It is not merely gravity that keeps us ultimately attached to Earth. We must pull ourselves, with intention and vigor, towards the center of ourselves. This is done for ourselves, and for others, for it’s when we find that center that we are best in service of the world. Like the work of Caleb Mahoney, this is an ongoing and most likely lifelong process.
For Mahoney, the key lies in the process itself. Be they joyous or disappointing, end results are fleeting. There’s always a higher mountain top somewhere, as it were, and for some, the climbing, the exploring is the very core of life. Is there ever an ultimate answer when we go seeking? A finished piece can provide one, briefly. But the questions, the great mysteries, come flooding back. And it’s the artist’s duty to wade through those waters, so that viewers can experience moments of illumination and delight.
Mahoney has always sought a center through creation in someway. He’s been a sculptor, and a rather poetic drummer as well. Like other great wandering souls before him, he also once looked to drugs to clarify the darkness within him. A sizeable portion of his youth was spent overcoming and succumbing to heroin addiction. It’s a dire struggle, and one that he has beaten thanks in part to his loving wife, the recent creation of a son, and a host of explorative and primitive paintings.
His recent works represent an evolution in the process of creation as an act of centering. Each painting is an experiment, a piece to the never ending puzzle of existence and the self. Perhaps they are representative, too, of a soul that is still without rest. Is this prolific season in Mahoney’s life indicative of sickness or perfect health? Is it mere obsession or higher oneness? It’s likely that it’s something in between. Some spirits never truly settle. Whatever the reason for their existence, the viewer must be thankful for these beautiful and timeless works, for Mahoney’s willingness to share his journey and his gift.
These paintings are instantly evocative. They seem classic, without seeming outdated. Since they are void of any overt narrative, they communicate something unique to each viewer. They are more about an energy, an essence. His eye for form is clear and impressive. Mahoney has the itch, and we can only guess at what undulations and evolutions his style will take, as he continues to seek, to explore, to tell a story of endurance through process.
Written by: Drew Bond
Caleb lives and works in Jacksonville, FL. He is a proud husband and father of his 1 year old, Ollie.