(canoed - sen)

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  Artist's Statement
My works reflect Sehnsucht, the German word for one's existential-ish longing for a half- imagined and unattainable something--a utopia maybe.

Making paintings at times can seem so gratuitous- really a primitive way  to connect , but I like the idea that I have not gone far from the first sentient to realize a stick might do more than  reap heat or dispatch dinner . I do have a painting that I wake up to in the morning and for a moment when my consciousness is barely realized the painting seems right. It is important- almost like the taking of a breath.  
I have painted my share of images of death - a curiosity to some in cultures where such matters are best left swept under the rug. These are not kitsch- angst images. I am generations past my teen-age years. Sometimes they are simple ontological reflections. Sacrifice #147 remembers a woman who was thrown off of Gericault's Raft of the Medusa - the day before she would have been rescued. This non-fictional woman, quite alive, was sacrificed with 15 others because the only source of water (the wine) was running out. This desperate woman resting in the water is an emblem of a pause to think, to bring a philosophy needed for its time, as Hegel said, before it is too late.

Paintings like Vastus Maximus(Vista) or Bacher Spring reflect on Sehnnsucht as well but more as upbeat viscera without la mort and without  any didactic  mischief.

                                                                   Stephen Knudsen


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