May 19 – June 10

Opening Reception: May 19, 2023. 6 to 9 pm

Closing Reception: June 10, 2023. 6 to 9 pm

Jacob “Zesty” Hartman

I use upcycled materials to build confrontational, color rich, large scale mixed media artworks. My practice combines elements of painting, drawing, collage, and sculpture to create visually arresting wall mounted pieces. Thematically my pieces explore the cost of success in America. My practice draws inspiration from the Neoexpressionist, Pop, and Street Art movements. In the spirit of Harings exploration of semiotics, I employ repitition of symbols and personal cultural elements to explore my family story of American struggle and success. I aggressively use color and a variety of textures and materials to energize my images and jolt the viewer.

AMERICAN SCHEME! is an exhibition of my best work to date. These pieces explore the cost of success in America. Through an investigation of American News Media, and the representation of my family’s stories, AMERICAN SCHEME! depicts the often violent toll of advancement in America. Aesthetically these pieces draw heavily from the 80’s neoexpressionist movement. My work is largely inspired by artists like Haring and Basquiat. I re-use symbols and figures across paintings to create storylines beyond one single artwork. I also appropriate imagery through stamps and collage to ground my work in material reality. Picasso’s work from the 30’s through late 40’s in which he blends surrealist and cubist vocabularies– has a massive influence on my violently contorted figures. The surrealist practice of “automatic” mark-making also played a large role in the creation of this body of work. Many of my pieces originated as “automatic” designs inspired by Miró and Picasso. Upcycling materials is central to my artistic practice. A lot of the sculptural elements, frames, wood, paint, and collage materials were sourced from donation centers and thrift stores. While creating AMERICAN SCHEME! I spent much of my studio time listening to a constant barrage of American News Media as I built my artwork. Thank you for coming to AMERICAN SCHEME! I hope it makes you feel some type of way.