JASON ROBERT BELL
Mystical Rebel Outlaw Baadaass Drawings
September 9 through October 15, 2011;
Opening reception Friday, September 9, 6-8PM
Thomas Robertello Gallery is pleased to present the third installment of Jason Robert Bell’s Tetragrammatron Archive: The Mystical Rebel Outlaw Baadaass Drawings. The exhibition in the gallery’s project space opens Friday September 9, 6-8PM and continues through October 15.
Bell continues to take figurative iconography in new directions with a series of mixed media autobiographical work hovering somewhere between real, imaginary, and delusional. Each personal memoir, an elaborate doodle of chivalry and romance depicts the artist as protagonist in a timeless narrative. Using cartooning as a method of accessing primordial human visual language receptors, each of these works is a puzzling narrative of gods, monsters, hobgoblins, and naked women, as well as the artist himself.
Jason Robert Bell graduated from the School of the Art Institute Chicago with a BFA in Painting in 1995, and the Yale School of Art’s MFA program in 2000. Bell’s paintings, drawings, sculpture, experimental films, outdoor installations, and performances have been exhibited in New York, most recently at Postmasters Gallery and the Fountain Art Fair, Boston, Miami, Washington DC, Baltimore, San Francisco, Tokyo, and many times in Chicago.
MYSTICAL REBEL OUTLAW BAADDAASSS DRAWINGS:
Presented on rotating display in this exhibit is a complete compilation of the drawings created over the past year of Jason Robert Bell’s life. Exhibited in their time-tested portfolio, the Mystical Outlaw Rebel Baadass Drawings Proper of 2011 present a set of 78 drawings as a singular collective object, an interactive sculptural experience available for perusal, study and preservation. All of the drawings not on view in the gallery are available for private viewing by appointment.
The other three pieces in the exhibit are in keeping with the centerpiece of the show. Handsome Devil, a modest self-portrait, dealing with my need for some dental work. The ten-piece drawing installation, The Dying, Asterix the Gaul, is a study of the artist’s own mortal body, set against the wall of this small project space but eternally resting upon the floor. Win, Involves Domineering ill Will!!!, is an artist book, created by defacing a copy of Brain Alfred’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die!!!.
All works in this exhibit are mixed-media on paper, 2011, signed by the artist.
“In early memory, or a story I have told myself about myself, in the dark recesses of my education, across vast spans of time to the span across my child self, to the plastic molded desks of Rocket City Utopia’s experimental kindergarten learning pods, sat a young boy and girl across from me, drawing.
The boy was sketching a devil in a violet-red, that hateful second red, the real red crayon broken, a central casting Satan.
The girl was drawing a rainbow by picking up all her colors in a pan-flute configuration. Both of these drawings were coming into being in unison, and upside down, a few feet before me. Another child, the boy that sat beside me, the one who would turn himself purple for a quarter, had given up on his drawing which only had a few lines crudely copied from a soulless motivational poster on the wall. I asked him if I could finish it. He sad nothing, but did nothing when I took the drawing away.
I picked up my colors and made a right-side-up fusion of the two images: a Devil, based on the other boy’s, but more monstrous with retraceable batwings and a pitchfork on fire, this Devil was created completely of rainbows, utilizing the method of the girl.
I then carefully spelled out both their names: K-I-M-B-E-R-L-Y, and J-O-S-H-U-A. When it came time for each of us to stand up and present our drawings, I was the last one. Standing up at Mrs. Breedlove’s request, I presented the drawing to the class. Kimberly was so upset that she vomited on Joshua, who in turn vomited on both their drawings. Leaving my Rainbow Devil Drawing an orphan. A singular creation on to itself.
All of my drawings are the bastard children of this Rainbow Devil…, My drawings are of monsters, creating monsters by monstrous means, from unexpected materials and methods. These drawings to invoke moments from my everyday life, my domestic activities, my romance with my wife, my memories of the long and recent past, frenetic musings, nightmares, wastelands, and everything else and the kitchen sink, oh, and nothing at all as well.
Every drawing I have made since that first drawing, every fusion of what other’s bring forth, what chance offers up to me, is merged into a Thing That Never Was, that might have the same power as that first and greatest creation.
A drawing that actually will have a powerful effect on YOU, and recreate that moment when I became fully aware of the raw power of art.” – Jason Robert Bell 2011