places to look

14 June 2010

jason van hoose at the lemon grove

new job downtown as the manager of a budding art gallery provides intimate access to some truly spectacular stuff.  to me, one of the most sensational artists is jason van hoose.  a self-proclaimed "country boy", jason enjoys the benefits of a cosmic imagination and rustic charm.  his paintings are technically brilliant, yet unpretentious and folksy.  rural life reappears time and again in the form of tornadoes, animals, and fields of grain.  in these implicitly american icons lurks fiery passion and hints of psychosis.  it is pastoral work that avoids the bear traps of norman rockwell and "american gothic" and falls somewhere closer to the dreamscapes of david hockney.  Then, on top of all of this, van hoose introduces us to otherworldly symbols, mystical signs, and the possibility of aliens.  Swirls, eyeballs, creatures and disasters fuse with the hefty simplicity of their "americana" vibe.  Religious in its treatment of its subjects, van hoose's paintings act almost as Byzantine icons. they present us, in flat frontal views, with the gloriously divine and give us reason for veneration.