A true member of the old masters’ revival Jason Seife is currently on view at The Outsiders Newcastle. His first solo exhibition is entitled Palindromes, embodying the linguistic suggestion in the way his double layered paintings can be read. By appropriating classical motifs from the masterpieces of the renaissance and baroque, Seife creates a new space and different situations through juxtaposing of sci-fi, abstract and utterly contemporary pictorial elements to them. This 25 year old artist from Miami is presently employed by some of the biggest names in the music industry, while he parallely brings to life all the glory and monumentality of the old masters, assigning contemporary values to their visual quality.
Palindromes opened on April 4, and it will run through May 10, 2014.
Still at the beginning of what promises to be a great artistic career, Jason Seife is turned to the origins of supreme painting found in the past and to what he believes painting will be in the future, while he dismisses the present as distasteful. His paintings are strongly rooted within the renaissance and baroque style, but he revives them by using new media, which did not exist at the time of their original creation. His perception of depth and texture is enhanced through the use of roof tar, epoxy resin and neon color strokes, while the framing is achieved by graphic design tools. Still, he does not merely reproduce the old masterpieces, but conjures completely new, original work unapologetically inspired by them, but different in the concept and the artistic approach.
The tensions between the old source and the new method, and the abundance of traditional and modern detail conjured up the title of the series – Palindromes. Finding inspiration within the oeuvres of Luca Giordano, Murillo and Artemisia Gentileschi, Seife diverts from their restrictions in technique and lighting, liberating his body of work from a limited pallette or the lack of light caused by lack of electricity in the seventeenth century. The dark setting is a given, by the artist who inspire him, and by his life experiences as well, but the young painter’s interventions upon it reveal an energetic, rebellious and winner’s attitude, contributing to the final optimistic impression. Just like the baroque lighting brought drama into a painting, Jason Seife’s series of Palindromes depicts his own drama of a personal and professional struggle.
Palindromes exhibition is a display of five large canvases, including a diptych and tondos, all surpassing the medium scale. It’s a show of turbulent subjects, reviving the visions of inferno, tempest, and beheading. One of the most unique features of the exhibition is that each of the paintings is accompanied by its own musical score, composed by the artist himself.
The lower floor of The Outsiders gallery will show an array of small scale works and graphite sketches, testifying to the artist’s talent and craftsmanship, especially in the use of golf leaf and contemporary graphic design.
About Jason Seife
Jason Seife was born and raised in Miami, where he created his first chalk drawings at the age of 10, inspired by renaissance art. He was not accepted by the art college and has played a guitar for a while with the indie rock band Amely. Afterwards, he returned to art, creating designs for major music stars such as Pharrel Williams or Nicky Minaj. He has been painting actively since 2012, while his success is growing rapidly.