Paintings from the Lebowski Cycle

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Oath of the Horatii (After David): , 2011 Oil On Linen 72" X 40" © Joe Forkan 2011
The Death of Marat (After David), 2008 Oil On Linen 96" X 58" © Joe Forkan 2011
Sacred and Profane Love (After Titian), 2011 Oil On Linen 72" X 40" © joe Forkan 2011
Supper at Emmaus (After Caravaggio), 2010 Oil On Linen 96" X 38" © Joe Forkan 2011
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (After Friedrich), 2009 Oil On Linen 80" X 48" © Joe Forkan 2011
The Taking of Christ (After Caravaggio), 2009 Oil On Linen 72" X 40" © Joe Forkan 2011
The Agony in the Garden (After Carracci), 2011 Oil On Linen 76" X 48" © Joe Forkan 2011
The Deposition, 2011 Oil On Linen 72" X 40" © Joe Forkan 2011
The Lamentation (After Rubens), 2011 Oil On Linen 72" X 40" © Joe Forkan 2011
Ecce Homo (After Guercino), 2009 Oil On Linen 72" X 40" © Joe Forkan 2011
The Raft of the Medusa (After Géricault), 2011 Oil On Linen 72" X 144"
Baptism of Christ (After Carracci), 2011 Oil On Linen 24" X 34" © Joe Forkan 2011
Venus (After Titian), 2011 Oil On Linen 72" X 50"
Jester , 2011 Oil On Linen 48" X 76"
Paintings from the Lebowski Cycle
Curated by: Andrea Harris-McGee

Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
September 10th, 2011 - October 28th, 2011
Opening: September 10th, 2011 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Other (outside main areas)
Orange Coast College (Art)
pop, figurative, modern, traditional
Open free to the public


The Lebowski Cycle is a series of paintings and drawings exploring layered narratives, using masterpieces of European art and the 1998 Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski as a starting point.  The series is the result of a longstanding interest in narrative painting, particularly paintings from the Baroque and Neoclassical eras; complex figurative works that depict grand story arcs, compressing a multitude of thoughts, ideas and emotions into a singular image. However, it is the human interactions and conflicts, formal qualities, and modes of depiction that were as interesting to me as the specific stories.

I wanted to explore these ideas, but looked for a way to mitigate the grand seriousness that historical and religious paintings often contain. I started thinking about The Big Lebowski, (a favorite film, obviously) trying to imagine how the characters, humor and preposterous story arc of the film might be enlisted to explore multiple points of view, moods, and intentions if combined with themes and titles from well-known works of European art.

The combination led to hybrid images that reference art history, film, and contemporary art, from sources that inform, overlap and may even contradict each other, all run back through the imprecise language of painting.

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