Jake Emery ~Artist Feature March 2015


Thought Experiment #4 (Deconstruction of Beauty)
Oil on Wood

This painting is concerned mainly with beauty (aesthetics) as a philosophical concept or inquiry as well as the idea of painting itself. What does it mean for an artist to create a compelling figurative painting in 2014? This is a question that constantly rattles through my mind when I am creating work and especially this one. Painting creates depth with warm/cool tones, intensity and saturation of the pigment itself. When assembled correctly, all these combining attributes fit together to create, in this particular piece, an illusion of a human being. But what if this same method is used, except not formulated into the form of a human figure? Both the representational and abstracted portions of the painting handle the paint similarly, but yield a different form. So, then, what is beauty? Is this painting beautiful merely because there is a human figure depicted? Or can there be beauty in the physicality of paint as a medium?


About Jake Emery
Jake Emery was born in San Diego, California in 1992. As the son of two teachers, he was raised in a creative environment. Throughout his entire upbringing it can be said that there was never a time he didn’t have a pencil in his hand. This continued throughout his adolescent years, but it was not until college that he decided to peruse art in the academic setting. Emery was raised in the suburbs of San Diego and throughout high school, his time was spent skateboarding and heavily involved in the punk/hardcore subcultures. The aesthetic of such subcultures influences the way he works as well as the particular aesthetic of his art. His process is fast-paced and messy, but his product is a concise orderly composition. While he was studying art in his hometown of San Diego, he began showing work in group shows across the county, including the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. In the fall of 2013 he transferred to San Francisco State University as a Studio Art Major. After the first semester at San Francisco State, while deeply involved with his studio courses, he decided to undertake a minor in Philosophy as well. His deep interest in Philosophy has challenged his life views along with his art making in general. As of late, his own adolescence as well as the philosophical inquiry that his minor entails is the birthplace of his current works. Emery works primarily in paint and sculpture. His work explores the metaphysical and ethical challenges that humans face as we evolve further into the future. Specifically, the challenges that we are faced with as intellectual beings. Formally, his work stands in-between pure abstraction and realism as well as the intersection of the two. Emery will receive in BA in Art (Studio Art) with a minor in Philosophy in May of 2015. He plans to continue to live and work in San Francisco after graduation.


Artist Statement
I am an interdisciplinary artist working in both sculpture and paint. My work is an attempt to synthesize the numerous philosophical dispositions that I encounter or have encountered throughout my life. Specifically, my work explores the foundations of reality and challenges its predisposed dispositions. Outside of my art practice, I have a strong academic background in Philosophy and this is where my work finds its origins. Through my figurative paintings, I explore the inherent humanistic trait to render the unknown known as well as the existential challenges that humans face as we evolve further into the future. I believe that human life is a search for an unattainable Truth, but the perceived meaning of such is in the search itself. In my abstract works, I explore ethical dispositions. By deconstructing recognizable objects, I challenge the metaphysical meanings of these objects. If an object is made purely for utilitarian purposes and is then deconstructed and placed under the art context, does this object still encompass its original purpose? These are the questions that I contemplate while creating my work. Through both my figurative and abstract works I am attempting to bridge the gap between Philosophy and Art as separate entities and interestingly this exploration has become a thought experiment of its own.


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