Gregory Jacobsen: Sweety Piles

Scavenging Party, oil on panel, 24x18, 2015
Gregory Jacobsen ‘Scavenging Party’ oil on panel, 24″x18″ (2015)

Gregory Jacobsen

Sweety Piles

Stephen Morton reflects over the work of artist Gregory Jacobsen

It was when we first got the internet installed in our home that i first came across the artwork of Gregory Jacobsen. At the time I was in my mid teens and other than the art books my Father had left around the house I had not been exposed to alot of art (that is artwork that I had found out of my own accord). The platform that the Internet provided allowed me to dig through various obscene searches to find new artists of interest and further more artists my insecure spotty self could relate to, this new cybernetic ritual proved to be quite the revelation.

Looking back In hindsight finding Gregory’s website felt illegal, it was themed with a sickly pink provoking a visceral reaction you’d get from stumbling onto a porn site at 14. I wouldn’t say I was appreciating Gregory’s work on the same level as online porn but his work did offer something that lived up to and in a way transcended those early fleshy cravings with images that incorporated the vitality of flesh which come’s with the mashing of human genitals. For me Gregory‘s work cultivated these carnal desires and helped alleviate the intensity of the initial post-pubescent lust flow that was stewing in me by opening up an unconventional beauty.

Detail: Gregory Jacobsen ‘Les Tricoteuses (detail) acrylic on panel 10×22 (2007)
Gregory Jacobsen ‘Building’ acrylic on panel 15,5″x11,5″ (2008)

One of the first things that stood out to me about Gregory’s work was the sickly bile soaked colors he used in his toxic environments that were transfused into a mise en scene of fleshy blood cum filled wrinkled childhood endeavour. I love his early acrylic paintings because this is where these colors are most prominent. The characters in his paintings are often set in these woodland areas which are saturated by an unhealthy glow which can be contributed to the disposing of uranium ore found in his home town in New Jersey which Gregory cites as an influence on the work. When you invest time in Gregory‘s work you start to set out on a trail through his woodlands where you meet a host of his meaty inhabitants and mounds of glutonous fruity piles. The environment is drenched in an overt sense of optimistic lunacy that never makes you feel uneasy and it is often quite easy to warm to the demented faces and strange abnormal happenings that are always a joy to encounter.

Gregory’s more recent work has seen him move onto oil paintings, a progress of his fleshy constructs, the colors are now more of an artificially glazed sweet much like that of a phallically fruity shaped jolly rancher lathered in a sticky sweet and stinking perfume dew, this and a new emphasis on portraiture paintings of neatly wrapped faces, some direct from life with some having mild deformations and contortions . These paintings still conjures up notions of a sugary gross childhood and early adolescence although less crass in their content than his earlier work it instead reeks itself of a different kind of vitality. It is through his most recent work that once again we see Gregory Jacobsens art maintain to be a masterclass in making the seemingly unsavoury becoming massively delectable. Tasty Jellybeans and all.

Stephen Morton, October, 2013

source: mootarchive

Autumn Pinata oil on panel 36 24 2009
Gregory Jacobsen ‘Autumn Pinata’ oil on panel 36″x24″ (2009)
Pickle Face oil on panel 13x10 2010
Gregory Jacobsen ‘Pickle Face’ oil on panel 13″x10″ (2010)

‘Middlesex, New Jersey’de dünyaya geldim. Bir Commodore 64 dışında pek bir arkadaşım yoktu. Daha sonraları tavuklara saldıran, yoldan geçen otomobillerin camlarına ıstakoz fırlatan bazı Metalcilerle tanıştım. Yeni arkadaşlarımla birlikte ormanda takılıyor, ateş yakıyorduk. Uyarı: Üzerine Slayer logosu karalanmış bir deri kanepe, göğsüne ‘666’ ve bir Pentagram çiziktirilmiş kafası kopmuş bir oyuncak bebek, her yerde boklar ve ezik bir öğrencinin kafasına süt şişesi yerleştirilmiş kuklası. Neredeyse başvurduğum tüm sanat okullarından reddedildikten sonra, School Of The Art Institute of Chicago’ya başvurmak için lanet olası midwest’e taşınmaya karar verdim. Elimde hiçbir değeri olmayan diplomamla, her ne kadar haz etmesem de hâlâ kıçlarına sopa geçirilmiş avam takımından oluşan Chicago’da yaşıyorum.’ (2006 mollusk #03’den alıntıdır)

Gregory Jacobsen ‘Short Stabbing 50 Pounders’ acrylic on panel (2003)

“I paint figures, focusing on the little bits that obsess me…a little flab hanging over a waistband, ill-fitting shoes, overbites and exciting flags held in dainty orifices. Over the years this work has developed into piles…meat, junk and fruit constructed into heroic yet pathetic towers spattered with gloppy sauce. The work is absurd, grotesque and a bit brutal but I try to bring the viewer in with lush and glowing surfaces. Essentially the work is about human failure and weakness groomed and developed to be an asset.”

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