Project Description

Carlos Cortez Coyle attended the Berea Foundation School. Although he drew as a student he did not devote concentrated time and effort into his art until 1929. Coyle was an avid journaler, and from his diary we know that the beginning of his artistic career coincided with the death of his mother. In his paintings, Coyle depicts landscapes, celebrations of scientific progress, and women. Coyle seems to have had a complex relationship with women. His mother he clearly idealized; his diary is filled with poems and meditations on her goodness. His ex-wife, however, inspires feelings of the exact opposite in Coyle’s art. In The Transformation, she is portrayed as a serpent temptress, coiling around a man presumed to be Coyle. In her hands she holds a card which reads “Divorce and Alimony”. Behind the couple are their archetypes: Adam and Eve. C.C. Coyle is classified as a naive artist because he lacks a formal arts education. This piece, Transformation #117 is so numbered because of Coyle’s meticulous documentation. He numbered every painting he created, which total 170. Coyle donated 47 paintings and 37 drawing and his diary to Berea College in 1942 before retiring to Florida.

-Susan Bonta, Class of 2018

Object Details

C.C. Coyle (American, 1871-1962)
36" x 54"
Oil on Canvas
Gift of the Artist