Purchases outside the continental US - please call for shipping rates
New York state residents are charged sales tax
Terms of Sale:
The work of art seen and described above is sold by the Seller and purchased by the Buyer upon the following terms and conditions:
1. Except as otherwise provided herein or elsewhere agreed in writing, payment in full is due and payable on the date of the invoice.
2. Title of the work of art above shall not pass until payment in full has been received.
3. All applicable sales taxes have been charged on this transaction. The payment and remittance of use tax is the Buyer's obligation. Seller reserves the right to collect out-of-state sales taxes from the buyer after the sale if seller becomes assessed with them.
4. The Buyer's sole remedy for breach of any implied or express warranty therein shall be an action for rescission and, in any event, the absolute limit of the Seller's liability and responsibility hereunder shall under no circumstances exceed the total sales price and Seller shall not be responsible for any special, incidental, or consequential damages.
5. A non-exclusive right to reproduce the work of art described above is reserved by the Seller.
6. Risk or loss of the work of art described above shall pass to the Buyer upon delivery by the Seller to the address specified by the Buyer.
7. Seller unconditionally guarantees the authenticity of the work of art described above and, in the event such work proves not to be authentic as described, will accept the return of the work and return the sales price in full.
Except for the warranty of authenticity set forth above, no warranties or agreements, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, have been made by the Seller.
Oil on panel
36 x 24 inches
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., New York City
In the historical paintings and drawings of Francis of Assisi he is often depicted praying in a cave with a skull resting on a stone table. Francis often frequented a natural grotto just outside of Assisi, Italy, which is now named the Eremo delle Carceri (in Latin carceres means “isolated place”).
Similarly, Qohelet finds himself in a hidden cave of crystals. The intersecting quartz columns bathed in pink, purple and blue, resemble stained glass windows in a cathedral, a sanctuary where death is often contemplated. The motif of the skull was used in vanitas still-life paintings of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age to “remind viewers that they would die” (in Latin, memento mori). So too, candles are a symbol for the transience of life, which at any moment can be snuffed out for each of us.
In Søren Kierkegaard’s essay “The Present Age” he writes about how the lazy mass is foolishly amused by the reflektor, becoming mirrors imitating the pursuits of society––whether money, pleasure, or entertainment. This sentiment rings ever so true in our modern age, where the reflektor controls and distracts us from pondering the existential questions of life, until it is too late and we die.
The book of Ecclesiastes has much to say about death. Qohelet writes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.”[i] However, in our contemporary death-adverse culture it is taboo to even mention the fact that death awaits us all. Many are obsessed with transcending human limitations, hoping in a trans-humanist future where we can upload our brains to eternal computer hard-drives (which actually sounds like hell to me). Yet, with all our medical advancements, there is wisdom in accepting that death is part of the natural order. It is still one of the surest things in life (that, and taxes, of course!). From a Jungian perspective, Qohelet experiences a decentering of his ego and a realignment with the self, making space for communion with God. [ii]
Qohelet muses, “Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.” [iii] Death is the great leveler. Both the wicked and the wise meet their same demise. Admittedly macabre, Qohelet looks death square in the face, peering beyond the smoke and mirrors. While he has enjoyed and made the most of his present life, he is not neglecting to prepare for the life to come. Will we?
Born in 1995 in Moscow, Russia, Josh Tiessen is an international award-winning artist based near Toronto, Canada. Tiessen is best known for his hyper-surreal shaped oil paintings, which take up to 1700 hours to complete, and reflect the interaction between the natural world and human-made structures, drawing upon his studies in philosophy and theology.
As a young artist Tiessen was designated one of the world's top ten prodigy artists by Huffington Post, and the only known male art prodigy in North America by Dr. J. Ruthsatz, global prodigy expert. As a teenager he was juried in as the youngest member of International Guild of Realism among foremost realist artists from around the world, Artists for Conservation and Society of Animal Artists, elite groups of the top nature and wildlife artists worldwide. Art Renewal Center designated him Associate Living Master, and New York based gallery Jonathan LeVine Projects awarded him First Place from 2000 artists in their international competition Search for the Next Great Artist. LeVine presented the emerging artist’s debut international solo exhibition “Streams in the Wasteland” in May of 2019.
Mentored by masters like acclaimed Canadian artist Robert Bateman, Tiessen has exhibited his work since 2006 in over 100 exhibitions including the National Gallery of Canada and prominent galleries in the United States. He has sold over 150 original works and hundreds of limited edition giclée prints to private and corporate Canadian and international collectors.
Featured over 200 times in the press & media (Forbes, American Art Collector, International Artist), speaking and teaching at 60 venues, and making 90 invited art donations to charitable organizations, Tiessen established the Arts for a Change Foundation. This prolific artist has garnered over 60 awards and honours including International Guild of Realism Creative Achievement, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Canada's Top 20 Under 20, for his artistic accomplishment and philanthropic work.