helped turn the buried treasures of Pompeii and Herculaneum into works that - to me at least - reveal the very soul of Rome herself.

I consider the friezes in the Villa of Mysteries near Pompeii among the most wonderful creations the eye can behold. If the cave paintings at Lascaux can be thought of as the first bright scrawls of infant humanity, the Mysteries are like the fledgling work of pubescence - innately familiar yet exotically foreign; technically sophisticated, yet carrying the molten emotionality of "primitive" art; ravishingly beautiful in both both subject and narrative, yet from our viewpoint two millennia away, truly and forever mysterious.


New Paintings