Jacob van Loon is a Chicago-based painter and designer. His work introduces organic, linear elements to geometric forms, with an aesthetic influenced by architecture, cartography, scientific illustration and graphic design. In addition to painting, Jacob also involves himself in the curation and has actively contributed to Artchipel’s content as Curator and Art Writer. Jacob’s personal work was featured on Artchipel over a year ago, we are glad to have him to speak about both his story and personal creative process.
Artchipel: You’ve been using Tumblr for almost three years now. Who is Jacob van Loon? Tell us a bit about your educational background and your creative style.
Jacob van Loon: I’m the kind of person who is at home anywhere, but also the kind of person who spends the majority of his time at a studio desk. I started off as a Graphic Design student at Associates colleges between Wisconsin and Illinois for about three years. I began studying photography with what turned out to be one of the best Professors I’ve ever had, and eventually plugged back in to drawing and painting through the Illustration program at Northern Illinois University, where I graduated in 2011. I never scrapped any one part of what I learned in school. My work realizes facets of my entire education, on a sliding scale.
A: How does your design and illustration background feed into your visual artwork and vice versa?
JVL: I think most responsible Illustration curriculum realizes the importance of design more than other studio concentrations do. They are far from the same thing, but often used in conjunction professionally which is why (at the very least) my own exposure to learning illustration emphasized parts of design education as well. My painted work, as well as my unassigned work, channels specific aesthetics that come from design history. Some of my favorite artists are designers.
A: The aesthetic of your work always alludes to there being a lot of information rattling around in your head. Works in the Schaeffer series combine collage, painting and digital method and represent iterations of sound, influenced by the compositions of Musique Concrète composer Pierre Schaeffer. From the first series to Ostinato and Crossfaders, how do you feel about the way your painted work has progressed so far?
JVL: Everything seems to be heading to a central point. Working within Schaeffer is allowing me to confront a reservation I have about the human figure in art. My painted work is more modular and structural, and the Crossfaders began to address space and line in a similar way this fall. I’m not sure if I will ever pursue a single series of work, being trained in different ways over the years allows me to explore media that best suits the concept. I never feel like I’m bending a concept to the limitations of certain media.
A: In addition to visual arts, we seem to have one more thing in common – an interest in music. What is the ideal music that you listen to while working?
JVL: I often tell people that the two artists I listen to most in the studio are Tim Hecker and William Basinski, and I think part of their aesthetic is transferred into my work, latently. Recently at an exhibit I had in Chicago, a woman was looking at my First Flower drawings and she said outright she was reminded of Frederic Chopin – which was both flattering and startling since I listened to his nocturnes semi-frequently while working on the set. My music library is kind of schizophrenic, I grew up on punk and hardcore so I tend not to use shuffle while I’m in the studio and gravitate towards full, long-playing albums.
A: The value of your curatorial work clearly accrues to you: you have graciously contributed to Artchipel’s content and started your curatorial blog Obscurantisme. How do you use social medias such as Tumblr to invent or reinvent yourself as Artist, Curator and/or Art Writer?
JVL: Artchipel offers me a great opportunity to discover art, and discover new things about art I admire. Obscurantisme is less about operating as a curator and more about addressing my dis/enchantment with the human figure in art. I can’t think of another subject I’m more critical of, so it’s interesting for me to now see what type of figurative work influences my own method.
A: Could you name 3 young artists to keep an eye on?
JVL: Totally unfair to pick just three, but Michael Chase, Theresa Taehee Whang, and T. Dylan Moore. I’d also like to mention I’ve enjoyed seeing Tony Huynh's career ascension in the last year. Remarkable conceptual talent without the overbearing aesthetic perpetuated by young illustrators in editorial and advertising today.
A: What is your project for the coming year?
JVL: I have a few opportunities for exhibits in Chicago this fall, and plan to have my first solo exhibition in January next year. I will be re-joining Anobium Books to design a few digital publications to be released this fall/winter, and hope to be able to invest more time in my work and gain employment in the creative industry.
