Jim Byrne: Interview

Jim Byrne, A Place For Fires, 2013 (courtesy of the artist)
Jim Byrne, A Place For Fires, 2013 (courtesy of the artist)

Victoria Webb interviews painter Jim Byrne about his work on the occasion of his recent exhibition at Tew Galleries, Atlanta.

Byrne remarks: "At the start of a painting I am often thinking of a kind of gesture or relationship between people or between a person and an object or a space that resonates with some symbolism that seems relevant to ideas I have at the time. As the painting develops I’m open to many possibilities and will freely make changes. At some point the painting will take form and begin to have its own internal logic. From there I try to let that be the guide while making use of intuition as much as possible. The source material will again aid in the later stages of painting to make the image more concrete... In general, I am drawn to a kind of psychological condition in which a paradox is presented. The figures in my paintings have a kind of heaviness of being at the same time the space dematerializes into pattern. There is a kind of particularness to the representation of the figure while there is a Classical feeling of eternal order to the setting in my paintings. In certain historical art, the inwardness of gesture that is paired with a formal beauty and strength of pattern and color is exceptionally moving to me."