Paul Endres Jr.
See the artist's exhibit, THEATER OF WAR: Paul Endres Jr.'s Tales of the American Burden,
at the Childs Gallery April 7 - June 14, 2014.
St. Abigails Day
acrylic on canvas, 72"x24"
Taking place long after the events of "The American Burden," the fiction catastrophe that haunts all of
Endres' paintings and characters, St. Abigail's Day depicts a bizarre classroom ritual. Now canonized,
the caution-tape-clad folk hero of the Cephalophoric War, Abigail Daedalus, is celebrated by the post-Burden world.
The children have begun to decorate the room with their interpretations of P.J. Endres Jr.'s paintings, a
favorite St. Abigail's Day tradition and an educational opportunity, too.
About the artist
Paul Endres Jr. received his B.A.
from Providence College in 2008 and his
M.F.A from the School of the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston in 2011. Fascinated by
the fictional nature of human history
and how it is perpetuated, Paul's work
is dedicated to commemorating the events
of The American Burden, a fictitious
catastrophe of his own creation. In 2012
Paul's work was shown at La Montagne
Gallery and the TEDx Somerville Event.
In the Spring of 2014, Paul will show
his work in a solo exhibition at Childs
Gallery, Boston. The Boston Globe
featured Paul and his work in 2011
article, "High Five: Five Young Artists
to Watch". In 2013 Paul received an
Emerging Artist Award from the St.
Botolph Club Foundation, as well as a
Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist
Fellowship Award (2012) and the
Springborn Fellowship (2010). Paul has
taught figure painting as a Graduate
Teaching Fellow at the S.M.F.A., Boston,
and is currently teaching various
painting and drawing courses at the
Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA.
Fascinated by the contradictory fictional nature of history and our part, as humans, in its infinite perpetuation, my work is the marriage of epic storytelling and formal subversion.
The ongoing series of paintings, comics, and prose depicts a single sprawling narrative that begins just after a mysterious modern catastrophe: the physical materialization and collapse of history. This event has come to be known as The Burden. In an attempt to secure a powerful relic, the severed head of the super-titan David Ocampo, a bloody civil war erupts among the inhabitants of Burden America, who showcase their twisted reason and folly. The paintings are the memorials to these pivotal events and historical figures of this Cephalophoric War, painted by the doomed fictional artist, P.J. Endres Jr., a master propagandist akin to Jacques Louis David.
Equal parts comedy and tragedy, the content and creation of the paintings of the American Burden is informed heavily by a variety of converging conceptual and visual polarities, including 17th - 19th century history painting with contemporary visual media such as comic books, with social satire always in mind. The paintings and their fictional history are treated and presented with the utmost respect. Theatricality, self-aware characters and intentional chronological errors (of this alternative reality) are meant to question the authorship and validity of the images entirely.
An unspoken yet crucial component to the work is the precise staging and documenting of each scene for use as source material. This phase in the process, involving family, friends, or collogues of whom I have much adoration, ventures slightly into that tentative territory: autobiography. This underlying personal connection to my subjects, coexisting with a distant grandiose apocalyptic history, offers a parallel reading to the work, as well as provides the work's central contradiction.
Welcome to Burden America.