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Jesse Mangerson  Waterhouse Gallery
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A Tree in Starlight
21 x 12 Oil
SOLD

Artist Statement

An indication of time is at the core of my work.

Be it a fleeting moment in the delicate last seconds of a day, an indication of a season, or the repeated dream of existing in a far gone era. Time weaves through everything that I paint.

The elegant structures that catch the light in my work exist in the moments that have emerged from an intentional open-eyed search for the sublime. These forms may present significance to each of us individually. Some emotionally connect based on their time spent, some observe and comment on technique as it can be that simple, and others immediately discount realism, piling the need for a deep cerebral context over any chance of a simple emotive response to one painters idea of beauty. For those who seek a deep eccentric and cerebral confusion, consider checking under the driver side fender… trust me, it’s in there.

…Or consider a simple attraction to the vintage VW bug that is as overt as the feminine curves of the vehicle itself. As a figure based subject matter, this car carries significance with many. The memories of a large portion of a generation living life before the tech boom fall somewhere within Ferdinand Porsche's nearly perfect design. A contemporary presence of this almost century old icon highlights our modern collective loss of elegance in design for

objects used by the masses. Of course there have been other vehicles that have had just as interesting and elegant curves or have had sleek statements of pure muscle, yet did not function as the utilitarian coach for the masses that the bug became in its repetition through decades. Because of pure volume in production based on public demand, this character of a the vintage iteration of this car sustains a modern day presence that has the ability to remind us of who we once were as a whole, in a time that will never be repeated.

I discovered the truth of this character in a city that is an icon in its own right and, ironically enough, is our modern mecca for technological advancements. The visual relationship of the two entities, for me, resonates with a time that predates me by a decade. I find that there is something very romantic about periods of time that have preceded us. I am not a history buff and one could argue that, the time referenced was no different than now, with social struggles, political stalemates waiting to be repeated half a century later, and technical progress that the mainstream minds of the day have considered to be spectacular and will revolutionize the way we live. Yet I cannot help but feel that there is something I missed that happened before I got here. It is the type of experience that cannot be written in one man’s cannon of history but rather can only be experienced first hand. You might then say that this is all an exploration to justify my place in time… and it is.

My current painted exploration of the varying landscape of the state of Wisconsin has allowed me to sever the need to be in a place where I no longer exist and for that matter in a time that, in theory, I never had the opportunity to grace. In a way the plein air practice has brought me into my current existence without the distraction or the desire to be anywhere but now.

An indication of time is at the core of my work.

Yet as moments pass, I have found that the most significant place in time is the one that is sitting right in front of me.

 


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