LA-based artist Jackson Amadon, blends mediums, materials and the digital & tangible to create works of arts that inspire us. We chatted with the artist about his process and work, along with his thoughts on the art scene in LA and various causes in which he is involved.
TRUFFL: Please introduce yourself.
Jackson: My name is Jackson Amadon. I am an artist. I work principally in two mediums – paint and digital. The works are complementary. The digital work is an extension of the paintings.
My recent work deals with the deconstruction of our hypercomplex world, in which the excess and subversion of information increasingly limits our ability to find authenticity in our experience. The complexity of our world will always exceed our capacity to understand it and we as individuals face an ever greater deficit of rationality. The possibility of contemplation and reflection is buried beneath a mass of data as we increasingly lose touch with ourselves.
The paintings are how I see the world. They can be up to an inch thick of paint. It is everything without form, born out of an evolution guided by color, texture and movement. The shapes are a lens – a framework for understanding, flawed in repetition and variance.
My digital art flows from the paintings. I’ve termed them digital glitch paintings. They are each an animated image, a compilation of multiple versions of the digital file of a painting. Each version has the most basic level – the computer code – corrupted. The resulting digital file is “glitched”, skewed. The paintings become warped and I further corrupt each subsequent version of the file. When combined together and played in sequence, the animated image, the paintings are deconstructed and reconstructed in a jarring, unending loop.
TRUFFL: You describe yourself as a contemporary artist on a mission to deconstruct the information, emotions, and events that are taking place in front of us. How did you develop this artistic style and process?
Jackson: It’s a theme that’s always resonated with me. At a point last year, the idea to corrupt my own view/painting clicked I felt compelled to destroy my work digitally. It’s also cyclical, we break everything down in life, rebuild, then repeat. That’s when I connected the loop on the digital work and set the glitched paintings in a cycle. The work flowed from there.
Syria resonated with me very strongly. It’s a humanitarian tragedy and it’s also incredibly complex with all the factions. Regardless, there are some irrefutable, horrific, and preventable atrocities that have happened and continue to happen. I followed it closely until August 21st, 2013 when a rebel leaning area in Damascus was attacked with chemical weapons. It’s an awkward situation for the US, lacking majority will to act, but here was a red-line crossing, war atrocity. Something had to happen to expedite peace and resolution. Then just as swiftly, the Syria became about chemical weapons and terrorism, the innocent civillians and refugees became an afterthought and 100k’s of casualties later, the chemical weapons are still the focus of media. Their cycle continues, week after week. I try to do my part with my art to shed light on the situation and push for awareness and attention.
TRUFFL: About a year ago you decide to become a full-time artist. What made you take this leap a year ago versus five years ago?
Jackson: You just have to jump in at some point don’t you? Social media helped tremendously. With Twitter, I was able to find a strong audience and that support has propelled everything forward faster than I could have imagined.
TRUFFL: What place and space in LA influences your art the most? Does the city impact your art?
Jackson: I love LA. There’s a great sense of creativity and artistic freedom here. In the sense that I feel surrounded by like-minded people, the city definitely supports my art. Griffith Park and downtown LA are two of my favorite places.
TRUFFL: Who are some of the other local artists that you admire?
Jackson: Shepard Fairey and Nolan Lemos
TRUFFL: What are your thought on LA’s growing art community? Do you believe the city will always be in New York’s shadow, or is LA developing its own place and voice?
Jackson: Every city is always going to have their own identity and LA’s art community is strong and growing. Downtown is becoming a mecca for artists from all over the world.
TRUFFL: Do you have any recommendations on galleries or neighborhoods to explore in the city?
Jackson: The Arts District downtown is a must. The architecture alone is worth the trip. As for galleries, there are so many good ones. There’s almost always an opening or exhibit worth seeing.
TRUFFL: Please describe a day in your life.
Jackson: I have a terrier/lab mutt that wakes my wife and I up on the stroke of 7 every morning. I live in Silverlake, so the reservoir walk happens frequently. I usually catch up on social media over breakfast and then get to work in my studio. Mixing paints, applying paints, starting over, the creative process, you know? Throw in some digital artwork and it’s a day.
TRUFFL: Do you get political with your art? Do you find it a successful platform for building awareness for the injustices happening abroad?
Jackson: Art crosses language and cultural barriers. So as a platform, it’s quite effective and when used to build awareness for the injustices happening abroad. I’ve been able to interact with a significant number of Syrians through the work. Also when the work is shared in Asia, in Europe, or anywhere else in the world, you know the message is getting out despite language barriers.
TRUFFL: You recently worked with Save the Children Syria Fund; what other political/humanitarian collaborations are in store for you in 2014?
Jackson: I’m excited about working the the LA Fund to help with arts education for underprivileged children here in LA. I’m also continuing to work with Save the Children to do what I can for the Syrian Crisis.
TRUFFL: Do you have any recommendations for part-time artists, or those of our members pursuing creative side projects, aiming to make the full-time leap?
Take the time to explore everything you’re interested in – arts or otherwise. So much is about exploration. When you find something you are passionate about, run with it whether as a hobby or profession. Nothing makes you focus quite like a leap.
TRUFFL: What values do you share with TRUFFL and what drew you to the community?
Jackson: TRUFFL draws high-minded, inquisitive individuals who are looking to explore the world with creative new experiences. I’m in.