Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
On the other hand, I remember the peace I felt in Tulum, almost completely devoid of the clamor of the propaganda machine as it attempts to willfully erode one's self-esteem, offering up external solutions to lighten your wallet but never your load.
If you don't know this book, you may find it interesting: When Society Becomes an Addict by Anne Wilson Schaef
It's wonderful to learn, as our moment alive continues, that life never gets less delicious, less sensual or erotic. Aging is a powerful, giving process. And death is sacred.
Friday, January 22, 2010
PLEASE NOTE: this is a preliminary IPHONE photo, filtered and sharpened and whatnot in photoshop, but STILL, ya know ! I will repost this after it is shot with the great lens and camera body. It will look better then.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
For one thing I know: that nine-year journey from the diagnosis of the first brain tumor to her final surrender was a holy path I was blessed to be allowed to share, and at the moment of death God shook the universe and I howled.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I've been asked why I'm making these paintings. Every time I work on one I must pay a huge emotional toll. Nor do I expect there to be a clamoring to decorate the living room with this work. I have to make them. It's certainly a memorial; it is also part of my process of integrating and releasing this horrific and seemingly premature death. Suzanne was 51.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
She was tough, loving and complicated. Her computer screen saver said "LOVE RULES." These paintings are love letters. And I will continue making them until they stop demanding to be made. The hell with decorative painting.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It is a dark time for me now. I feel a great deal of grief. A year ago exactly, my late wife Suzanne decided to stop her battle against cancer. Hemangiopericytoma. Nine years. She didn't go to treatment that day, or ever again. I know I have posted the DEATH PAINTINGS before, perhaps all of them. I don't know if I posted this gouache I painted just after her vertebrectomy in 2004.
Today was the Winter Solstice. Mehr Licht.
Friday, December 18, 2009
from the archives:
painted in the Hell's Kitchen loft at 40th and 9th,
across the street from the bus station
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
sybarite productions proudly presents
four limited edition prints from
SEX AND SURRENDER
at ArteRoTica 6
an exhibition and performance of the erotic
10 DECEMBER 2009
7PM TO MIDNIGHT
(all guests of
You can click to be whisked to my newly updated website: biographical information and a number of recent bodies of work are on display, including images of my NAKED GIRL series and from my latest work SEX AND DEATH, inspired by my wife's nine-year battle with cancer and her death on New Year's Eve 2008, and by our innate erotic response to the harsh fact of our mortality.
Four limited edition prints from the larger series SEX AND SURRENDER, by JONATHAN HERBERT, will open at Madame X,
SEX AND SURRENDER focuses on the erotic nature of power exchange. On view are limited edition prints of paintings of women who are sexually aroused by being tied up. Says Herbert, "The trinity of sex, death and redemption are the themes I explore in my art.”
Since 2003 he has worked in a studio in the Fulton Ferry area of
His website is www.jonathanherbert.com; recently he has begun to write about his artistic process his on this blog, as well as posting new work as it is shot.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Dean Thompson assumed rather that I was troubled by a dip in my creative output. He took me into his office and said, "Jonathan, when others are lying in the park watching the clouds go by, they are goofing off. When you do it, you are working! Remember that every artist needs fanny time as much as hand time." Those words, exactly.
In this dark December, the first after the death of my wife, I look at my studio, devoid of new work for a month or so, and remember John Thompson's words. I know I am still in process on both the DEAD SUZANNE and the new MASTURBATION paintings. I'll post some sketches I've just completed when I shoot them.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I have more DEAD SUZANNE paintings to do...they are in my head. I am starting to the huge malaise that builds as days go by without painting.
The "new" profile picture is one of me in my studio around 1985 or so. It was at 1255 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The oil painting behind me is called Up First near the Queensborough, and I hope to find it in storage. It was one of a large body for work called VIEWS FROM A YELLOW CAB. Somebody wants to buy a print. I don't remember selling it; 1985 is so far from these days of excel inventories and digital archiving of my work.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sex and Surrender
The featured exhibit at ArteRoTica
Madame X, 94 West Houston Street on Thursday October 15th 7 p.m.
SEX AND SURRENDER, a solo exhibit of limited edition prints by JONATHAN HERBERT will open at Madame X, 94 West Houston Street, on October 15th, from 7pm to midnight.
SEX AND SURRENDER focuses on the erotic nature of power exchange. On view are limited edition prints of paintings of women who are sexually aroused by being tied up.
Says Herbert, “Painting I believe, is prayer; thus my work is the direct, 21st century descendant of the medieval monk’s devotional vocation. Further, my approach to art is based on the understanding that the role of the artist is similar to that of the shaman in primitive societies. It is our calling to go where the rest of the tribe cannot, bring back the experience of those difficult spiritual realms and translate it for general consumption. For example I, a member of a necrophobic society, immerse myself in my wife’s journey into death; the paintings that result are gut-wrenchingly powerful and deep, but ever so more gentle than “that good night” which claimed her. Alternatively, in a society conflicted about sexuality, I fan the flames of my libido and pour that energy and experience onto canvas and paper. I see beauty in desolate city streets and agony in a rose opening under a twilit sky.
The trinity of sex, death and redemption are the themes I explore in my art.”
Jonathan Herbert grew up in a house in which the walls were covered with paintings, drawings, and Japanese prints. He was a Museum of Modern Art regular from infancy, and has been an artist for forty years. Since 2003 he has worked in a studio in the Fulton Ferry area of Brooklyn. It is obvious to even the casual viewer that Herbert has an abiding love affair with paint, the substance; like the alchemists, he works in a pre-scientific, pre-technological, approximate and mysterious world. Herbert graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His website is http://www.jonathanherbert.com/.
Curated by Alaric Campbell, ArteRoTica exhibits monthly the works of carefully chosen, New York artists whose work explores erotic themes. Taking place at Madame X, at 94 West Houston Street, in the heart of New York’s West Village, the event features displays of erotic art – fine art, photography, and performance art.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
as part of the
DUMBO UNDER THE BRIDGE ART FESTIVAL
68 Jay Street No. 803, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Saturday 9/26 and Sunday 9/27 from 1 pm to 5 pm