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Jason Craighead | Invisible Audience

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Invisible Audience, new work by Jason Craighead, on display March 16 through April 27, 2019.

This body of work is the first that Craighead has painted in his new Brooklyn studio. This is significant, as the recent transition from his long-time studio in Raleigh, NC, to this new studio in the robust, artistic community of Williamsburg led Craighead to think about where he would be doing his work from this point forward, and if the audience would change along with his altered physical location.

As a painter, Craighead asks who is it that we paint for each day? What “place” does it come from? What “place” does it eventually land? The simple answer for him is himself, but not in an artistically egotistical sense. The audience that drives his work each day is a mirror of sorts– a reflection of how he aligns himself to the world, moment by moment. He addresses what he gives power to, what he lets go of, what he sees in himself within, and far beyond the walls of his studio, just as each of us draws the pathway of our own lives by following in the simplest sense what we believe being human is really all about. The audience for an artist, then, is truly invisible as it is all things; it is the vastness of the human condition and all of its elements played out daily throughout generations of art and artists. Craighead believes his greatest artistic achievement would be for the viewer to be able to find his or her own reflection, or “invisible audience” within his work, whether it’s today or one hundred years from now. He addresses the powerful, timelessness of the thread of emotion that is shared by all of us.

Jason Craighead’s work is, at its core, a continuation of the artist’s exploration of the human condition, both personal and collective. Craighead’s work encompasses his recent experiences, preoccupations, and raw emotions. Our modern lives are entangled in a complicated world that is joyful, tragic, confusing, dark, wild, and brilliant. This is an experience to be shared; it is yours, mine, and ours.

Most everything starts on the studio floor to allow for what the artist refers to as “proper seasoning”, meaning while working on pieces that are on the wall, he is walking, dripping, spilling on the canvases and paper in the floor. Jason says this process, “allows for accident and mishap to become a natural collaborator” and, “is, in itself, evidence of process, of action…of me”. When a piece moves to the wall it is then shaped and formed with layers of drawing and painting until the pieces fall into a striking composition of gravity and space. The artist’s work echoes the well-known words of Edward Hopper, “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint”. When prompted for significance and inspiration, Craighead is known to provide literary references, various lyrics from songs and snippets of poetry to communicate what feeds his creative process. The effect of his work envelopes the viewer, inciting emotional reaction and engagement with his narrative.

Represented by Cheryl Hazan Gallery in NYC and Tinney Contemporary in Nashville, TN, Craighead is developing a strong collector base, both nationally and internationally. Craighead recently had his first major solo museum exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC in July 2018.