Citing Micheal Jean Basquiat and Andy Warhol as his influencers, Auckland artist Jake Feast is making a name for himself in the art world. His upcoming exhibition In Our Eyes at Allpress Studio, in conjunction with fellow artist and friend Sam Dean, is self-described as “pulling the finger at the irony of every day”.
We caught up with him ahead of the exhibition opening to talk about his beginnings as an artist, his contrasting styles and what we can expect from the exhibition.
FTV: Tell us about your background, has art always been part of your life?
JAKE FEAST: Growing up, art wasn’t apart of my life until I wound up in art class in year 10 due to there being no other classes left for me – turns out I was kinda good and really liked it. I left school early, put the paintbrush down and joined the 9-5 workforce doing anything and everything.
It wasn’t until I started flatting with my now In Our Eyes gallery partner Sam Dean when I was 19 years old that sparked my will to paint. From there, I experimented over and over, came to resin art. I loved it, other people liked it and so I carried on developing a skill and love for the work.
How have you developed your career as an artist?
I got my first exposure through my resin art, an abstract piece full of poppy colour with layers and depth taking inspiration from the finer details in life such as patterns in the sand dirt water etc. Taking a hypothetical magnifying glass on the world and taking those patterns into my art.
This year, I have taken a totally different approach to my work. I’m working with graphic designer Sam Dean and creating pieces that speak our thoughts in a series of pop art/culture inspired works. I’m still using my resin to keep a clean glass finish and the use of depth through layers, but leaving the abstract and going into something more contemporary.
You use several different styles in your work, tell us about these and how you started experimenting with them?
I have always referred to my practice as a science experiment, using many different paints and mediums and just seeing how it comes out. Once I stumbled across resin my mind was made; that was finish I had always been looking for.
When it comes to my styles, I have my most well-known style of abstract resin art but I also draw an abstract series of faces using watercolour and pen. This style is more of a pastime for me and on a commission base. This work with Sam for our gallery exhibition is a mix of the both.
Is there a particular style that you feel particularly drawn to, if so why?
Resin, I love the finished glass like finish it gives.
What is the inspiration behind your work?
In Your Eyes has taken inspiration from past experiences and lifestyles that Sam and I have experienced or witnessed. Two friends more or less just having fun and poking the fun at everything.
Who are your biggest influencers?
Micheal Jean Basquiat and Andy Warhol have been our absolute influence for this show. Sam and I both relate to these greats in personal and professional manners. Personally, I idolise Micheal Jean, other influences are my other creative friends.
What does your work aim to convey?
Our title is as literal as that, taking a quick walk through the eyes of Jake and Sam. Maybe laugh, maybe get mad. I’m unsure really.
Tell us about your latest exhibition, what can people expect?
A visual journey through our world… a subconscious pop cultural vomit exploring the cliche irreverent elements of modern NZ life through the lens of a distorted stream of consciousness.
In Our Eyes will be at Allpress Studio Freemans Bay from June 12th – 18th.