Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by Jon Wheeler.
Jimi Gleason’s Diamond painting series emphasizes seductive surfaces, non-traditional materials and the luminescent use of silver deposit to catalyze intimate reflection on the mechanics of perception.
This new body of work is consistent with the black and silver deposit paintings that he’s developed over the last seven years, but it’s a slight departure in execution. Using a silver-deposit surface coat, he creates paintings that appear to be corroded. These surfaces of acrylic and silver deposit have been purposely overexposed on to his chemical electroplating process. Surfaces are smooth or rough but to a degree, all have been chemically burned. Gleason is breaking a bit of cadence in style, getting a little closer to the unapproachable and allowing for something else to come into being.
The silver-deposit paintings began in 2008 as a mutation of Gleason’s soft, glowing iridescent works. They’re easily understandable as paintings, though it’s difficult to imagine how they were created. They’re enigmatic, betraying no evidence of traditional method—the application of paint on canvas. The viewer’s first impression is that Gleason has found a way to freeze the immaterial. From there, the silver surfaces, which are highly reactive to light effects and different viewing positions, invite involvement and suggest the infinitely broad experiential possibilities of art.
Born in Newport Beach, Calif., Gleason received his BA from UC Berkeley in 1985. He studied printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute before relocating to New York City, where he worked as a photo assistant and photo technician. Returning to California, Gleason was employed in the studio of Ed Moses for five years. Combining the disparate technical and compositional skills developed during his exposure to printmaking, photography and mixed-media painting, Gleason is now the subject of considerable curatorial and critical applause. His work is exhibited in significant public institutions, including the Armand Hammer Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art and the Frederick Weisman Art Museum. The artist’s paintings are actively collected by a growing number of major public and private collections around the world.
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