Painting

Vignette: Jaime Corum

It is the sport of Kings, but Jaime Corum paints horses as if they themselves are the royal subjects.

 "Racing Frieze 1" by Jaime Corum, oil on wood panel

"Racing Frieze 1" by Jaime Corum, oil on wood panel

Where once a portraitist would depict a monarch in a controlled studio setting, Corum honors the horse with the same reverent approach, imbuing them with a similar lofty dignity. In these portraits, the supple but powerful forms are carefully positioned and lit, placed against deliberately artificial backdrops such as the tapestry in “Amando and Onne”. Corum cites George Stubbs as a key influence, and she has the same formality, the same thorough and complete observation of anatomy, and the same romantic point-of-view of equine nobility.

Corum also paints thoroughbreds in action, but the formal portraits are easily the more distinctive work. She sees the considerable range of expression in these animals; the contrast of mass, power, and speed against the impossible delicacy of the limbs and the graceful, fluid movement. For centuries the horse has worked for us, taken us into battle, and occupied the center of a multi-million dollar sporting industry.

The horse has also played a crucial role in culture, figuring prominently in human mythology and poetry. Symbolic of the force and beauty that are its natural attributes, it carries death, plague, pestilence - but also hope, purity, redemption in equal measure. They occupy our dreams and bear witness to our history:

  "Ghost in the Darkness" by Jaime Corum,  oil on wood panel

"Ghost in the Darkness" by Jaime Corum, oil on wood panel

The black horse crooks his
forelegs, the hills split open,
his nostrils pour flame.
Snort, snort through miles,
O charger, through rock.

From The Black Horse Rider - by Pierre Loving

For the White Horse knew England
When there was none to know;
He saw the first oar break or bend,
He saw heaven fall and the world end,
O God, how long ago.

From The Ballad Of The White Horse - by G. K. Chesterton

Can any other animal claim as much symbolic importance in humanity’s understanding of itself? Corum, of course, is not alone in this understanding, but the manner in which her work locates a distinctly continental tradition in equine imagery exemplifies this idea without resorting to kitsch, and she shows restraint in her embrace of sentimentality. She sees the horse for what it is, and while companionship is recognized as vital, her horses resist precociousness.

Jaime Corum is based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her equine art is inspired and refined by her own experience with horses, especially her own horse Chesapeake. She is currently exhibiting in Poetry in Motion: The Equine Art of Jaime Corum and Richard Sullivan at The Brown Hotel through July 1, 2018

 Photo: Leo Osborn

Photo: Leo Osborn

Hometown: Pineville, Kentucky
Education: Bellarmine University
Website: jaimecorumequineart.com
Gallery Representation: Kentucky Fine Art Gallery (Louisville), New Editions Gallery (Lexington), Tilting at Windmills Gallery (Vermont & Saratoga, NY)

Scroll down for more images

 "Amando & Onne" by Jaime Corum, oil on canvas

"Amando & Onne" by Jaime Corum, oil on canvas

 "Her Treasures" by Jaime Corum, oil on gessoboard

"Her Treasures" by Jaime Corum, oil on gessoboard

 "Engine" by Jaime Corum,  oil and gold enamel on wood panel.

"Engine" by Jaime Corum,  oil and gold enamel on wood panel.


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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