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Jackson Junge Gallery is bringing in some fresh, new pieces this year. Four new artists are joining the team: Pedro Igrez, Eric Carson, Justin Miller, and Jonathan Cernak. Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres and to hear the new artists talk about their work! If you haven't been to the gallery in a while, it's a great way to get reacquainted!
I have found passion in discovering artistry and beauty in raw materials within reach. It’s not only oil paint bought in an art supply store that can create the strokes of a painting. I have found images emerge in the stain of wine and coffee, or the grit and texture of concrete. I see the potential that a rusted piece of metal or an old shower door can offer as a new canvas. The added elements of rope, and discarded materials can be used to improve a work of art. I use these found objects and materials as my media to create a truly organic nature to my work. Keeping my mind and eye open to the ability of an object or substance to be used to construct and deconstruct imagery has helped me to maintain a primitive element to my art that is unique and connected to my surroundings."
I am currently a Chicago area resident, and spent my childhood in the western suburbs. After high school I went downstate to the University of Illinois to study architecture. After several degrees and 6 years I returned to Chicago. I grew restless and moved out west to Portland, Oregon. Over the next 8 years my wife and I moved to California then Idaho, before coming back to Chicago in 2007.
I spent several years in the architecture field, before moving to the emerging world of digital graphics, websites, and e-commerce. I started painting as a way to stimulate my creative energy that I could not find in my professional career. I was attracted to surrealist painting because I felt it closely aligned with my own creative goals. Besides painting, I spend time on photography, walking around Chicago, and going on road trips out west to inspiring destinations, usually desolate and extreme, and always visually exciting.
My years of work with religious imagery have led me to focus on the geometric structure of the mandala. I use this ancient structure to locate seemingly opposed traditions of insight around their common center. Thus creating contemporary maps of insight. This is the only structure I have found that is able to present these traditions as petals of the same flower rather than dogmas to judge by or kill for. In the mandala setting viewers can recognize a familiar tradition and then contemplate its very real and relevant similarities to other traditions. My work employs symbol, myth, and text to ground these works in research based fact rather than simple speculation.
I push paint and twist technology to delve into psychological narratives. Using a collective unconscious I envision unique ways to capture humanity on canvas based on observations from my immediate surroundings, mass media, random encounters, and digital adventures. My work presents an array of external experiences, ranging from comfortable intimacy to uncomfortable closeness to banal, yet basic beauty. The viewer identifies with, or is alienated by, these direct expressions of human emotions. In so doing, the viewer engages the painting and applies diverse and divergent perspectives on life and living.