Sprung from a deeply religious Dutch immigrant community in the farmland east of the Big Sioux River in northwest Iowa, Bradley A. TePaske has always been passionate about the diverse organic forms of the natural world. As a boy he collected insects, nests, eggs, snakes and bones, raised silk moths and tended bird boxes, all the while drawing and painting them inspired by Audubon’s bird paintings, countless field guides and long excursions by the river. He once ran home from school triumphant upon learning that Pantheism defined his true Faith! Being Dutch meant exposure to ethnic artists like Pieter Bruegel, whose “The Triumph of Death” lent both stylistic form and eerie intimation of the darker side of his psyche and sensibility, even as Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” cast a spell from which he has never recovered. Equally important was his mother’s early lesson that Van Gogh’s tiny brushstrokes, together with ones very own eyes, constructs our experience of visual images.
Creating elaborate works of art from early on, TePaske trained in intaglio with Virginia A. Myers at the University of Iowa where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking in 1973. He worked with Mauricio Lasansky, and with the Fantastic Realist, Ernst Fuchs in Austria before earning his Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking at UMASS Amherst in 1976. Privileged to study Northern Renaissance art with Charles D. Cuttler and Craig Harbison respectively, today TePaske counts Albrecht Durer, the Pre-Raphaelites, 19th Century Symbolist Art, and the Surrealists, particularly Max Ernst, as pervasive influences.
In 1973 TePaske’s powerful etching titled “The Chariot of Fate – Sublimely” marked a sea change in the artist’s vision as he grasped the necessity of augmenting an aesthetic worldview with a depth psychological one. As fate would have it, a print of this etching sent to his brother Derrick, who had given Brad his first oil paints at fifteen, was answered with a copy of Carl Gustav Jung’s seminal autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
The prints and collages featured on this site created from 1970 to the present are a testament to TePaske’s brilliant imaginative artistry. Simultaneously, they parallel the artist’s training at the C.G. Jung Institute Zurich and his ongoing profession as a Jungian analyst, clinical psychologist, lecturer and author. In the best etymological sense of the word amphibian, (amphi-bios), Bradley A. TePaske has always led a double life!
— Elizabeth A. Kay