Jay Gaskill


Jay Gaskill

I create paintings that are a synthesis of pop art, abstraction, popular imagery and design. I seek out their similarities, and highlight their intersections. These intersections become apparent in the shapes that populate my paintings. I think of my shapes as characters: they are not logos for some third party, or emblems of paintings. The nature of the characters is intentionally ambiguous. The characters in the paintings act as a cipher; a structured emptiness. The structure exists in the form of visual cues, which draw from a host of reference points without being specifically beholden to any one position or ideology, a non-specific referentiality for the viewer. I am interested in maintaining the autonomy of the characters from concrete associations tied to external sources. Even though the characters are in dialogue with external references, they ultimately represent nothing except themselves. My paintings present an experiential and immersive viewing experience embodying an altered reality that exists on my terms, but that is in dialogue with our collective visual culture.


b. 1980, Silver Spring, MD
Lives and works in Portland, OR

  • 2011Hunter College of the City University of New York, MFA
  • 2002School of Visual Arts, BFA