My current work in art is an ongoing extended series called: ‘Aenigmate’ : Ikonic Mixed-Media Constructions. Emerging alongside of this is a related branch of forthcoming work called: ‘tree of Souls’ : Drawings and Ikonic Constructions, which I began to release in late 2011. Thus far, I have completed a Suite of 70 Drawings + another group of preliminary Drawings – as well as the major Ikonic Constructions: (1) ‘The Nurture’ (2012) followed by ‘The Enclosed Garden : Field of Stars’ or [‘Hortus Conclusus : Campus Stella (2012) and ‘Enlightment’… In Autumn (2016). My most recent piece for the ‘Aenigmate’ series is: ‘Lament of the Black Sun’ or [‘Lamento Sol Niger’] (2015). The difference between the two series is that the older ‘Series A’ are more wide open in terms of content; more maximal in terms of information and surface. On the other hand: ‘Series ToS’ is centered mainly on the ‘Tree of Life’ motif; is more stripped down, reductionist and minimal in terms of information and surface.
The series title, ‘Aenigmate’ means: At this present time, being earthbound and limited in finitude – to be able to see and ascertain only the dimmest of shadows of what truly ‘is’ and ‘is to come’; like looking through a dark (distorted) glass. In my work, I seek to convey something of the ‘mysterium tremendum’ – or a visual approximation of the experience of awe, divine mystery and terrible beauty.
The series title, ‘Tree of Souls’ from the earliest recesses of childhood and memory… playtime in the Park… the idea of The Tree (later equated into the eternal, ever recurring theme of ‘The Tree of Life’… when I was 12 years old – subsequent exile and loss of ‘my internal paradise home’ in New York City – with banishment to a different way of life in the suburbs. The idea for the ‘Series ToS’ came about through my studies in the Holy Scriptures and in the mythology of Judaism – which for me provides wonderful added dimension and illumination to the Biblical accounts. The ‘Tree of Souls’ is filled with the souls of the righteous – past. present and to come. These Souls are watched over, nurtured, protected, cared for by an Angel. These Souls are the fruit of the Holy One…. “I am like a cypress tree in bloom; your fruit issues forth from me” (Hosea 14:9) Conversely, in order to bear good fruit during one’s life – one must cling to, ‘abide in the vine’ (the very source of all life)!
My overall body of work, likened to illuminated manuscript pages, reliquaries and traditional ikons. Stems from my studies in art history, music, philosophy, mysticism, sacred texts + the Bible.
Some themes: Mother and Child… The Passion… the current collapse of existing structures… sacred space and symmetry… windows as portals of grace… the park as model paradise garden.
In the creation of my sacred images, I am primarily interested in space… or the charting of a deeply personal and resonant space, as it relates to mysticism and memory. In the ever changing realm of artistic creation, I am forever searching for a zone, an open space, a place of calm to call my own, an area open to imagination and revelation…
I am likewise interested in following that indescribable ‘ambient sound’ that ever calls to me and informs my life and work – the place where the creative tension of self-doubt and searching ultimately finds marvelous breakthroughs and resolution in an all pervasive calm.
Through the realization of my iconic mixed media constructions, I seek to capture the fragile sparkling of the last interstices (here at the end of time) as I reach in faith out to the void -create- and pull something of substance back into the here and now.
Born and raised in the Inwood section of northern Manhattan, New York… the Artist, Robert Eustace, attributes his eventual ‘calling’ in Art to various central roots: playtime in the Park Systems ‘primeval wilderness’; discovering mystery and wonder amongst the art, fragrances and shadows found within a traditional catholic church; and by extension: frequent visits to the nearby Cloisters Museum – a complete monastic setting constructed from architectural shards gathered from across the face of Europe… Lastly, being mentored by the primitive expressionist painter Peter Dean (1934-1993). The work of Robert Eustace evokes a mysticism of memory and yearning for the transcendent.
BA Fine Art – Montclair State University (1981) concentration in: Art History + Philosophy
MFA Painting – The School of Visual Art (1987) concentration in: Sculpture