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Kyle Staver

Prometheus, 2012, Oil on canvas, 64 x 54 inches

Daphne 2013, Oil on Canvas, 70"x 50"

Lately I have been painting dragons, distressed maidens, and bulls with bad intentions. Titian, Rembrandt, Picasso, Redon and Ryder have all preceded me, but my recent inspiration is the Courbet show at the Met: the personal/mythic narrative and atmosphere in Courbetís work reminds me of the dark and weighty atmosphere of my native northern Minnesota, where the winter sun sets early and night goes on forever. The Northern light also leaves many corners shrouded and ambiguous.

My palette has deepened, and the emotional tone of the paintings veers toward anxiety. They reflect my growing awareness of the uncertainties of life.

I donít think itís an accident that mythical subjects are often taken up by artists in mid to late career. I have grown increasingly interested in speaking with the big boys of Western art, stepping into their homes, working with their darker palettes and their darker subjects, classical mythology, especially. Iím not at odds with artists like Titian and RembrandtóI donít want to argue with them as a contemporary female painteróbut my take on mythic women is often quite different. I donít objectify my women, but rather, reinvestigate a myth from my point of view. Instead of rape, thereís pleasurable co-joining, rather than t he terrified victim, thereís resistant outrage. I think of late Rembrandt as my friend, urgent and present in my studio. I want my Danae to share Rembrandtís golden sexual light.

Whitney Counterweight 2014
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