The eXTra finGer

...''He was counting on his fingers.One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven.Eleven?Had he been born with an extra finger?''...

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Location: Italy

...& visit my web sites: Claudio Parentela's Official Site ''Claudio Parentela:Contemporary Art with a Freakish Taste!'' Lights&Shadows Disturbing Black Inks


Friday, November 14, 2014

Interview with JONATHAN CHASE

q)Walk us through an intimate day in your life

a) I’m currently in my MFA program so that keeps my really busy.  I wake up pretty late or early for some people around3 am and start working on things but then often I’m in such a strong drive I don’t sleep at all., I take breaks from the news it can get to be too much for me, I’M VERY Sensitive. I take my antidepressants (or not) and catch up on news   I’m not much an eater in the morning maybe some yogurt and coffee while developing a plan for my next painting.  I try and have at least an hour of social time for friends a day and some for just myself whether it be reading something I enjoy or playing a video game.  I spend at least 5-8 hours making something every day bad or not I make it, and I always have larger projects work on over time I make sure I keep up with.   Making things and having my fiancé here with all his love and support at the end and beginning of each day really helps me keep things together.  I struggle with consciously constantly putting on different mask in social structures and keeping a balance as a gay black bipolar man.

q) Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?

a) I’m from Philadelphia Pa, and I’ve lived here all my life always been a city kid a city person.  I’m used to large crowds of people or rather used to them being around but I don’t always feel comfortable with that.  I’m living here with my family in Philly while taking my Mfa at PAFA.  I was born in north philly and then bounced over near the north east where I grew up in a really mixed neighborhood I’ve always had different kinds of friends. Shit got rough in many ways while I was a teenager and then I found myself ( my family) moving a lot in philly mostly in to bad parts around north side.  The suspicion, grittiness, and hostility is something I expect but can never fully get used to.   Some things are okay I guess there is violence nearly everywhere in  some shape or form where I live theres lots of crime, things like drugs and someone was shot across the street from where I live.  Lots of racial tension and homophobia in my neighborhood too, I have to wear a mask outside of the comfort of my house. Outside of the safety of my home.  I talk a lot about what I see every day in life from my experiences and that of which I share with my people black or queer.  My every day is shown through my art  with beauty, pain, hiding, and struggle.

q) What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?

a) My mother drew lots of things for me as a child so clique as that sounds it is the first urge I had I thank her for nurturing that not many black parents support or want to see their children pursue something so unstable or what they thought was something “white”.   I always knew I wanted to be an artist but I didn’t know how to do it or what kind of artist.  I think as I became more confident and aware of my sexuality I felt a stronger need to share that and explore it and learn more.

q) Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

a)I work from found photographs, trash, items, and paper/collage along with paint.  I like to go on a date with the picture and then play with it, I’m not married to the information on the photograph and I manipulate things digitally or I draw out a plan before transforming my information to the surface I’m working on.  I cut and paste and paste and cut on different surfaces like canvas, cardboard, and different fabrics.  I compile files and my fabric swatches and color conversations to have a foundation of the idea but different things always happen while Im working on a piece. 

q) How do you wish for your art to be perceived?

a)I have a target audience and that audience is everyone though I work with gay black identity I want to invite people from all walks of life to stay for a while with my work.  I want to challenge ideas of black identity internally and externally as well as gender roles/ norms.  I’m working also heavily with ideas of visibility and I really want people to “see” not just what they think though I know it can make people uncomfortable.  I think being uncomfortable sometimes is a good thing lets us get out of ourselves and learn something new.  I want my work to show honesty and the duality of gay black identity, an identity that’s underneath and hidden brought to the surface through beauty, love, pain, the uncanny and honesty.

q) What do your internal dialogues sound like?

a)I’m always thinking about something, I’m bipolar so my mind is never totally at a standstill some thoughts I’m about to reach out and make sense of and others overwhelming and I rather dismiss.  I’m very close to my subject matter so I am always thinking about myself and even my friends family who identify closely to myself whether racially or class.
 I’m always writing things down and making drawings I have to or I’m afraid I’ll lose them in the storm of my internal conversations.  I’m always turning gears, or consciously switching mask, and thinking about fragmentation and stability through my process of making art and my everyday life during coffee or woofing down a burger.  

q) Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?

a)No. Not much else to say. The only limitation is if I don’t know about something or how to do something but I‘m a problem solver so I figure it out soon enough if not  later.

q) Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?

a)For me yes it gives me something I can be both proud of and feel as though am doing right and feels right.  Hope is a powerful and needed thing in life and I think it provides hope and a way of understanding or dealing with the human condition that is so complex and daunting.

q) Describe a world without art.

a)Static. Unlearning. Not progressive. Dead. Cold. Doomed.

q) Tell us a secret, and obsession.

a)I guess sharing I like wine isn’t much of a secret haha!  I hoard images I’m come to realize and I actually am very fond of photography, figurative of course but I also like telescopic images of the stars. I call my obsession with found images an archive which I am continuously building every single day but I can spend 3 hours a day collecting things. 
I’ve been secretly interested in video and music I was a drummer in middle school but I have been developing a way for me to handle those mediums in relation to my larger body of work.

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


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