It seemed only fitting that the cover of The Argonaut’s annual Arts Issue should be a new work with narrative intent.
John Park’s “The Meeting with the Goddess” — created in part during the Venice Art Crawl’s 4th anniversary celebration on Aug. 21 — is one of an ongoing series of paintings the artist is basing on “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” Joseph Campbell’s cross-cultural study of the mythological hero’s journey.
The painting’s title comes directly from a chapter in the book that discusses how archetypal hero tales often involve an oracle or deity who bestows a protective gift to the protagonist, says Park, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.
The text that Park has blended into his work: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity,” a quote attributed to Albert Einstein.
“I wanted to include themes of the surveillance state, urbanization, globalization — the perils that we’re facing in modern society. Increased marginalization of the less-privileged, the widening wealth gap, the growing power of corporations,” Park, 40, explains. “As a species we’re facing almost every problem we’ve come up against all at once now … most of them of our own making. The idea was placing that seemingly bleak concept in the context of the hero’s journey, which is really about overcoming fear and prevailing in the end. I’m not a pessimistic person.”
To see more of John Park’s work, search #JohnParkArt on Instagram.
— Joe Piasecki