The word “paradise” has a long history.
It entered English through the French, who translated it from Latin, who inherited it from Greek, who borrowed it from Old Iranian.
Its original, literal, Old Iranian meaning: “Walled enclosure,” was sweetened by the Greeks who seemed to prefer the more inviting sounding translation: “A park for animals.” Of course, it figured prominently in Hebrew and Arabic as well, and appeared in such bestsellers as The Old and New Testament, and the Qur’an.
Wherever it came from, and whatever it has come to mean to us now, we seem to regard it as a nice place of incredible beauty. A place where the weather is perpetually warm, clothing is optional, fruit trees grow in abundance, and everybody gets along.
Not a bad place to hang out, assuming you follow the rules!
In 983 or so, after killing a couple of his neighbors, banished Norseman Erik the Red sailed west of Iceland and came upon a chilly island with a Fiord in the middle.
Not surprisingly, he named the Fiord after himself.
Then, in an attempt to make a very cold place sound better than it was and more hospitable to settlement, he named the island “Greenland”. Sadly, things did not go well for the Vikings on Greenland, and they disappeared by the 16th century.
Roland Vikre was born in Minneapolis, MN. in 1936.
Largely self-taught, except for a brief stint at the Academy of Art in San Francisco; he rebelled against what he felt were the pretentious, narrow tastes of late 1950’s modern art, to create a unique, modern style all his own.
Using bold, pure color painted in many layers, Vikre created a clean, vibrant pallet from which to tell his story. Philosophy, religion, history, mythology and the popular music of his time were the subjects of interest to him.
By eliminating what was not essential, Vikres’ work conveys a directness, and simplicity that is the mark of an adept craftsman.
He created art that is friendly, as well as thought provoking; full of wit and compassion. Art that spoke to his own curiosity about the world around him, and the world he found in books.
Suffering from a mild case of Tourettes Syndrome, Vikre
was quiet and unassuming. He chose neither to show, nor promote his work. Instead, he kept to himself and his family; researching subject matter, honing his craft, and building the large wooden canvases on which he painted voraciously until his death in 2009.
It is our privilege to introduce you to the first gallery of work by an artist whom you may not be familiar with.
An artist who believed that self-improvement was more important than self-promotion, and who understood that the surest path to finding your own voice was not to follow the world, but to follow your heart.