The Lebowski Cycle is a series of paintings and drawings by Joe Forkan that explore layered narratives, using masterpieces of European art and the 1998 Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski as a starting point.
The series is the result of a long-standing interest in narrative painting, particularly Baroque and Neoclassical paintings: complex figurative works that depict grand story arcs, and compress a multitude of thoughts, ideas and emotions into a singular image. Foran responds also to the range of human interaction and conflict, formal qualities, and modes of depiction in that work.
In looking for a way to mitigate the seriousness of historical and religious paintings often contain he turned to a favorite film, The Big Lebowski, to imagine how the characters, humor and preposterous story arc of that film might be enlisted to explore themes and titles from well-known works of European art. Hybrid images resulted, referencing art history, film, and contemporary art, from sources that inform, overlap and may even contradict each other. "It all runs through the imprecise language of painting."
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website