Jason Stewart is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, sculpture, and installation. His work deals with the relationships between schematics and abstraction. He is especially curious about the ways in we position ourselves in the world – which is evident through his use of second-hand object and the history behind them, as well through his schematic drawings. Stewart received his BFA from Rowan University where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Harvey and Harriet Alpert Achievement in Fine Art Medallion, as well as various other scholarships and awards. Stewart’s work addresses the idea of “place” through multiple voices–each voice being a re-experience or re-arrival to the idea of place. His handling of an idea through different modalities speaks to the formal concerns of materials, while also alluding to the mutability of the human mind. In addition to his art practice, Stewart is a musician,educator, and scenic designer and has received recognition in New Jersey for his outstanding scenic achievement with New Jersey youth. Stewart has displayed work in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey – including the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ.
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My process begins with an awareness of place and the way it is seen, experienced, and remembered. This interest stems from a flux of living conditions in my youth, which fostered a curiosity for the ways in which we position ourselves in the world. I study places of personal significance and places of transience, attempting to find connections or distinctions between the two.
I am interested in negotiating the real with the fictive – contrasting found objects with schematics and abstraction. The schematic drawings, which traditionally represent fact and accuracy, are drawn from memory, memories that are filled with emotions and inaccurate accounts. The process of abstraction develops in unknown directions. They are improvised and intuitive. For me, intuitive thinking is an important form of thinking. It is reactionary and resourceful, quick but authentic.I am concerned with the struggle that occurs between the real and the remembered, the rational and the instinctual.
The second hand objects are artifacts of past locations. They are borrowed from loved ones, purchased at thrift stores, and picked from the trash. They come with baggage, a history that I wish to activate while also exposing their absurd and playful potential. These objects signify a former, sentimental place but they are manipulated in ways that adjust our expectations.
Through my involvement with place and the physical act of making, I have fostered a curiosity for the ways in which we position ourselves in the world and how one makes sense of what is around them. It is through the physical act of making that I honor a past experience but also create a new place – a place that attempts to be familiar but will always be distant and beyond reality.