Unveiling the Artistic Journey of Henry Jackson
Henry Jackson, a seasoned artist from the San Francisco Bay area, is renowned for his abstract environments that depict a natural world undergoing transformation and turmoil. His work is deeply rooted in post-war Abstract Expressionism and figuration, primarily using oil and ink-based media. This inherent connection with the art of renewal, rather than absolute novelty, sets him apart in the industry.
One of the evocative pieces from the 'Selva' series by Henry Jackson.
“Untitled (Selva series #02-15),” Oil & ink based mixed media on paper, 23" x 17.5”
About Henry Jackson and His Unique Artistic Style
Born and raised in San Francisco, Henry Jackson's practice includes painting, printmaking, and digital media. His artistic style is unique, creating abstracted environments that depict a natural world in transformation and turmoil. His art making comes from an internalized place rather than a depiction of a visual experience.
Henry Jackson's Artistic Beginnings
Henry Jackson's initial foray into the art world is a story that takes us back to his childhood. His earliest memories revolve around drawing on the walls of his home using his mother's makeup kit. The mark-making process fascinated him, setting the foundation for his future career. A pivotal moment came from his first visit to the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco at a young age where he encountered small Flemish paintings. The worlds they depicted made him want to crawl in and run away. It all felt so familiar.
Connecting with the Audience and Finding Inspiration
Jackson connects with his audience primarily through gallery representation such as solo & group exhibitions, art fairs, and site-specific commissions and projects. When it comes to finding inspiration for his work, Jackson works intuitively, challenging how he engages each work either through his tools of application or media. He trusts this process so as to not overthink the composition, shaking things up like rotating the surface or alternating his method of application when he finds himself beginning to resolve too soon.
'Selva' - A Reflection of the Elemental Happenings
Among Jackson's works, the 'Selva' series holds a special place. Initiated in 2018, during his artist residencies at the Monte Azul Center for the Arts in Costa Rica, the series serves as a spontaneous interpretation of the ever-changing elemental happenings. It's an ongoing theme that continues to guide Henry into new realms of artistic exploration.
Future Endeavors and Goals
Jackson is currently working on a site-specific commission awarded by the San Francisco Zoological Society. This project, set to be completed by early spring 2024, involves fabricating and recreating an actual South American rainforest. The theme revolves around conservation and climate change and will coincide with a large-scale video and sound installation titled 'The Great Awakening' at the San Francisco Zoo. Jackson is also expected to preview a new collection of works on paper at Stewart Gallery, Boise, ID, in September 2023 and has an upcoming solo exhibition of new paintings at Lewallen Galleries in Santa Fe, NM, in May 2024.
The Challenges and Triumphs
Like any artist, Jackson too faces challenges. However, he believes that these challenges arise from the expectations he sets for himself. His solution is to trust himself and the creative process. The key, according to Jackson, is to keep pushing the boundaries and setting the bar high to ensure that his work constantly evolves and remains relevant. The challenges are created when he places certain expectations on himself with any given project. As he grows older and his work evolves, his best work will always challenge and push the work that precedes it. Setting that proverbial bar very high and defiant... especially when you're an employee of the art world.
What Makes Henry Jackson's Art Stand Out
Jackson's work is more about renewal than newness. His style is a continuation of a celebrated movement that he continues to find to be incredibly soulful and always relevant with the times. By being honest with his intentions and beliefs, these qualities ensure him the work will always stand on its own.