Monday, 1 November 2010
Charles Jupiter Hamilton — Under the Volcano
Charles Jupiter Hamilton creates highly expressive wood relief paintings, sculpture and prints that combine the vitality of contemporary art with rich and resonant figurative imagery. Known for his vivid colors, elaborate mosaic patterns and studied primitivism, Hamilton makes captivating images laced with unbridled enthusiasm that might seem almost child-like were it not for his sophisticated techniques and satirical humor. His thoughts are suspended in a teeming spectacle that seduces the eye, encouraging the viewer to search past the work's surface, beyond the intricacy of arabesque designs, to reveal images within images - mythological beasts, whimsical animals and animated figures.
The use of wood is central to his work. The wood is shaped and etched free-hand with a carpenter's router and then brightly painted in bursts of hot and cold colors. To use Charles Jupiter Hamilton's own words, his use of color, "goes immediately for the nervous system."
The work of Charles Hamilton has received warm recognition beyond West Virginia's border and has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Tampa and Washington,D.C. His works have won numerous purchase prizes and awards and are held in several museum and corporate collections including Sunrise Museum in Charleston, WV; Susquehanna Fine Art Museum in Harrisburg, PA; Thompson Cigar, Tampa FL; and Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA.
Charles Jupiter Hamilton was born in Princeton, New Jersey in 1948 and received his art training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His inspiration comes from American pop-culture cartoons and billboard advertising. He has also been influenced by traditional Appalachian wood carvings and renderings of gargoyles from European cathedrals. Callen McJunkin Gallery