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At the heart of Patrick Jackson’s Drawings and Reliefs is a series of colorful and cartoonish sketches from the artist’s notebooks, made with pen, watercolor, oil stick, and felt-tip markers. Filled with crudely drawn bodies—eyeballs, bloody necks, even train-track-bedecked teeth—these subconscious ramblings possess an immediacy and charm which gently tickle the funny bone. In the next room are a series of plasticine wall reliefs which, like the drawings, suggest the viscera of the body in their own lumpen way, with skin-like creases and folds. Their soft brown protuberant surfaces seemed strangely reminiscent of both the pre-CGI monsters found in 1980s fantasy movies and Philip Guston’s later figurative paintings.
Why Jackson chose to translate the subliminal imagery generated by his drawing into clay is unclear. Part of the appeal of the works on paper is the feverish sense of rapidity in their creation, the feeling that we are being offered a direct connection to the mind and hand of the artist. This is lost in the careful process of moulding and casting required to make the reliefs, which somehow manage to be both less detailed and more laboriously constructed than the sketches. It turns out that these wall reliefs are the first works in an ongoing series; perhaps in future incarnations Jackson will uncover how to better translate the effervescence of his drawings into the medium of clay.
Patrick Jackson: Drawings and Reliefs runs June 11-July 30, 2016 at Ghebaly Gallery (2245 E. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90021)