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Jackson Wrede

Grand Rapids, MI

Jackson is a 25 year-old artist from Chicagoland. His unique style that combines traditional painting techniques with bursts of contemporary influence have been described as “pop collage paintings." His most recent body of work has taken on a more existential flavor and symbolist turn exploring human evolution and behavior in the context of popular culture.

In 2018 Jackson received his BFA in painting from the University of Notre Dame. He now floats between Chicago and Grand Rapids, where he will finish the MFA painting program at the Kendall College of Art and Design with his Spring 2021 thesis show entitled Fancy Monkeys: The Animal That Became A God.
Wescover creator since 2019

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How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"Because there is so much going on in my paintings, they can have a tendency to dominate the wall on which they are displayed. The bold color and variety of imagery really pop off the wall in the same ironic fashion that a lot of "Pop Art" does. I purposely compose my paintings in a way that will physically express this bombardment of pop culture that we are all subjected to as human beings on the Internet in 2021."
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What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"I want a viewer's initial reaction to be captivated and inspired by the craftsmanship and level of finish in my work. Rich chroma, densely articulated surfaces, and recognizable subject matter along with the uncomfortable humor that characterizes my paintings I hope are enough to keep my audience engaged. I plan these compositions carefully, so hopefully the longer you look, the more you are able to draw your own associations and realize the more troubling and conformist atmosphere than my playful arrangements might suggest."
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What funny moments, unexpected surprises, or obstacles have you encountered?

"When hanging my thesis show to earn my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I accidentally poked a hole through my favorite painting in the show with a drill head. I had a 90-second panic attack, but eventually got a grip and was able to carefully patch up the hole on the backside of the canvas. I hung that painting just as I had planned, and to my knowledge, no one ever knew but me!"
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