Copyright © 2011 Jeff Freeman,  All Rights Reserved


Artist's Statement



"Inspriation and aspiration are not exclusive alternatives, but one and the same; because the spirit to which both words refer cannot work in the man except to the extent that he is in the spirit."

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Why Exhibit Works of Art? "Christian and Oriental Philosophy of Art", Page 37, Dover Publications Inc., New York, NY. 1956.




Art has always seemed to me to be about truth tempered by paradox and enigma. The real substance of my work is not found in

mere description, but rather, in the suggestion of a psychic or spiritual dimension I am seeking or am responding to. As such, the

primary means of expressing this is symbolic. My work is a contemplative device that allows me to both decipher and encrypt a

balance between that which is either static or in a state of transformation.


My process of making art functions like a ritual dance, with various entities striving to have the most influence.  We each

experience these things in a number of ways as they assert themselves into our lives. The forms and symbols I use are

references on that path, their effect somewhat nebulous, akin to the way iron filings respond to a magnet. Concepts and ideas

come and go as we get nearer or farther from their influence, using our own energies, mind and spirit, to either orbit or break

free and move on.


There are starting points, labyrinths and ritual paths, cross winds, hostile incursions and resolute goals. The maze traps and

releases us. There are forts to be defended, cellars to climb out of, and a patio, now and then, to be sat on, taking in the evening

breezes. In the midst of all this I involve myself in a type of ritualistic and obsessive laboring over the conundrums which stem

from these varied shades of meaning. The process of making art is the vehicle I use in this ritual engagement.


I accept questions regarding the ultimate meaning of my work the same way I accept various extremes of expression ranging

from glossalalia, scat dancing, improvisational jazz, laughing and crying, revelation and despair. These things may help me get

the gist of what is going on, but the essence of the search is not easily offered or found. These notions and questions seem to

function like waves, a passing phenomenon, but they are not the root substance itself. I hope my work suggests possible

answers by serving more as a psychic prompt than anything with too clear a meaning.


The more I have relied on logic and applied meaning to help people get a handle on art, the farther they seemed to be from what

I was really trying to get at. However, logic still has its place in the art I create. Certainly there are the cross-pollinations of

Wittgenstein with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and the notions of both Freud and Jung (I lean towards Jung,) and above

all there is the heart of the New Testament. Out of all this, and other things as well, stems the work that I do.









  We are made of such as that to which we aspire.  
Jeff Freeman
Vermillion, South Dakota
December, 2011


Artist's Statement