Jason Willome works across a range of mediums, investigating the tension between the mental and the physical. At the heart of Willome’s practice is painting – a medium that he treats in a uniquely tactile way. His work rubs together competing aspects of pictorial space and surface, or illusion and sculptural form, exploring moments of paradox and metaphor in the picture where image crosses into the space of the viewer. His recent paintings depict disaster and wreckage – flooded or snow-filled landscapes with only traces of human presence – created by pours of house paint, faux painting techniques, and other surface artifacts that attenuate the representational space and frame it as fantasy – a reflection of the willful ignorance and softened reality of the current moment.

One of things I love about painting is what we ignore about painting. It is a constant negotiation of willful ignorance – we pretend we see space and volume on the flat surface of an actual volume; we ignore the format if it is the rectangle that we are accustomed to; we look past the material marks left by a brush – along with almost every other bit of facture that has been shaped by the surface – to see the visage accumulated there. Painting is a practice in fiction that reflects our truth as a species of near-sighted, self-involved pretenders. May we know ourselves in time to save ourselves.

Jason Willome is an artist and Professor of Instruction in the School of Art at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions both nationally (Colorado, Hawai’i, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas) and internationally (Colombia, Palestine). He has also been featured in Beautiful Decay,  Agave Magazine, Glasstire, and Stacy Dacheux’s blog, Revising Loneliness. Jason lives with his family in San Antonio, TX.



“Bewilderment increases in the presence of mirrors.” — Tarjei Vesaas ( The Boat in the Evening, 1968)

A body of work exploring the softened reality of the present moment, these paintings and drawings present imagery of flooding, desertification, and ecological disaster, in saturated and fantastical colors, constructed from forms that are artifacts of surface. Pours of house paint, faux painting techniques, flocking, stencils, collaged and transferred materials, and objects, are arranged to suggest pictorial spaces inspired by the backgrounds of cartoons, contradict space by asserting surface. In this way, the burdensome history of painting frames these materials as a reflection of the intentional ignorance in the human condition. May we know ourselves in time to save ourselves.


Good Grief

“Only a truly guilty man can conceive of the concept of innocence at all”  — J.G.Ballard (Backdrop of Stars, 1968)

This project explores the porous nature of knowability and belief within the current lens of climate change and denial. Icebergs cast in temporal materials like ice, candy, fat, and frozen ink, are installed in spaces like kitchen counters and coffee tables - spaces that accumulate the detritus of our daily movement. They are invaders, unfriendly reminders of larger things, inconvenient to our schedule, a thing to kick down the road to our future selves.

Icebergs are unique to the current moment, not because they haven’t existed in the past, but because their increasingly frequent occurrence signifies a change that directly contradicts the scale of human machinations. Icebergs are visitors from places beyond our periphery. They contribute to a growing unease within humanity that there are things moving in the dark around us, a threshold state where all that we know can be called into question. Liminality is the friction between the known and the unknown – the spectrum of panic, denial, and grief over an ever-changing now, where we are chilled by the growing sense that our knowing is an indiscreet and leaky thing.


Space is Real

“... see, all I’m saying is that minerals are a rudimentary form of consciousness, whereas the other people are saying that consciousness is a complicated form of minerals.”  — Alan Watts (The Tao of Philosophy, 1972)

“If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.” John Wheeler (quoting Einstein while discussing his Participatory Anthropic Principle in 1990 with writer John Horgan).

“I do take 100% seriously the idea that the world is a figment of the imagination,” John Wheeler (in remarks to physicist/science writer Jeremy Bernstein in 1985).

When we consider the fact that we emerge from the world, and are not separate from it – that the atoms in our bodies were forged in the hearts of stars billions of years ago – our exploration of the natural world becomes a way of knowing ourselves. These works explore this idea within images from NASA’s archive, either imbueing the surface of these space exploration images with salt - a mineral found in our bodies, which has a crystal structure annalogous to the ignition clouds of rockets - or else softening our default understanding of images as spaces by asserting their object-ness (their surface, their three-dimensionality). The Modernist picture plane becomes a vehicle for both participating in the image, and embracing it as an figure that shares our space. Images are a liminal space where the mental and the physical rub together and meet – where the world exists both inside and outside our heads – where looking out is the same as looking in.



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