Thomas Jewell-Vitale is an artist who lives and works in Iowa where he is a Professor of Art at Loras College. He has a BA degree in Philosophy from Loras College, a STB degree in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, BA and MA degrees in Art from the University of California at Berkeley. He studied at the Academie der Bildenden Kunste in Vienna Austria and in 1995 was a Visiting Professor at Eichi University in Japan
The story of one’s artistic activity can’t be succinctly communicated in words as a whole but words are useful to illustrate the stopping points along the way that help convey the many different motives that go into making art. From time to time I have “analyzed” my work in the ways cited below but any given work itself contains more of the past, present, and future than I am consciously aware of or can capture in with a single statement.
• “I am in love with the paint, troweling it on, pushing it around. Sometimes I think the paint is my actual subject matter and content all rolled up into one. My use of color even evolves from how I’m able to push paint around. By altering its viscosity I can let colors underneath reveal themselves and mix optically with those on top. It’s funny how the tail can wag the dog”.
• “In my paintings, the edges of shapes yield easily to the spaces around them. They create a variety of changing allegiances, sometimes becoming one thing, sometimes another. Like sleight of hand, shapes live hiding, nestling, drifting, absorbed, material and immaterial. In these paintings, the images often have no clean cut boundaries and I came to realize that intuitively, by avoiding them and by simulating light is how I have tried to replicate mystery”.
I often layer paint on heavily but unevenly, allowing layers underneath to partially reveal themselves through the top ones. Perhaps it is because I think that the truth of things often hides beneath the surface and reveals itself cryptically in bits and pieces….