(Source: , via explore-blog)
In January 1989, in the wake of the extreme measures passed by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, the marijuana-centric magazine High Times ran an advertisement from a group calling itself the Freedom Fighters asking readers to join its “cannabis protest movement”:
“For three years we’ve been asking our readers to get involved in the cannabis reform movement,” the ad read. “During that time, we have witnessed the steady erosion of our civil rights. Now Congress has passed a truly reprehensible bill aimed at illegal drug users. Don’t you think it’s about time you stepped out of that cannabis closet you’re hiding in?”
The advertisement was primarily speaking to men. After all, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that, even in 2012, men were nearly 50 percent more likely to smoke pot than women. High Times, with its centerfolds of scantily clad women and often boorish humor, has reflected those statistics for nearly 40 years. But, given the current softening of pot’s political and social stigma, more women than ever are following the Freedom Fighters’ advice and are coming out of the “cannabis closet” by exposing themselves in public as marijuana users.
Read more. [Image: Jeffeaton/Flickr]
stephen shore at the factory
Piss and Root Beer: An Interview with Marcel Dzama, with contributions from Raymond Pettibon
Depending on your familiarity with—or curiosity about—the current state of visual art, you may or may not be familiar with Raymond Pettibon or Marcel Dzama. Raymond Pettibon is a great artist. Marcel Dzama is a great artist. My name is Nicholas Gazin, and I would like to be a great artist, but for now, I’m totally OK with being a great opportunist.
A few months ago, someone told me that Marcel had a big monograph coming out. It’s called Marcel Dzama: Sower of Discord, out in early November from Abrams, and Raymond wrote the foreword. I selfishly interpreted this information as an excuse to spend time with two of my idols, and so I proposed a three-way interview as a way to subtly interrogate them and, hopefully, learn some of their secrets. Luckily they agreed.
The interview took place at David Zwirner Gallery on West 19th Street in New York, where Raymond was working on some new pieces. There were tables covered in paint, scraps of food and bottles of booze were scattered about, and a couple of dogs were running around, scampering between pieces of very expensive art resting on the gallery floor. I guess I looked hungry, because Raymond kindly gave me an extra hot dog that he’d ordered before I arrived. Marcel showed up shortly after that, and I pressed the record button on my phone. We talked a lot about dog pee, and I’m still unsure if I should apologize about that, but hey, when your heroes want to talk about canine urine, what are you going to do about it?
VICE: Raymond, one thing I like about your work is its lack of preciousness. The last time I interviewed you, a dog urinated on one of your drawings, and you seemed mostly unfazed.
Raymond Pettibon: Well, I wasn’t into my dog doing that, but it’s happened a handful of times. I said on Twitter recently that one of my dogs pissed on my drawings and their value went up twice over.
Marcel Dzama: I had a rabbit that used to spray his urine all over my paintings. I thought he improved them.
My grandfather painted a family portrait for one of my mom’s friends, and there was a problem with what they thought was dripping varnish, but actually one of his cats had sprayed it.
Marcel: When I have drawings lined up, my cat will scratch the sides like a scratching post.
Raymond: When dogs take a leak on a drawing, it’s so acidic that you just have to throw everything out or cut out the urine stain. I don’t want to make it hard for people who do conservation. With some artists, there’s no question of their arrogance. Like the abstract expressionists purposely made it hard on posterity by painting with house paint with no thought as to how it would get preserved down the line. I don’t want the people who buy my work to worry about preserving it.
My mother saved my art that I did when I was three, four, five, six years old. This was done on the back of mimeograph sheets, and they’re in impeccable condition. It’s not hard to get paper that’s entirely acid free… Unless you’re drawing blotter acid, which is an entirely different thing.
How old are you guys?
Marcel: I’m 39.
Raymond: I’m 39. I’ve been 39 many times.
Are you nervous about your 30s ending?
Raymond: I’ll be 39 for a while still.
Marcel: I’m fine with it. I just had a baby last year. I think if I hadn’t had my son I’d be more nervous about aging. I had a lot of friends and relatives who had passed away the year before, and I was so depressed.
lake & forest. hwy 17.