Joella Jean Mahoney Contemporary American Painter

Psyche of the Inner Canyon by Joella Jean Mahoney

“Psyche of the Inner Canyon” by Joella Jean Mahoney

Museum Quality Paintings

Figure Paintings Gallery:


Comments on select paintings from Joella Jean Mahoney:

“False Doors”

Upon visiting the ancient tombs in Egypt, I noticed two stucco doors in bas-relief. These flat doors were placed side-by-side on one of the walls in the tomb. I am very intrigued by the enigma of the idea of the False Door. In the Egyptian Mythology, one door on the left signifies the retrospective of one’s life, the other door, on the right, opens into the realm of the next life. On these doors, the face is blank, but the door frames are art deco wonderments. Art deco owes much to Egyptian decorative art.

It is worth the air flight from America to Cairo just to visit the National Museum of Art to see the treasures of Tutankhamen. The works are breathtakingly exquisite in craft, design and choice of materials. Upon viewing these treasures, I was filled with reverence, awe and gratitude for the loving labors and giftedness of anonymous artists in the service of beauty that was to remain in darkness for 5000 years. The Egyptian artists practiced perfection in their art because perfection was an honored concept in their culture.

In this painting, I placed chunky rock and landscape-like figures in the doorways. Are they reaching toward each other? Are they separated forever? Does the central plant-form promise growth or renewal?

A false door may seem meaningless to contemporary thought - but not to me - a false door opening onto what? The secret realm of the spirit? The invisible that knows? A symbolic passage for boundary crossing?