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Jason Yarmosky: Orpheus
by Max Gold
on 26 March 2009
ORPHEUS.jpg

NYC-based painter Jason Yarmosky's latest series, "Orpheus," is the young artist's starkly realist take on the epic story. Over the course of eight narrative panels, the well-known Greek myth unfolds in Yarmosky's world of charcoal, gesso and tea felt. There are, however, a few tweaks to the original story.

Orpheus's resemblance to Bob Dylan is no mistake. Yarmosky explains that Dylan, like Orpheus, is a crusader for truth who was not afraid to venture into hell to find his muse. To take the adaptation a step further, this is not the hero's usual descent into the Underworld as it happens in the original. Instead, he is in the unlikely setting of West Berlin during the sixties, seeking passage to the communist East side to find his girl. By placing his hero in the historical backdrop of a city that was for so long a literal rift in human ideology, Yarmosky re-articulates the myth's theme of the human struggle to reconcile good with evil, life with death and art with making a living.

Yarmosky explains that he made these choices because, "the struggle to let our selves shine through regardless of the setting is timeless. Orpheus, like Bob Dylan, isn't just a gifted artist. He represents anybody, everybody. To find love while in hell is something that we all deal with on a daily basis."

Yarmosky's Orpheus is a thoughtful interpretation, juxtaposing history and place with a style that conveys the grit of the scene with an attention to less literal uses of texture and shadow. Yarmosky's work has previously been displayed at FAVA Store. Orpheus and more of his work is available for purchase on his website."

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