‘Inner Sanctum’ by Josh Tiessen
Artist: Josh Tiessen
Title: ‘Inner Sanctum’
Medium: Oil on braced Baltic birch
Dimensions: 18″ x 20″ x 2″
Framing: Unframed (ready to hang)
Year of Creation: 2019
About the Artwork:
“The architecture in this painting was influenced by the Skånelaholm Castle of Sweden built in 1639-1643, with thanks to its current owners for emailing me additional reference photos. While the castle originally reflected the Dutch-German Late Renaissance style, in 1890 the vibrant stucco facade and ornamentation were added, reminiscent of Rococo styles in the Baroque with scrolling curves and pastel tones (also quintessential in Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel). I took artistic license incorporating a Gothic rose window from the Duomo Cathedral I visited during a trip to Milan.
When my brother first saw the painting, he said it reminded him of Doctor Strange’s residence, called the Sanctum Sanctorum, and that Marvel Studios creation inspired the title. A closer look through the window reveals the magical unicorn of the sea, the Narwhal. The surreal existence of a castle in the canyons is meant to evoke an otherworldly feeling, with the elusive Narwhal that usually swims in the ice-cold depths of the Arctic Ocean. Water fissures foreshadow the potential breach of this mansion aquarium, symbolic of the threat from poachers who procure the Narwhal tusk coveted by collectors for its presumed magical powers.
Before Skånelaholm Castle was erected, the land had apparently been used as a convent for nuns who dedicated their lives to God. So too, the Narwhal quietly brings honour to its Creator by its peaceful life in the ocean. As the Psalmist penned more than three thousand years ago, ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths’ (Psalm 148:7).” – Josh Tiessen
About the Artist:
Born in 1995 in Moscow, Russia, Tiessen is an international award-winning artist based near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, He was listed as one of the world’s top ten prodigy artists (Huffington Post) and recognized as the only known male art prodigy in North America (Dr. J. Ruthsatz, international child prodigy expert). His hyperreal shaped oil paintings, which take 400-1200 hours to complete, reflect the interaction between the natural world and human-made structures, drawing upon his studies in philosophy, theology and intercultural aesthetics.
As a teenager, ranked among the world’s foremost realist artists, Tiessen was juried in as the youngest member of International Guild of Realism, Artists for Conservation and Society of Animal Artists, elite groups of the top nature and wildlife artists worldwide. As a young adult, Art Renewal Center designated him “Associate Living Master,” and New York based gallery Jonathan LeVine Projects awarded him First Place from 2000 artists in their international competition Search for the Next Great Artist. LeVine presented the emerging artist’s debut international solo exhibition in May of 2019.
Mentored by masters such as acclaimed Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman, Tiessen has exhibited his work since 2006 in over 100 exhibitions including the National Gallery of Canada, and is frequently juried into group exhibitions throughout the United States. He has sold upwards to 150 originals and hundreds of limited edition giclée prints to private/corporate Canadian & international collectors.
Featured over 200 times in the press and media (American Art Collector, International Artist), speaking and teaching at 60 venues, and making 90 invited art donations to charitable organizations, Tiessen established the Arts for a Change Foundation. Tiessen has received over 60 awards and honours including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 for artistic achievement and philanthropic work.