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Jon Rappleye

March 16, 2011

Jon Rappleye

To approach one of Jon Rappleye‘s monumental canvases is to be swept into a fantastical world of strange landscapes populated by seemingly familiar animals including deer, bats, rabbits, baby octopi and starry-eyed owls. There is beauty among those trees and mountains, but there is danger lurking there as well. Organic bodies collide with mechanical forms to reshape both creatures and landscapes in ways that suggest that, if there are monsters haunting these magical worlds they just might be us. Jon’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at major galleries in New York and L.A. His work is featured in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; The Progressive Corporation, Ohio; West Collection, Pennsylvania and U. S. Art in Embassies.  Jon pried himself away from his Jersey City studio long enough to answer 12 Questions:

1. What is your hometown?

I live and work in Jersey City, New Jersey, I am from a small town in Utah.  I have lived in the New York area for the past 13 years, wow how Time flies!

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

I really have not given it any thought.  I have always been more fascinated with fact than fiction.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

I have always been told that I look like Willem Dafoe, when I was younger it was David Bowie.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

That’s a difficult question, there are so many.  Every time I see a Gustav Klimt I get goose bumps or start to cry, also James Ensor’s “Christ’s Entry into Brussels In 1889” at the Getty.  One of my most favorite paintings is at the Met: “Joan of Arc” 1879 by Bastien Lepage.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I am always reading several books at once.  “Trickle up Poverty” by Michael Savage, which makes me sound like a right-winger, which I am not! I consider myself to be an independent, I have no allegiance to any party. I distrust politicians, left, right, its all the same, I like to keep myself  informed and draw my own conclusions.  I am also re-reading “Portnoys Complaint” by Philip Roth. I read it years ago, very entertaining and dirty. “Why Birds Sing,”  a journey into the mystery of bird song, by David Rothenberg.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I cant stop listening to Paula Cole’s latest album “Ithaca”  I use to love her  in graduate school but then in the years between she put out some pretty bland attempts, “Ithaca” is a return to the angry and sexy Paula I fell in love with. Sia “We are Born,” Antony and the Johnsons “Swanlights,” and Allison Morrer “Crows.”

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

“A Single Man” by Tom Ford, which is based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel and has a great cast with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.

8. Cat person or dog person?

More of a Dog person. Me and my husband would love to have a dog but we are not suppose to have one in our building but we have been talking about settling for a cat instead.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Ummmmm that is such a difficult question, I really think that it depends upon the circumstances but in theory I would have to say truthfulness.

10. How do you define sin?

Anything that is considered culturally unacceptable or violates a moral norm.

11. How do you define virtue?

I believe that this is dependent upon your belief system. Someone who is good or has a high degree of integrity.

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I always loved Oscar Wilde’s Tombstone  at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France.  It has an Egyptian looking angel hovering horizontally over the grave. I would like something similar, maybe an owl? For the inscription maybe a title from one of my paintings, something like “Tangled in Slumber’s Reason” or “Awakened from Winter’s Tranquil Slumber.”

Jon Rappleye

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 19, 2011 18:08

    Very interesting please tell me more.

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