Jesse Aylsworth

Jesse Aylsworth

Minnesota-based BFA candidate Jesse Aylsworth's holographic mixed media pieces struck me right away, first for their unique take on the relationship of light to color, and because of that, their propensity to look different depending on where you're standing or how you're looking. You can get an idea how they react at his Instagram gallery!

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Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Well, to start I am a visual artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota working towards a BFA in Painting from the University of Minnesota. 

What first interested you in art, or in painting?

I have been making art my entire life, its almost instinctual. In elementary school we had art class every other day and I can remember looking forward to those days and being blissfully happy. Fast forward to high school I took every art class available, even skipped class to paint. I was fascinated with art, and wanted to pursue it, but I was essentially told by my high school advisor that being an artist is not a job. At the time I was planning on studying Chemistry or Anthropology. I love science and culture. Once I got to college I immediately felt that making art is what make me happy and is a way for me to bridge the gaps between all my interests. 

Do you have any major influences, whether other artists, mentors, or subjects?

I am influenced by religion, spirituality, technology, fashion, music, perception, and consciousness to name a few. I follow other artists like Lala Abaddon, Michael Maxwell, Sterling Ruby, Kelsey Brookes, Corrine Wasmuht, Barbara Takenaga, Evan Gruzis, and Erin Loree. It feels great to live in a time when I can follow the happenings of the art world through social media and the internet. I believe the internet has changed and will continue to change the way people consume and spread art. The internet has influenced not just my artwork but my entire life; sometimes feel like I was raised by the internet. 

I'm really interested in the reflective quality of the surfaces of your paintings. Can you tell me a bit about the materials you use in your work? What interests you most in these, or what do you like most about it?

The more recent works have incorporated holographic, lenticular and dichroic medias that alter the perception of the viewer based on their distance and perspective from the piece. I like the dynamic nature they give the painting. The work prompts the viewer to navigate around the painting in an attempt to experience the changing surface.  

As an undergraduate student, do you have much of a studio or workspace to speak of? What is it like?

My apartment has been acting as a studio space, however recently I have been making a lot of work and am running out of space quickly. I have access to studio space on campus and the facilities at the school are great. I recently discovered the XYZ Lab which gives students access to a variety of technology like laser cutters and 3d printers that I am excited to take advantage of. I feel fortunate to have Clarence Morgan and Mathew Zefeldt as professors. 

How do you get started on a piece? Do you plan ahead much, or work more spontaneously?

Much of my work is visualized mentally and then I usually just dive into creation looking to previous works of mine as reference. Occasionally there is sketching and deliberation, however when creating I try not to overthink and let my intuition and the process guide me. I work with a lot of digital imagery that I manipulate and use, often recycling and reincorporating patterns through works.

What do you feel like is the most challenging or daunting aspect of choosing to pursue art seriously?

The most challenging or daunting aspect in my pursuit of an art career would be the perceived financial insecurity, however I also feel that there is something exciting about that too. I need to create opportunities for myself and establish connections.

Do you find anything particularly rewarding or exciting about it?

The most rewarding part of art making is physically manifesting an idea for other people to experience. 

If you could sit down with anyone and chat about anything, who would it be and what would you want to talk about?

I have a libra moon, so this question was hard because I am indecisive as fuck, so I made a list in no particular order: Bernie Sanders, Dalai Lama, Rupaul, Lady Gaga, Albert Hoffman, Miley Cyrus, Grimes, Amy Winehouse, Kathy Grayson, Hilma Af Klint, I think we would stay up all night getting wine drunk and dancing and have existential conversations. Then get brunch in the AM.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects?

No exhibitions set in stone yet, but I am starting a new series involving lasers, so stay tuned. 

Find more at jesseaylsworth.com!

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