I feel that it becomes so redundant to begin to explain what an artist’s theory of art is; yet, it’s far better to explain it as best as he or she can, rather than the alternative: let someone else define ones art. So here it goes…
My “Memories” & “Dreams” collections were early efforts to re-energize my life as an artist and experiment with surrealism. The former was emotionally exhausting and it was dark! It was soul searching and hard lined and directly emotive. It was a vehicle for whatever came out of me. Now with the latter, it was truly my vision of what I thought surrealism was in days of old i.e. Dali, with a modern twist; but it became more labor intense for me. It factored in my state of conscious stream; it also involved dipping into ghastly images that appeared to my mine’s eye. I close my eyes while awake (and sometimes I recalled sleep events) and began to stroke the canvas to bring out whatever would flow out. After much time studying the raw images, I began reshaping them with cognitive shapes that dwelled within this massive confusion of brush strokes I created. The best result of this experiment can be seen in “Waters Rising (2012) painting. (See exhibit A on right)
After an exhaustive year, It was then that I decided that I needed a big break from my serious work (so I thought). With the ‘‘Oddball” collection it afforded me a “free at last” moment of relaxation. I decided to take a casual, light-hearted adventure into the work I had done before. I began to lightly focus on what would happen, if I could make the images all about the shapes and NOT about the process they were created from. Much like a puzzle piece where every piece was in fact, a cognitive one shaped by the mind and by the surrounding shapes they interacted. I sucked up all the white space that would permit me a clean over all design. Yet, I made the painting busy enough to show the mind’s evolutionary results. Great examples of this can be seen in “Missile Toad” (2012) and of course, my coup-de-grâce, “Cerebral Stew”! (2013) (See both exhibit B and C on right)
I’ve sat many hours in front of my works trying to understand what I have created, and I could only come up with one real over all revelation. After all the “crazy introspective and subconscious” twists. It was all about “discovery” ˗ serious, not stuffy, not masterly, but just visually entertaining, clever, and enlightening. All these new paintings are far superior in insight, quality and love for the art form then what came before them.
I’ll explain further, but first I must qualify something here: This is not to say that my work is less important, nor is it less of lasting interest, it’s “just different”. Much like the art of the Pop, Psycho, Magic Surrealists it needs to evolve; my work is more than likely to fit loosely somewhere in the world of the Whimsically Bizarre Surrealism with a touch of the old world nostalgia (my claim). (See Hieronymus Bosch or Giuseppe Arcimboldo).
I’ve realized from the many comments made about my work, and after several exhibitions later, that there was one thing that stood out clear with most folks: I had captured their interest & their appreciation of art. They could quickly relate to my work. Comments like: “That’s cool …”, “Wow!”, and some were more modest: “I don’t know what to say?”. I can distill my art in to this one broad statement: Art brought to you with many influences from the modern world of painting, graphic design, social media, and advertising: It’s quickly viewed and if you like it? Then you try it out. And if it’s shared, it will stay around till the next big fad. And just maybe, it will be of lasting interest to those who appreciate art.
If there’s anything further that can be said of my work, it is that it has a “look and you shall find feel to it. A Scotoma appeal: “What am I missing?” I took an intense look at Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the Italian painter in the 1500’s, who through Pareidolia was able to confuse and stimulate the brain in to seeing human images made up of fruit, vegetables, fish & books. Much of my serious work depends on this psychological phenomenon; “trick & treat”, you might say. But I expanded it further. Viewing images in a cloud is not new, and it is fleeting. I decided to make it last longer.
I paint images that with every brush stroke defines more images buried within it. You’ll discover faces upon more faces of tortured souls. I want you to sit back and look in to my paintings like a crystal ball. Discover those souls in my world and make them yours and add to them. Discover strange new bizarre images and icons. Mind you, these images are NOT illustrative or theatrical in quality. But truly artistic with a pinch of the comic. Have fun in the discovery. My work may not “hang” in your home, or in a museum but you’ll remember it. You’ll be better for it or perhaps lesser for it, but either way profoundly “exposed” to it like catching a cold. You’ll become a true aficionado of the arts, without the boring education that labors art appreciation; even become an “artist” while you are viewing. No mess no fuss.
I want to stress that what I do is not all about fun; I take the real, poke fun at it and portrait it whimsically. I take people, symbols and objects that are familiar, and bury them for your discovery. All for a moment of light hearted revelation; some serious, some, not so much. But understand that my art reveals years of struggles from the subconscious to the real. And I feel all this must emerge for me to stay sane.
Don’t bother to look too hard at my brush strokes or colors. They are intentionally quick, and less laborious, nor traditional in weight, value and exactitude. If you are looking for that seek the masters. Instant snapshots and revealing slices of modern life’s perplexities and ambiguities that’s what my work is all about.
“Broken Chalice” is pervasive with symbolism and allegory and proved hard for me to resist my own desires to try and outdo the old masters of surrealism at their on game; but I failed, even though my style still remained true, my ambitions and sentiments did not. Whimsically Bizarre Surrealism is tough to do. And yet, I feel a sense of closure, satisfaction and peace in knowing that my art is taking a new direction and has, indeed, evolved. (See Bird of Prey above.)
Take a road trip with me with or without the constraints of the psychic or education, run your eyes through a maze of contradictions, juxtapositions, distortions, and yes … discover fun. Gleam at the wonders that we all go through every day, and rethink, and breath in everyday life. Art can be exciting, whimsical and yet bizarre when taking time to enjoy it. Art doesn’t have to be seriously boring, but yes, for me, it does have to be entertaining, only because I’ve spent the better part of my life doing it! “We are all just pilgrims on the road to a better place.”™ --jacabo
SHOWN ABOVE LEFT: “Bird of Prey” is that unique example of a breakthrough art form: Whimsically Bizarre Surrealism.
SHOWN BELOW: is the culmination of several years of experiments by jacabo, to push the boundaries of neo-surrealism. These are rare gleams of an evolutionary process that whether acknowledged or not, it can be shown here that surrealism has taken a new path in the modern art movement of today’s cultural art.