elemental views Conflicting Cosmologies is the narrative I found in my paintings as I completed the series. I knew as I painted that there was an underlying theme and common source for what I was creating. It was only in retrospect that I was able to work through the coded message and discover what it was I was saying to myself. One often starts a journey without knowing where one is headed. We have plans and goals, a vision of the future, desired outcomes, but many things wanted and unwanted intervene. It is often only through experience and the appropriate distance and perspective that one can see a more complete picture of what one was doing and attempting to do. This series grew nonlinearly, in fits and starts, with long stretches of inaction followed by great cathartic bursts of action. Persistence paid off and by sticking to the project and always returning to the canvases to add a fresh layer of paint or a thin wash, the paintings began to organize themselves and inform each other in a silent visual dialogue. After having the paintings photographed and showing them to friends, and spending time with them as a collection, a pattern began to emerge that created a higher ordering of the information on the canvases. When I understood what I had, I knew where to focus my energies to complete the project to the scope I wanted to achieve. Art, like any engrossing labor of life, is a process of self-education and direct experience. Through entropy, my knowledge today is deeper than my knowledge yesterday and the current narrative could have only been achieved as I worked through the problems of its creation. In other words, this series could not be planned, it had to be worked through. As my mind leapt across the canvases and space and time to tell the story of how we found ourselves in the world with the double-edged sword of consciousness, I realized that this has been the story that I have always been telling; the story that drives me to create. It is the story of man standing under the weight of his own self-awareness. With this narrative in mind, I organized the paintings in book format allowing for a linear reading of our progression through the formation of the universe, earth and life towards man. I further added short five line poems vertically on the page that can be read or ignored at the viewerâ€™s discretion.
While working out the narrative for these paintings, a larger vision came and I saw the themes and content for my next two series: Elder Elements and Impossible Views which are now fully fleshed out ideas that will test the limits of canvas by mounting and stretching them in ways that have not been done before. In Elder Elements, Iâ€™ll expand upon the repertoire of Gnostic Science by exploring the protoscience of alchemy and elementary magic using the primary colors, green, brown, black and white. I will use the Paracelsian and Chinese elemental systems, as well as Tibetan prayer flags and sacred drums to create a vibrant space of ancient magic. This will then be followed by Impossible Views, a meditation on the ultimate extremes of space and time shone through unique manipulations of black canvases creating an atmosphere that physically and pictorially represents the abstract ideas of modern science which discusses phenomena beyond the range of human perception. Both projects can now be produced because of the groundwork laid with this series. I now know what my message is and how I want to deliver it. I confidently look forward to producing visceral works that will connect with the viewer on multiple levels by combining the complex cosmologies of our past and present through science, spirituality, mythology and magic.
Paintings & Essays by Jason Blasso