James Gortner's "the Lovers" (2008-2013) is a series of paintings based on his relationship with photographer Carolina Palmgren, the symbolism found in the Tarot, and his theories on artistic production.
Gortner's painted image begins as a construction of many other artist's original works. He then renders excerpt figures from Carolina's own photography that literally weave themselves in and out of the works picture plane and narrative. All the while he builds the surface sculpturally with thick paint, cut paintings, stencil and found objects.
Gortner organizes his collection of others paintings not only to make an allegorical portrait of his subject via her own gaze, but also uses the found symbolism of the Tarot as guideline. Each painting is Gortner's giant interpretive homage to one of 14 tarot cards. The same 14 cards that were read to him by Carolina, shortly after they met.