Jaime Johnston

St. Mary's Project


blue book candle flow
green house lemon locket
olive orange shell woman

 Artist's Abstract

Within my work, I seek to produce an allusive world in which the figures, objects, and spaces that encompass them seem to hint at more than what is depicted. My objective in doing so is to encourage the creative mind to explore the possibility of multiple meanings. There are times when I look at my own work and wonder what it all means, what the story is, and where the ideas stem from. Like many artists, I acknowledge the possibility of universal mythic images as established by the Jungian philosophy of archetypes. "A work of art has its origin in an unconscious impulse that springs from a collective of universal values common to all men from which the artist derives the archai of organic existence." Rather than focusing on the source of my imagery, I am interested in encouraging associations from the viewer based on their own experiences and insight. I do not desire to create a fixed meaning but instead hope to present an image that incites interpretive possibilities.

The possibility for interpretation arises from the use of the female figure and symbolic imagery. Seemingly everyday subject matter, such as the female figure and recognizable objects, bridge the gap between the fantastic and the real. With cropping, gesture, and a simplified and flat depiction I create an ambiguous world that borders the edge of abstraction. Cropping of the figure is important for the work because in my mind it shows that I am not interested in strictly figurative painting. Since I do not use models or paint from objects, I feel free to take liberties such as unnatural flesh tones and generalizations of form that result in an exaggerated distortion of the figure that is detached and aloof in the attitude of the figure, and in the flatness of space and form. I place less importance on the supposed meaning of the figure and focus instead on visual matters such as cropping of the figure and objects that are psychologically charged through color and placement.

Artist Statement

Installation View

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