Portfolio – Stephen Jansen

Artist Statement - A Model Life

Many of the paintings produced began as a concept in 2006 and became a passion in 2007. After years of dreaming, years of teaching, my dream has finally transformed itself into these artworks. As a full time Visual Communication and Design teacher (previously Commercial Art/Graphics) with a Fine Art background I’d always wondered if a one man show was ever going to eventuate.

The title of the exhibition ‘A Model Life’ (2011) is both a reality and a vision tinged with a touch of cynicism. The works speak of joy, with their use of colour, reflecting not only their embedded symbolic values but also some of those  contemporary elements within the world in which we all survive.

All works are heavily cropped, highly focused, with at times the use of text. Text has always been important to me. Painting by its very nature doesn’t necessarily communicate, sometimes it needs an extra push. In these instances a different level of referencing is introduced, my references!

Backgrounds act as a key, framed locally in Morwell, Boolarra, Darlimurla and Walkerville. St.Kilda also features as does both Melbourne’s and Sydney’s CBD. They provide a sense of mystery, a space in which to set the play.

Two distinct themes are evident, firstly, an analytical reference to my life, to all of us, its meaning, which provides both context and reassurance. Secondly, to visions of loveliness and beauty. The ‘Café Series’ was inspired by a series of posters produced I believe in the 1960s and seen often in 60s/70sMelbournecafes and inner city corner pubs at the time.

The ‘Café Series’ references these but like all displayed works takes it one step further. These aren’t just pretty images, they have deeper symbolic values and wilfully attempt to prick a response through the choices of pose, setting, the use particularly of shape, texture and expression.

The compositions hopefully speak to you as they continue to speak to me. I hope you enjoy the images!

Stephen Jansen.