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Artists John Jacobsmeyer
John Jacobsmeyer

John Jacobsmeyer_Free Cake_2016_oil on aluminum_46 x 61 cm_18 x 24 in_800.jpg
"Free Toys" 2016, oil on aluminum, 46 x 61 cm, 18 x 24 in

"My work in painting and printmaking mines the subcultures of American geekdom in sci-fi/fantasy and gaming culture. At its root are the fertile imaginations of teenagers holed up in their clubhouses, attics and basements. Their desire for an alternative world is palpable as it generates unexpected narratives. Likewise, the plywood clubhouses of my childhood were the laboratories of fantasy, the pre-digital virtual reality. Clubhouse construction offers the greatest possibilities for world creation. The wood grain’s wild figuring appears to be constantly changing, invoking alien creatures and landscapes. These possibilities are why my paintings represent wooden interiors. I imagine places from popular culture, history and virtual reality as elaborate clubhouses, as though a pack of 12 year olds had the where-with-all to build their most extravagant fantasies.

In my piece “Alligator Pit” a girl on her BMX bike makes an impossible jump across a plywood chasm. I hope her extraordinary situation is a reflection of contemporary notions of human possibility in a digital age. Her anti-heroic flight spans an anti-sublime architecture of plywood. She is being watched from somewhere by something.

My imagery derives from videogame play and other digital modes of representation. I build digital 3d models. Using these tools, I arrive at an image that is then transferred onto the wood block or painting support. This process translates from digital to analog realms, from virtual reality to physical reality. Figurative art is proving to be a post-digital one as it expounds on the sensory realms of our digital culture."
John Jacobsmeyer, 2015

John Jacobsmeyer (b. 1964, Ann Arbor, Michigan) has been an active contributor to the discourse on conceptual figuration in the New York area for the past 15 years. He operates the JJHS Press where his wordless book “More Than Human” was published in 2010 and the portfolio “Safety First” was published for the Shanghai Metro in 2013. Jacobsmeyer earned his BFA from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University. He teaches printmaking, painting, and art theory at the New York Academy of Art’s Graduate School. He has taught or given lectures at over 40 Colleges and Universities around the world including RISD, Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing, Shanghai University, Vanderbilt University, and the Pratt Institute. He received artist residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, Anchor Graphics, Cill Rialig Ireland, Shanghai University and Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul. Awards include two fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the Basil Alkazzi Award, a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy, a Pollack-Krasner Grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship. His work is housed in the permanent collections of the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, New Mexico, the Springfield Museum of Art, Ohio, the States of New Hampshire and South Carolina, and the Cities of Seattle and Shanghai, China as well as numerous colleges, universities and private collections.
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