Living his artistic life exclusively online, Yung Jake is the primarily virtual persona, then an artist, rapper, programmer and videographer. Born on the internet, 2011, his first big viral success was in March next year with interactive HTML5 music video E.m-bed.de/d, which was even nominated for the MTV Music Award for Best Interactive Music Video. He also creates digital drawings, like portraits of celebrities made out of emojis, or transforming white lighted canvases. Making a personal performance of preoccupation with technology, Jake has no interest in distinguishing between his rap and art practice.
Born as Jake Patterson, he attended the prestigious California Institute of Fine Arts in Valencia, received his BFA and gained the knowledge in traditional mediums, like drawing and painting. Having the frustrations in the art world where his work was labeled as African-American art, he took an interest in rap and started to make songs and spots cruising around in a car with his crew, like people expected from one African American. His blackness suddenly wasn’t the issue anymore and Jake was overrunning art, rap and internet world, erasing the lines between all three.
Placing the series of lighted white canvases into the totally dark room, Jake named this exhibition Drawings. Having the closer look, these canvases transform into digital drawings, containing a computer cursor in motion, resembling a brushstroke that never finds its place, or just furiously running over the screen. The other interesting work consists of portraits of celebrities, made only out of emojis. Joining together these two iconic things of our age, his ironic expression reveals the senselessness of nowadays culture and interests.
Best known for his rap videos that connect hip-hop lyrics, social media, technology and contemporary art, using the parody as a main way of expression, Jake provokes the common sense of the viewer with his jokes and special digital techniques that distort the images. In Datamosh, for example, he raps about the common internet trend of images that crumble into a colorful tide of pixels. Jake’s work has been exhibited at two solo shows with Steve Turner and a solo project at 2014 fair, Art Berlin Contemporary. It has also been screened at Sundance, and he has performed in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum and Redcat and at MOCA.
Featured image: Artist portrait, photo via uncvr.net
All images used for illustrative purpose only
|2016||Hydration||Steve Turner, Los Angeles||Solo|
|2016||Dear DTLA||The Ace Hotel, Los Angeles||Group|
|2015||The Real World||Steve Turner, Los Angeles||Solo|
|2015||Performance at The Getty Center||Los Angeles||Group|
|2015||Space Program||Steve Turner, Los Angeles||Solo|
|2015||Performance at SXSW||Austin||Group|
|2014||Unfollow, Premier and presentation||Ahmanson Auditorium, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA||Solo|
|2014||Yung Jake - New||Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA||Solo|
|2014||Yung Jake - Drawings||Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA||Solo|
|2013||Performance. Augmented World Expo||Silicon Valley, CA||Group|
|2013||Datamosh. New Frontier Short Films||Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT||Group|
|2013||E.m-bed.de/d, New Frontier exhibit||Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT||Group|
|2013||Augmented Real. New Frontier exhibit||Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT||Group|
|2013||Performance. Redcat||Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2013||Performance @ Art Basel||Absolute Vodka Night Court, Miami, FL||Group|
|2013||Water exhibition||Tripoli Gallery, Southampton, NY||Group|
|2013||Datamosh, Shorts Program||AFI fest (won Special Jury Mention), Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2013||Performance||Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2013||Performance. TimeWarner Storytellers Summit||Laguna, CA||Group|
|2013||Performance. The Future of Story Telling Conference||Staten Island, NY||Group|
|2012||Datamosh. gli.tc/h screening||Chicago, IL and Amsterdam, Netherlands||Group|
|2012||Datamosh. Bruciennial group show||New York, NY||Group|
|2012||Workshop. New Frontier Story Lab||Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT||Group|
|2012||Affordable Care||Mana Wynwood, Miami||Group|
|2012||Footprints||Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art, Southampton, NY||Group|
|2012||Datamosh. Off the Air||Adult Swim, TV||Group|