The box was clearly labeled “Jason’s crap” and mom was grinning ear to ear. She handed me the box and exclaimed, “My job is now complete.” This box carries the elements of my youth, which includes progress reports, school assignments, random doodles or drawings, anything I would have thrown away; mom had kept. It is a timeline full of failures, successes, and an apparent obsession to drawing houses and astronauts. I have held on to these things and only see them when it is time to migrate, to load them in a truck and move on. From my clumsy cursive writing to my B minus book report on Tom Sawyer, I repeatedly ask, why do I keep all this?
When beginning this series of paintings, I wanted to use the contents of this box as the background, a starting point from which to go in a new direction. I was drawn to their texture and color; the pages were old, brittle, and worn. I was interested in how these items, however mundane, have influenced my life. In doing so I have used images accumulated in the past ten years. Random photos of parking signs, the hotel key card I incidentally took from the Chicago Art Club Trip, airplane safety cards, and other ordinary images I kept and began to juxtapose them with my past to form a bond. Arrows giving directions, text, random antennae, and voice bubbles carry signals and clues for the viewer to migrate from panel to panel, from image to image, giving hints to past experiences while producing new ones to be regarded.
While producing this series these older images, these things, became more than just evidence of past memories. By layering the old and new imagery in a random order they became a visual link to the past that undoubtedly shaped my present self. The correspondence between the layered images create compositions not bound by the exactness of the moment but by the illusion of the loss and reconfiguration of time. Each painting portrays a moment in time suspended seperatly from the past and the present, rather it exists in a state of ambiguity. This allows the painting to take whatever shape, form, or childlike narrative it chooses. This series is simply about the migration, or changes, of my body and mind over the past thirty-eight years. I am evolving as a human, a man, and an artist.
Jason Galligan-Baldwin was born on June 9, 1972 in Durham, North Carolina. He grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana where he attended Louisiana State University at Alexandria from 1994-1996 on the Elizabeth M. Bolton Art Scholarship. In May 2001 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with an emphasis in painting. He received his MFA, emphasis in painting/printmaking, from The University of Mississippi in 2004.
Jason has exhibited his artwork in solo, juried (international, national, and regional), and group shows throughout the country. He was also recently one of three jurors for the Ohio +5 Biennial held at the Dairy Barn Arts Center. Jason has won many awards, including four Best of Shows and an Artist’s Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center. His work is included in the permanent collections of The University of Southern Indiana, The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, the Laurel Arts League, the Meridian Museum of Art, and several other private/permanent collections. Jason is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Studio Arts Coordinator at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.