Q&A with the Artist: Jason Myers

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College recently debuted “STATUS: fluid | dynamic,” an exhibition featuring the work of Jason Myers that runs through Dec. 10.

Here’s a look at Myers’ answers to a series of questions about the exhibition and his work as an artist.

What is your inspiration behind this exhibition?

I consider personal life experiences to be my primary inspiration, but I draw content from culture/history and the society/social issues in our lives.

This exhibition was a careful selection of works from several series, created over the past 10 years. Each series challenges certain perceptions of our lives and the answers we settle for, regarding the system within which we live. 

The aim of this exhibit was to share the unique approach I take to create in the studio. The works range from paintings, sculptures, virtual paintings and installations, and most include digital media in some way. Most of the work combines the different mixed media to create hybrid mediums. 

All the work starts with the hand in the form of drawing, painting and sculpture before it is scanned and manipulated in the digital format. It is then transferred to canvas and worked physically with many layers of paint and resin.

Most importantly, my subject is “ourselves.” My works are a reflection and metaphor for all of us. Since the beginning of art, with the cave paintings at Las Caux, artists have emulated themselves. As humans, we recognize and relate to our own reflections better than anything. A common element we all understand and a narcissistic view of the center of our universe.

What story does the exhibition tell?

I don’t think of my exhibition as comments, answers, or telling a story in a general sense. I do believe that it is a means of eliciting questions from the viewer about the world around us.

It does reflect my anxiety about life through my process, which continually evolves, by transitioning through a variety materials and media.

What is your favorite piece in the exhibition? Why?

I would consider “Visible Noise” to be my favorite pieces for many reasons. It was certainly the most difficult, took the most time, and required the most investigation of new tools and technology to create. The piece was a challenge to myself to create a work of art that captured more than a moment of time, but rather a work that was an experience of time itself for the viewer. 

It addresses the overwhelming and irreversible influence of digital technology on our lives. Within a five-minute duration, the “self” or subject is overwhelmed by and then overcomes the struggle, as the piece transitions from light to dark and back again. The handwriting symbolizes the visible noise or digital infiltration of our souls, lifestyles and the ways we live and communicate with one another. 

What does it mean to you as an artist to have an exhibition here at the Polk Museum of Art?

This is my first solo exhibition in a significant museum. It is a very important element for this body of work specifically. Most importantly, the museum allows the opportunity to share the work in its purest form, which lacks the selections being based on sales strategy or other thematic reasons of galleries or art fairs. My goal has always been to exhibit these series in a space that allows the body of work to communicate with each other visually, in its intended format.

What role does a museum exhibition play in advancing your work?

Part of my job as an artist is sharing the work with others. This exhibit has given me the opportunity to show the work in a space that presents the art in a designated higher learning environment. Museum exhibitions allow greater access to a larger audience and a wider cross section of the general public.  

Why should people come see this exhibition? What do you want them to take away from it?

I hope that people come and experience the exhibition to see something new and different than they may have ever experienced before. Being not only new methods, mediums, working processes and subject matter, but also art that questions things they may have taken the given answers for granted. I hope the audience is moved enough to evoke questions of their own, about their own lives, through a visual experience.