Ian Brownlee

Region: South

These paintings are part of a series called ìAmerican Mythsî. Mythology describes a world full of magic. It also lays out a peopleís assumptions about themselves and the world.

I base these paintings on old photographs. When I see them, I wonder what the stories are: Who are these people and what are they doing? I want to maintain that sense of mystery as I paint. Sometimes I stray from the photos as little as possible, just enough to change the context. Other times I change them a lot to make new stories. I want to include the good with the bad, the hopeful with the fearful.

Iím influenced by history and ecology, as well as old-time music and pop songs of the 30s and 40s. Iím never sure exactly what the paintings are about. I try to keep them in that middle ground between obvious and unintelligible. On one side is proseó where everything is spelled out. On the other side is the trance or deep altered state that only makes sense to the person in that state of mind. In between is the realm of poetry or myth. Itís accessible enough to give you a way in, but thereís still a little left for your imagination. I see these paintings as part of a new mythology, one each viewer can bring their own interpretation to.