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Bradley Jessop

F. Bradley Jessop

As hard as I try I cannot escape myself. My work therefore is an amalgam of personal observations and experiences, some real, some simulacrum, some that I believe that I am supposed to have. As someone who grew up on the Great Plains , landscape dominates my world and it frequently appears as the ever present backdrop to other images. The years I spent as an elementary school teacher are also reflected in the work. Sometimes recent readings will direct the image, other times it is the thoughts I have as I drive home. Principally, the work is about the postmodern condition, in “Crate Face Painting” series I examine the roles currently thrust upon us, by the media, outside forces and politicians, and visually contrast those roles with my own perceptions and choices. The series also examines the modernist social role of the artist as a heroic individualist, and though the series has been ongoing for the last three years it has become particularly poignant of late, as these roles take on new meanings to our community, and our lives. Throughout the series plywood serves as a metaphor for modernism as it seems the ultimate modern material, its preciousness reduced by mass production to a level of banality seldom shared by other materials. These series works, in this exhibit, are about the lies, limits, and unfulfilled promise of modernism while it relishes the richness that is our contemporary life. Most work asks questions of the viewer like; “Where are the Flying Cars,” or “Piggies” and realizes that the universe is essentially unknowable. Therefore, the viewer then may, by making use of juxtaposed images can interrelate the visual experience before them to the folds of their own experience, and create a new meaning.

Yes, the images are personal, I make no attempt at grand visions, or universal statements, yet they are reflections of my culture, suburban-small town life, and artistic and philosophical influences. If you find kindred experiences I welcome you, if these visions are hackneyed, I understand, and if they are exotic, that is exciting. I believe that if we are unable to recognize and deconstruct our individual cultures we are unable to appreciate those cultures outside ourselves.

  • Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) Gallery, Copyright 1979-2012