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The Sun: Tarot XIX

Jess (Jess Collins), American, 1923 - 2004

The California "Beat generation" collage artist and painter Jess is known for "paste-ups" such as this one that often take years to produce. Utilizing hundreds of images from books, old magazines, steel engravings, newspapers, etc., his works frequently contain references to mythology, the occult, or the divining powers of the Tarot, the ancient fortune-telling cards. The nineteenth card of the original Tarot deck, the Greater Arcana, is the sun.

Jess, who worked as a chemist during (as well as after) the Second World War monitoring the production of plutonium at the Manhattan Project, describes the way in which he organizes the hundreds or even thousands of collage elements into fantastical "tapestries:"
"For most of us-certainly for me-the mythic imagination carries a level of reality that can be equal to or greater than logic and the scientific method. I try to bring together many story possibilities that will trigger more stories and more possibilities. . . . It's all about the romantic imagination and creating something that does not stop where my imagination leaves off."

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