Mark Jackson



Statement

Conjuring a world that pulses with glowing screen-like colour and fragmented gestures, Mark Jackson explores the lone human subject in complex and highly layered oil paintings. Broadly inspired by the history of figure painting, Jackson’s personal vision re-situates the human form in a new imaginary aesthetic realm.

The paintings are at once alluring and unknowable. They draw the viewer in through seductive surfaces, softly psychedelic light, and Jackson’s use of human scale. At the same time, his figures evoke a pervading sense of disconnectedness – they can appear longing and wistful, menacing, blank, anomalous. The paintings can be read as a reflection on the contemporary fragmented self – the subject that experiences private psychological drama as they negotiate their lives in public.

Jackson’s process involves a continuous cycle of drawing, painting and digital imaging. Finished works typically comprise dozens of Photoshop layers, scanned sketches and previous paintings. This approach creates a digital chaos from which his singular visions emerge. Colour is heightened to maximum saturation, suggesting the luminosity of the screen. Marble smooth gesso panels allow for nuanced brushwork and subtle gradients. The paintings thus take on the aesthetic properties of the digital, whilst remaining stubborn in their materiality.

The Twentieth Century tightrope between abstraction and figuration is a key influence on Jackson’s practice. He finds a powerful productivity in the indeterminacy and evasiveness it offers, and seeks to walk this line over and over in order to re-establish its current boundaries.

Biography

Mark Jackson is an artist and occasional curator, based in London. He practiced as part of a two-person collaboration Jackson Webb from 2003 to 2010, before embarking on his solo work. His work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions in the UK and internationally including Bad Moon Rising, St. Louis. USA, New Contemporaries, London and An Experiment in Collaboration, Jerwood Space, London. Collaborative digital work has been featured on the popular Los Angeles-based website East of Borneo. Recent curatorial projects include group exhibition Everything Wants to Run, Block 336, London, which explored material distortions across media through 7 artist’s work.