Chicago, IL, United States
About Rory Coyne
Contemporary Traditionalist In a world run by technology and instant gratification, I am grounded by a tradition implemented by generations of Master Artists. Using techniques influenced by Old Masters, such as Rembrandt, Whistler, and Sargent, I create allegories that speak to issues of private contemporary society. The symbolism created within my work stems from personal experiences in daily living, often using animals to signify emotions and reactions in relationships. These ideas then begin their arduous evolution from my sketchbook to the final canvas. My paintings are contemporary, yet timeless, myths expressed by emissaries of familiar faces of family members, friends, and colleagues. Why myth? Because it connects us to the world and to one another. It negates our differences and embraces what we actually are, human beings. We all descend from tribes and have comparable origins, and as the same species, have similar reactions to our surroundings. Myth stems from within us and is molded by culture. It is a response to our everyday life and embellishes certain details to express a greater truth. My images come about in a similar way; what I perceive to be in the spirit of my earliest ancestors. Through my work, those close to me become divine beings, and their stories are told in a fantastic way. My art process is the ritual by which I express these personal myths. My works are observations and commentaries on daily living through the use of allegory. The meanings behind the symbolic imagery, although personal, are meant to be interpreted in many different and individual ways. The subjects are often therianthropic figures; some animal parts morphing into the body elegantly, while some protrude instead. These zoomorphs are an extension or form of the "self," a reflection of identity - not to be confused with spirit guides or totems. The paintings recognize and confront my own daimons, which Rollo May refers to as any motive that has the ability to take over a person (Rollo May, Love and Will, p.123). Issues that cause a personal struggle are not uncommon: concepts such as the challenge to affirm our respective anima or animus, or true inner self, and socioeconomic status are ideas that many people can relate to. In other words we are all trying to figure out who we want to be, who we truly are, and our place in society.
MFA: Drawing and Painting, University of New Mexico BFA: Drawing and Painting, SUNY Fredonia