Pure Blues Symbolism

I dedicate Pure Blues to John “Joliet Jake Blues” Belushi and the thousands of loyal Blues Brothers’ fans who have enthusiastically followed, supported, and admired their work. There are a few intimate details of symbolism in this piece that I will let you in on as a spectator, collector, and Blues Brothers fan.

Scroll through this slideshow and find all the clues!

The Eternal Stage

Observing the stage the Blues Brothers stand on, you will notice it expands into infinity, a nod toward their oath to entertain with a “world is my stage” attitude they shared.

John's Missing Reflection

John Belushi’s missing reflection symbolizes his untimely death and departure from Hollywood and the world’s stage. Somehow, we know Elwood feels the presence of Jake even in his absence, and, as an artist, there was no better way for me to depict the weight of the world missing him than to show that his legacy lives on, but without influencing the physical world in details like shadows and reflections.

Shooting Star

A shooting star cascading over the night sky is a tribute to the fact that, as John demonstrates, we exist on earth for such a short time, here for a moment, gone the next. 

Elwood's Gaze

In the painting, Elwood Blues looks over his shoulder, and it reminds me of the first time I saw Elwood Blues perform live, when environmentalist David Suzuki hosted a fundraising event and invited me to attend. Amid his performance, Elwood Blues gazed over his shoulder, and I could’ve sworn he nodded tenderly at a version of Jake’s who was never really there.

Jake's Missing Shoe!

Here’s where the clues get cryptic: some folks have noticed that, beyond the absence of his reflection, Jake is missing one of his shoes! Perhaps the reason for this is hidden elsewhere – perhaps, among the pages of my upcoming book, The Wizard Of Art!