Jason Thielke‘s figurative drawings explore the constellation of human experience. Yet this exhibition marks a departure for the artist, away from technical perfection. Previous works involved laser etching and many hours digitally recreating his original, hand-drawn sketches. For Zero-zero, the artist is hand-drawing directly on wooden panel. Another shift is that instead of creating abstraction from fine detail, the artist is starting from abstraction, and the work gets tighter as he proceeds. It’s coming into focus instead of blurring out of focus.
“A lot of my work is sort of obsessed with negative space, trying to come up with the perfect composition, and I tried to let go of that a little bit this time around,” Thielke said. “I guess it’s a constant struggle, being a loose artist and planning things out. The women figures, the newer ones, like Survivor, I think she’s emotionally messy, and that comes across with the way that I’m drawing now.” – Jason Thielke
A viewer will not often see the male form in Thielke’s drawings, but the masculine elements of power, aggression, and force are evident in the animals that appear: bighorn sheep, zebra, antelope. There is a steadfastness to these figures that belies the masculine. “There is sort of this feeling that as a man, you’re supposed to know exactly what you want,” Thielke said. “But these animals buck that idea, they struggle, appear trapped.”
In Comatose, a female figure is blurred by the merging of a deer into her form. The doe is a representation of the fragile figure — nude, but not objectified; relaxed and comfortable, one hand gently resting atop the other, wrists crossed, a hint of warm pink tones washing over the canvas. Enjoy!