50K: At this Place and Time
James M. Behan
November 5 - 29, 2013
“I’ve just been presented this hat, but I don’t have the guts to wear it.”
From Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Grand Prairie, Texas September 13 1960
With this exhibition, I create a single visual experience from four separate works: “Ecce Homo,” “Entry into Jerusalem,” “Silver Knoll,” and “Icon.”
“Ecce Homo” or “This Man” re-envisions a hope filled day, September 13, 1960, when during a trip through Texas then Senator Kennedy stopped in Grand Prairie, the artist’s hometown, to briefly address the crowd that had gathered. The work documents this moment in time when an iconic figure and everyman was dropped into the middle of a small Texas community between Dallas and Fort Worth. “Entry into Jerusalem” focuses specifically on the tragic events of November 22, 1963 that both begin and end with procession. The repetition that occurs within the solemnity of procession create comfort and inevitability, a form of reassurance in the resilience of a community despite the severity of any tragedy it might collectively encounter. “Silver Knoll,” formed by 30 pillows, reflects the consequences of betrayal and the distrust it creates within a community. Lastly, “Icon,” a counterpoint to the other works, interjects a note of hope and mercy in the midst of the suffering encountered by the Dallas Fort Worth community and larger society from the loss of a beloved leader.
This exhibition, presented in the venue of a community art space, examines the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex in unexpected crisis and how this tragedy remains a singularly transformative moment that continues to reverberate through this community even today.
--James M. Behan
Behan creates painted constructions that are an ongoing reflection on his life as a Roman Catholic. Through the lens of his Irish heritage, Behan’s work serves as a meditation on the ideas behind the worldview expressed through Catholicism. With special focus are the reality of suffering and the notion of the suffering servant. Behan’s goal as an artist is to reintroduce and affirm a catholic point of view within the dialect of contemporary art culture.