Hero's Myth

“The journey of the hero is about the courage to seek the depths; the image of creative rebirth; the eternal cycle of change within us; the uncanny discovery that the seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know.” – Joseph Campbell


The quest to understand the nature of war and other aggressions

…must include an understanding of how every society defines what it means to self -realize for good or evil. My paintings try to explore the consequences of this journey both in historical and present events. Joseph Campbell showed that societies, through storytelling, share and teach those characteristics that help define and shape the psychological growth of its members.

“Each person becomes the hero of his own journey”

…and wrestles with identity roles and tribal challenges until a uniquely, personal vision begins to be revealed. This journey involves moral choices, personal danger, sacrifice for the common good, ego and physical temptations that must be overcome.

To win the goal there are dragons to slay, holy grails to find, tricksters to defeat and sexual indolence to be avoided – all in the search for a life of meaning that may contribution in some unique way, to the success of the hero and the community. Our permissive, industrial, militant society has fewer obvious ways to achieve transcendence, for what is required is early and frequent calls to responsibility. Giants worthy of slaying are not easy to identify for they often pose as benevolent rulers. Temptations to waste one’s youth in idleness are many, cultural changes pit generations against one another. Large swaths of society have contempt for education. Role models and apprenticeships are few. The endless wars of industrial societies play a role in waylaying the hero from more magnanimous pursuits.

Click on thumbnails for a large version plus an annotation about each painting ⇓