The Kala series by Jason Robert Bell

Exhibition at Thomas Robertello Gallery

See All the Kala paintings on Flickr

New Kala Drawings !

more images from the Kala series>

Older Kala drawings!

Review of Kala Series by Greg Cook


Kala Eat Fruit, 68x 52.Oil, acrylic, ink, on canvas 2004


Kala play Harp 54x62, Oil, acrylic, ink, on canvas, 2004


Moment, 74x 72. Oil, acrylic, ink, and expoxy, on canvas 2004


Kala has Tear, 60x 60. Oil, acrylic, ink,and epoxy on canvas 2005


Awaken, 72x 60. Oil, acrylic, ink, on canvas 2004


Hello, Me Am Kala, 40x 30. Oil, acrylic, ink,and white-out on canvas 2005


Kala Nurse Eve, 72x 48. Oil, acrylic, ink,and white-out on canvas 2005

Untamed Beauty:
Kala Versus the World of Man - Suitable-Chicago, IL Nov.20-Dec18, 2004


Kala at Sea, 58x 48. Oil, acrylic, ink,and white-out on canvas 2005

more images from the Kala series>
  New Kala Drawings !
Artist Statment

In past epochs, viewers of Art were initiated into a standardized system of (often religious) belief. Art reinforced and reflected these beliefs.In our contemporary society, very few generalized belief systems still exist. As belief systems wane and codices of understanding becomefractured, how can an Artist hope to create autonomous works that all viewers can understand? In answer to this question, I have been working a series of paintings and drawings of Kala, a female Sasquatch. One area of contemporaryculture that functions similarly to religion is cryptozoology: the study of creatures (Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster) whose existence isunsubstantiated. Regardless of any individuals' belief in these fantastic creatures, they saturate culture and are instantlyrecognizableÑmuch like religious figures. Female subjects form an underlying current in anthropoid cryptozoology. Loren Coleman, one of the foremost Bigfoot researchers, hasdevoted much of his writing to firsthand reports of men who claim to have been kidnapped and forced to impregnate female Sasquatches. Ibegan to see Bigfoot as something akin to Robert Graves' White Goddess: the unexplainable other, a dangerous Earth Mother thathumanity must fear and respect, or else reckon with. This theme is echoed by a variety of Artists and writers. In Robert Crumb'sunderground comic "Whiteman meets Bigfoot," a man is kidnapped by a female Bigfoot, falls in love with her, and tries to bring her backto civilization. The Zermatism notebooks of outsider artist Stanislav Szukalski are saturated with tales of " Yetisyns" troglodyticnear-humans that walk among us. Phillip José Farmer's Mother Was a Lovely Beast explores the oedipal nature of Tarzan and his fostermother. Claude Lévi-Strauss' The Way of the Mask details the Dzonokwa myths of the Pacific Northwest, which often involve the sexualnature of the fur-covered ogresses. In addition to referencing these myths, I wanted to create a subject that could serve as a divine and transgressive embodiment of the historyof Art. The Sasquatch Kala is an alternate Venus, emerging from a sea of culture and our deepest primordial memories. She exists asthrough a dark mirror to all the nudes, nymphs, and muses of Art history. Kala is also a rebuttal to the clichéd pornography that hassaturated contemporary Art. As in all images of Sasquatch, her depiction is a synthesis of optical experience and illustrative image. Mygoal is to seduce the viewer and at the same time distance their reception with a tension between ontological sublimity and epistemologicalbeauty. Kala is the result of my search for a subject that is at once transcendent, comic, sexual, horrific, and impossible.


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