Integration of artistic mediums | The Argonaut Newsweekly
The very first solo exhibition of the Venetian artist Jack Winthrop is presented at the Gabba Gallery
By Nicole Borgenicht
Jack Winthrop grew up in Minneapolis, where his art teachers told him he could be an artist. He moved to New York City where he earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the School of Visual Arts in 2011. For the next nine years, Winthrop immersed himself in street art and the world of graffiti art. There are some commonalities and differences between the genres, which Winthrop fits in perfectly.
Winthrop’s paintings show intense imagery of the tortured soul on the scale of Russian painter Chaïm Soutine, but mixed with savory symbols of flowers and scales closer to graphic and comic genres. The composition and painting technique add a sense of depth.
“Depth comes from experimentation and observation,” Winthrop said. “I learned the hierarchy of color, shape and design in school. Also, when I was a kid, I was inspired by comic book artists, and later by street art and graffiti.
While street art and graffiti are created in public places, there are some similarities and differences. Graffiti is often done in communities where textual gang symbols mark their territory. Nevertheless, the colors and style of the text as well as the images give it a multifaceted artistic presence. Street art is also in public spaces, but can be commissioned or uncommitted mural, or images with a creatively engaging message of political, social or artistic commentary.
“Street art could be mural or image-based art and just that,” Winthrop said. “It can be whatever you decide you want it to be. Traditional graffiti is a name, picture or letters based on letter shapes or a name, representing graffiti tag teams.
Besides his background in street art and graffiti, other influences for Winthrop art include Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso. We can observe in the works of Winthrop the alter ego à la Basquiat, and how he overcomes the ego in relation to the world around us. In Basquiat’s paintings we can observe the humor of the character who laughs with us at absurdity. However, in Winthrop’s works we are struck by the contrast of pain with graphic objects that penetrate like an image of an arrow, or delight with a flower.
Also influenced by Picasso, Winthrop’s paintings depict surreal figures, time and space, and aspects of art.
The larger-scale work is positive for Winthrop who previously worked in garages, although since living and working in Venice for the past five years, his new studio space has allowed for more and more canvases to be created. bigger.
“My mediums include spray paint, acrylic paint with a brush or acrylic marker, and charcoal. I choose colors that are street art on a black or white background, ”said Winthrop. “I create layers in depth as a freedom to spontaneity.”
Winthrop’s blackish and whitish backgrounds are always a mix of layered elements that together create a textured shot with areas of spatial ambiguity. This is achieved in some cases with the way he mixes the background surface with tones of spray paint and acrylic brush. The result is a vibrancy that covers the dark or light scene, which perfectly matches the negative positive images throughout.
In his “Wounded Healer” series, curated by Jason Ostro and Elena Jacobson and exhibited at the Gabba Gallery until October 30, Winthrop reveals his general themes. He wants viewers to understand what is being said without needing words to explain it. He feels the experience of life and imbibing his life in various genres of art brought him to this series. In addition, the symbols in the painting are the underlying elucidation of the meaning to be encountered.
“There is an archetype in Greek mythology that Jung popularized that through pain and suffering you will overcome it, heal it and grow,” said Winthrop. “It’s not so much that I’m a healer, it’s more emotional depth. My art comes out effortlessly. It’s hard to talk about it because people can relate to growing up and getting over the things in life. The symbols of the painting are what brought me here.
Some prominent symbols in Winthrop’s works include windows, scales, drugs, words, and flowers.
“Arrows are wounds that heal, flowers are growth and hope,” Winthrop said. “Anguish and symbols of recovery are new beginnings blossoming.”