by Ariadna Zierold
Korean artist Tae Lee lives and works in Los Angeles. The focus of his work invites to ruminate on a certain state of being that is regarded as the ideal found at the peak of the human condition. He believes this ideal is found in the visage of empathy found in the expressions of Jesus, Mary, and the high Saints in the paintings of the 19th century Italian Renaissance. The faces imply a sense of understanding in the difficulties that humanity battles in it’s longing for enlightenment/salvation, but does not condescend humanity with sympathy or pity.
“The hypocritical and cyclical tendencies of the material world can only be soothed by the light of empathy, an effort mystics and shamans from times past have all championed. The illuminated visages of the Holy Mary and the Great Buddha radiate a similar empathy, their peace not denying the great cost of sustaining life. This grace, used to navigate through this tumultuous and ultimately comedic lifetime, is the realm in which I seek to explore my art.” Tae Lee