Tenebras Lux

Beau Stanton

Oct. 10th – Nov. 9th 2014



Tenebras Lux is a new body of work inspired by the imagery and techniques found in sacred spaces. Stained glass windows, elaborate oil paintings, and ornamented sacred objects create an immersive experience that references medieval art forms, ancient and modern religious iconography, and fetishized holy relics. Originally installed as a temporary site-specific installation within the Crypt of Saint John the Baptist in Bristol, these works re-imagine their original sacred function to inform the way we view the development of religious icons and enduring archetypes.

While creating the work, Stanton employed classical, medieval, and 19th Century  techniques alongside contemporary digital media achieving unconventional results within the vaulted crypt and tomb niches. This calculated manipulation of light and shadow results in vividly illuminated images achieved through panes of tinted glass as well as delicate layers of transparent paint film.

These works are carefully concocted amalgamations that fuse archetypal symbols with familiar imagery from Classical Antiquity and Christian theology.  The result is a visual orgy of light and ornament contrasting natural organic forms of ancient mythology with the macabre and grotesque images of martyred Christian icons.

Unearthing ancient narratives from the detritus of industrial decline, where Sirens grapple with sinking ships and Sibyls predict cataclysmic events, Beau Stanton gilds his apocryphal myth with the graphical elements of creation, destruction and rebirth, inviting the viewer inside our collective unconscious ornamented by layers of chipped artifice and the rusted machinations of time.
A painter and muralist, Stanton creates work ranging in size from tiny eye miniatures to large-scale murals ornamenting entire building facades.  The work combines classical oil painting with intricate patterns inspired by ancient architecture, letterpress ornaments, and decayed infrastructure.  His interest in iconic visual symbols as well as Jungian archetypes often provide the foundation for his images.  In order to concoct these elaborate compositions, Stanton is constantly compiling photo reference of ornaments and patterns as he finds them in architectural elements, old books, and everyday objects.  These artifacts appear in Stanton’s paintings as visual cogs in heavily ornamented machine-like compositions. The initial studies are then distilled into highly ornate compositions utilizing a variety of techniques including ink renderings, digital media, and screen printing. Finally, the pieces are fully rendered in delicate layers of oil paint, manipulating focus, light and perspective.
Stanton is originally from Southern California where he studied Illustration and Drawing and Painting. He relocated to New York after graduating in 2008, where he apprenticed for Pop Iconoclast Ron English.  Stanton continues to live and work in Brooklyn, NY and has exhibited throughout the United States, Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, and Australia