Image Credit: Xian Pitt
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Hadley.
Jason, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma in a house full of artists and musicians and spent much of my childhood in and around the University of Oklahoma art department building where my dad was a professor. After a year of “official” enrollment in the art program at OU, however, I felt like he had been doing the hometown thing long enough and moved to Northampton, MA.
In 1989 after two years working in kitchens on the east coast I came to Los Angeles and started working in film and television doing props and set decoration. In 1991 I started the band Woodpussy with a crowd of likeminded artists and weirdos. The band was often more art than music with elaborate sets and costumes. There was a short tour with the band Tool and three years as sponsored artists doing large pyrotechnic sculpture and performance at Burning Man as well as an affiliation with The Los Angeles Cacophony Society. When the band ended I began focusing on visual art with a musical element rather than the other way around. The work got smaller and more focused and individual although I still prefer to show as an installation with many pieces coming together to create an environment. Occasionally a bizarre performance element still erupts such as in the mobile installation, “Klown Tower”, a cramped and chaotic condo complex inhabited by clowns who are painting portraits, playing music and splashing around in tiny bathtubs.
I have been actively showing since 2003 in Los Angeles at MorYork Gallery, The Hive, Create Fixate, Cannibal
Flower, and Art Slave Gallery as well as several Downtown L.A. art walks and most recently, The Brewery Art Walk as a guest of Gallery Collective 70, Sandman Studios and I-5 Gallery.
Other shows include The Joshua Tree Retreat Center, The Hive’s satellite gallery at Art Basel Miami in 2010 and John Kilduff’s annual Art Basil which takes place in his backyard in the San Fernando Valley.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Most of my materials are found, scavenged, recycled or donated by good friends and family members. Many of these people end up as subjects of life-casts as well. Hands, faces, fingers and feet appear frequently, cast in various materials but most often, wax or gypsum. Some viewers find these disembodied parts creepy or morbid but I promise all of my models are still living and many have returned time and again to be covered in alginate and plaster for another piece including my parents, my kids and my awesome girlfriend.
Often these “parts” come jutting out from elaborate frames and shadowboxes made of reclaimed wood, copper, cement, matchsticks, pieces of broken furniture and whatever else I have on hand. Sometimes the materials dictate the piece with a particular strength or weakness but more often the individual parts are stripped down to some basic building blocks and I go from there rebuilding and reshaping, leaving the original material hidden in its new home. Usually a single piece will have several companions which I am why prefer to build an environment where these things can live as part of an installation but also make sure each piece can stand on its own as a piece of art.
Other recent endeavors include encaustic ink transfers and printing experiments with layers of spray paint, glue, and parts of old books or found photos. Odd lighting fixtures with antique flicker bulbs for a warm fireplace feeling. Noisy machines that can sometimes be controlled by the viewer (and sometimes not) and an army of tiny portraits in acrylic and resin that will someday, when ready, be part of a show with the working title of “One Thousand Dudes”.
It’s all made by hand in my home studio with minimal power tools beyond a table saw and drill and all largely from recycled materials. I hope the warmth I get from these characters translates into a similar comfort for the viewer.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think the biggest challenge facing artists is finding space and opportunity to show more than just one or two pieces at a time and finding time and space to make new work while holding down a day job which I think most of us do out of necessity. I have been fortunate to have had featured spots and solo shows at various places around L.A. and New York and I do sell work but it’s not enough to pay the bills and feed the kids. There are more galleries than ever in Los Angles but there are more artists as well and people have to pay the rent. Artists, galleries, collectors, everyone.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen online on various formats which are not updated nearly enough because I would much rather be making art than getting good photos of things and trying to remember how FTP works.
However, those places are here:
For rental to commercials, TV and film please contact Zedonk Art. https://www.zedonkart.com/collections/galerie-ze-rentals
Of course, the best way to see the work is in person and I can organize a studio visit here at my place in Silverlake, CA.
- Address: Silverlake, CA
- Website: jasonhadley.com
- Phone: 3238333284
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hadleyart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jason.hadley
- Other: For Film and TV rentals https://www.zedonkart.com/collections/galerie-ze-rentals