|THE ARTWORK OF HERB ROE|
ARTIST STATEMENT My work focuses on depicting the
relevance of traditional communal and community building
events such as the boucherie and the Courir de Mardi Gras.
The majority of this focus has been on the "courir", the
traditional pre-Lenten celebration of the Prairie Cajuns of
southwest Louisiana, an entire day of masked revelry with
its roots in the ancient Roman Lupercalia and Saturnalia.
The participants don elaborate costumes drawn from medieval
traditions, frontier era depictions of Native Americans and
political and social commentary; costumes meant to
simultaneously conceal ones identity and through the
temporary repeal of societal inhibitions display their inner
My most recent work is an exploration of the mythic qualities of the festival and its modern continuation. I search to portray the otherworldliness of the day by placing the participants into a dream like setting of spreading moss draped oaks and vibrant splashes of color. This lets me explore the psychological implications of the holiday from my status as an outsider; lending more of an impact to the brightly colored costumes by contrasting them against their background environments. More than just a likeness, my work is an interpretation of the Light and Darkness involved in the holiday, draped in symbolic layers meant to elicit thoughts and perceptions of its place in our modern world.
The system I use helps me to build detailed compositions on my canvas before the application of color, a technique heavily based in western classical realist traditions. I add drama and focus to my pieces with layering of light and color, built up through multiple layers of impasto and oil glazes, but built upon detailed graphite drawings and value studies before color is applied to the canvas. This technique allows me to determine the subject and mood for a piece at its inception; and then to focus on achieving that effectively through use of light and color without the distractions of rearranging my compositions in subsequent layers.
BIO Herb Roe was born and spent his childhood in the Appalachian regions of Southern Ohio and Northeastern Kentucky. In 1992 he received a scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio and attended his freshman year there. In the summer of 1993 he met the Louisiana mural artist Robert Dafford. He subsequently apprenticed to and worked for Dafford for 15 years on mural projects throughout the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. As a Dafford Muralist, Roe specialized in large scale, long term historical mural projects, often connected with local Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Bureaus and Downtown Development Agencies. Many of these projects took between 5 and 10 years to complete, and ranged from 1 to 50 murals in each town. In 2007 Roe began to pursue a career as a fine artist, specializing in fine art oil paintings depicting the history and culture of his adopted home in South Louisianas Acadiana region.
|BIO and CV|
Interviews and Press
|All images © Herb Roe and may be reproduced only with written permission from the artist.|