Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BEAUTY: Painting--John Jacobsmeyer

I find it fascinating to see on what things artists become fixated. Often an artist's attention and imagination will get snagged on a certain image or element and we get to see that artist work it out on canvas or in photos or sculpture, or sometimes even fabric. And John Jacobsmeyer seems to be processing his feelings toward plywood and particle board. On the surface it may seem amusing, but upon closer inspection, I understand it. It could be the material that surrounded him in attics and basement of his childhood (and we all know that childhood is the time where something impresses us so we work it out for the rest of our lives, right?). It is the material that stage and film sets are made of (witness his piece "Red Alert," a plywood hallway from "Star Trek," the original series). Plywood and particle board feels unfinished, temporary, but often the material stays in that form. In fact, there is a huge movement now in contemporary architecture to use plywood as a finished material in itself. Couple all this with the surrealistic tableaux he creates in which everything is constrcuted from plywood, pine planks, and MDF (some of his images remind me of the center-framed, staged quality of Magritte) and you come up with a narrative that is peculiar and haunting.

Top to bottom: Alligator Pit; Danger; Knotty Girl; Ovul [sic] Office; Red Alert; Red Cascade; TV Room


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