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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Jason Wheatley - Ti Kunkit

Another passion ...

Sometimes there is no meaning whatsoever behind the use of his props. When asked about the significance of rabbits in his paintings, he said, "I wish there were something to tell you. I like the form of the rabbit." That's why he painted them, and for no other reason.

However, when pressed, Wheatley confessed the significance of the ever-present stones in his paintings. "For me they represent sentimentality," he said. "They're just non-precious things that people collect as they go through life." When he stacks the stones, almost always in an unnatural fashion, they 'represents the precarious nature of collecting and stacking sentimentality. It's all going to crash down."

While such reasoning might suggest a negative approach to life, it couldn't be further from the truth. Wheatley is in love with life and all things created. He is, albeit, a little wary, but it makes for still life paintings that resonate with the subtle complications of life.

For Wheatley, the still life creates a stage upon which he can move the things of life about. "I become like a director of a picture," he said, moving his hands in the air as if dressing a stage.

Recently he's developed a fondness for Gustauve Courbet's realism. "I think it's incredible," Wheatley said." That's the realism I'm trying to get after. Courbet claims it was realism, but to me it's more 'fantastical' realism. A lot of it is sort of vague, also."
Other living artists that impress Wheatley are Claudio Bravo, the Spanish realist, and the art professors at the University of Utah, his alma mater: David Dornan, Paul Davis and Tony Smith. "I really got into Dave Dornan's work," Wheatley said. "You know? He showed me what a still life can really accomplish."


Me Manifesto:

People tend to project their own human attributes onto their pets. When animals become personified, the underlying humor provides a stage where the viewer is able to follow the story without becoming completely lost in the human drama. My work is constructed under this assumption and riddled in layers of parables, some idiosyncratic and hopefully some universal. Byrendering the animals and objects in a realistic manner the underlying meaning of the work blurs into a realm of surreal fantasy. I am uninterested in painting things the way they are, I would rather gather the mundane bits of reality around me, dust them off and polish them until they shine fantastic. I believe everyone can learn how to contort the harsh reality of mere existence into a daily routine of meaningful and magical moments. As one continues down the path of fantastic realism, the mundane is slowly stripped away, until the only two left at the bargaining table are our own fantasies and a more reasonable reality that now has no other option other then to begin the negotiations.



Article - The Idiosyncratic World of Jason Wheatley here

© Jason Wheatley

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