Statement for "Recent Paintings"

“ I’m not interested in illustrating my time. A man’s “time” limits him, it does not truly liberate him. Our age, it is of science, of mechanism, of power and death. I see no point in adding to its mammoth arrogance the compliment of graphic homage. The sublime? A paramount consideration in my studies and work from my earliest days.”

- Clyfford Still, painter (1904-1980)

With a host of technological goodies at our disposal and an ever-growing menu of social and political issues to feast upon, it might seem logical to question why an artist of the twenty-first century would revert to such a traditional and , dare I say, outdated platform of expression. After all, the abstract expressionists had their moment in the sun some fifty years ago.
While, historically, the philosophical and stylistic tendencies of these rogue artists are attributed to rebellion in the face of the ultra-conservative McCarthy Era, I personally doubt that any one of them entered the studio with the intention of making subversive art meant to stir up the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
The “sublime” which they sought came in many forms, but the binding link was the transcendence obtained through the process of creation. Without premeditation, the works exude an honest and spontaneous spirit of power and energy while retaining a visual history of the act itself.

With the vast amount of information whirling about today, entering the studio in search of such a pure beginning seems a tall order. It becomes a conscious effort to forget all that you know and embrace a journey into uncertainty. Indeed, it is a voyage that others have made before, but each path holds the distinction of being uniquely personal. It is during these “timeless” moments of creation that I feel truly liberated from the conventions of our age, and it is my hope that the viewer can share in the experience as well.

-Jason Travers, July 2004

I think of these as folkloric; legends, myths, personifications of nature forms, and suddenly I see them closer to Chagall, Kandinsky, Klee and Soutine, where the eye is invited in to explore without naming anything, but at the same time being aware of ancient protocol and the command of the natural world through magic.”

- Andrew Forge, art critic, author,
on the paintings of Jason Travers
The results of my creative process have often been identified as folkloric; not in the sense of retelling grand tales of the past, but in creating new legends yet to be told.
Indeed, they are narrative passages, embracing a stage of illusory space that slips and turns, just as the cast of characters and their relationships. I use the word “characters” not only to identify the biomorphic representation within the paintings, but also to explain the presence of life that vibrates in even the structural forms and stray marks. As these forms begin to develop personality and interact, the story unfolds. My role, thus, becomes that of mediator, and even spectator to the events.
-Jason Travers