I studied Painting at the Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts School of Art & Design, earning a BFA Summa Cum Laude with Honors in 1998. I have lived and worked in the beautiful state of Wisconsin ever since.
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Henri Matisse once said: “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue. ” In my own way, I agree with him!
“the body exists, acts, shows itself, gives itself, without hysteria, without narcissism, but according to a pure–though subtly discontinuous–erotic project. To make a date (by gestures, drawings on paper, proper names) may take an hour, but during that hour, for a message which would be abolished in an instant if it were to be spoken (simultaneously quite essential and quite insignificant), it is the other’s entire body which has been known, savored, received, and which has displayed (to no real purpose) its own narrative, its own text.”
R. Barthes–Empire of Signs.
I am a visual artist with diverse aesthetic interests, specializing in drawing and paint media. My paintings express basic aesthetic/erotic experiences such as line, form, space, color, and texture, sometimes to the extent that they are “just barely” artistic at all, to offer viewers the freedom to indulge in an at times bizarre, absurd, yet marvelous and precious human privilege: to just look and feel with nothing else to do. I do not, however, require of these basic aesthetic experiences that they be devoid of content or emotional resonance. The aesthetic experience cannot help but resonate. I do not enforce a “pure” aesthetic in my work and I no longer adhere to a figurative/abstract dichotomy, sometimes bringing the “erotic project” into the realm of the literal. My process is unsystematic and non-dogmatic; thus in talking about my work, I may only explain tendencies which may at times have exceptions.
Therefore, my works are, especially recently, not necessarily without concrete reference or inspiration, but my artistic process is one by which meaning is shy; I non-dogmatically occlude, eclipse, obscure, or hide to varying extent the original inspiration rather than reveal or explicate it. This comes about to varying extent through a love of craft by which the process of visual and physical problem solving introduces nuances that could not exist in the idea alone, and by the introduction of motifs which may not be original to the incipient idea. Titles may derive on a spectrum; they may be description, associative, or even non-sequitur. My tendency is to paint away from subject matter, rather than towards it, to arrive at a subject matter potentially beyond the intentional and personal; thereby I hope to transcend the idiosyncratic. I carry the torch of a deep love of perennial mystery in works of art both figurative and non-objective.
Thus in my own work I note a persistent tendency towards skepticism, equivocation, and indecision with regard to what feels at times like the tyranny of signification, and so the forms of my paintings and drawings often (but not always!) reflect this ambivalence in a non-objective abstraction borne out of the conflict or harmony of idea and material, and the dialectics of the painting process itself. In my figurative works, this tension persists and so I do not view the two modalities of abstraction and figuration in my work as a whole as exclusive. I perennially choose more or less traditional painting and drawing media out of a simple love of the craft, the sense of the artist’s materials contributing to the creative process itself rather than wholly subordinated to content or idea, and the visceral aesthetic qualities of its productions; there is, on the other hand, perhaps a stubborn resistance against dogmatic traditionalism in representational or narrative painting as well as against –without rancor or argument– the revolutionary plasticity of the digital with its resultant proliferation of the significant or interpretable image in society.
My formative artistic influences include (but are by no means limited to) surrealism, abstract expressionism, minimalism, and Zen Buddhist calligraphy.
All images on jodyscottchandler.com copyright Jody Scott Chandler, unless otherwise noted. Please inquire for permission before using any images.