Jeff Faerber

I was raised in a religious environment that I found did not work for me. As a result, I am fascinated by what I consider the arbitrariness of worldviews and dogmas, and how even within one system of beliefs there can be contradictory views. My paintings explore the values and spirituality that I believe should (but often do not) underlie religious beliefs. They delve into the feeling of alienation that can result from trying to define one’s identity under the shadow of an overly rigid religious doctrine.

I am fascinated by the act of creation, whether in a set of beliefs or in a painting. By recreating the world—making a fake world on a two-dimensional surface—I often find a truth more understandable than that of the real world. What systems can I (we) create to understand the universe, good and evil, bliss? Metaphors simplify elusive ideas so one’s mind can wrap around them. I use them to help define an emotion, capture a faint impression of reality—evil can become a snake, God’s spirit can descend like a dove, a downcast eye can define sadness. The intangible become tangible.


…I try to expand the scope of beauty by having it encompass and confront the abuses of “civilized” society, the decadence, the rape of the environment, narrow-mindedness—what is not generally regarded as ‘pretty.’

Jeff Faerber lives and works in New York

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