Title: The Dubliner: portrait of James Joyce
Material: Oil on canvas
“There is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do … to give people a kind of intellectual or spiritual pleasure by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own … for their mental, moral and spiritual uplift.” – James Joyce
I read Finnegan’s Wake when I want to stretch my head and crack loose adhesions before I work. James Joyce wrote about the Catholic church critically but was fully aware of its powerful draw and influence in Irish life. In his stream-of-consciousness narratives he captures perfectly the wandering mind of a wayward Christian, which I attempt to capture here, in the format and coloration of a Guinness pub advertisement. (Guinness was originally created as an attempt to save Irish society from the evils of whiskey.) His tie is tri-colored, first in Irish orange-white-green and then in English red-white-blue, in a reference to the Troubles that for Ireland were (and still are) a cultural given.