Head Into The Trees

Gallery 16 is thrilled to announce our first exhibition with Boston-based artist Josh Jefferson. Jefferson’s painting and works on paper balance on a line between figureation and abstraction. His work is a celebration of abandon and control. It retains a palpable sense of the joy in it’s mak- ing and the struggling to maintain order. Jefferson’s choice of materials often reinforce the sense of playfulness in his work. The artist uses crayons, colored pencils and common acrylic paint, often upon the pages of art history books. It is not uncommon to turn over a Jefferson drawing to find the image of a famous work by Mondigliani or Titian. 2015 has been an exciting year for the artist. He has mounted shows in New York and Los Angeles as well as a number of feature articles including Forbes Magazine. His work has become an internet sensation with tens of thousands of Instagram followers, proving that new ways to discover the arts are constantly evolving. In a interview with Beautiful/Decay, Jefferson described his style and motivations: “What really gets me excited is when I see a painting that seems effortless — when an artist has confidence and it appears that the painting came about like one fast whiplash moment. If I could convey that feeling of loose abandon and control I would be happy. The distortions and geometric interpreta- tions in my drawings and paintings act as structures for me to build on and react to. I kind of need to repeat things to find their meaning, and the structures help with this process.” Jefferson’s work combines material experimentation and visual simplicity. He frequently uses a collage process of cutting and combining previously painted works into a harmonious whole. Jefferson seems less concerned with the results of his labor, than he does with the enchantment of the studio alchemy. He makes objective and non objective work with equal regard. In order for this equilibrium to exist, curiosity must be the guiding voice. His improvisational style may be formed by his devotion to experimental jazz. Like his playing, his visual art is an accumulation of chance moments and intense focus.