20 questions to featured artist Jason Thompson.
1: Who are you?
A: I am Jason Thompson
2: What is your background?
A: I don’t feel like I have a background.
3: Where were you born?
A: I was born in Liverpool, off Smithdown Road to be precise.
4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.
A: To quote Richard Dawkins: “The non-random survival of randomly varying replicators.” Paintings made on wood with enamel paint and varnish.
5: How has your practice changed over time?
A: I might be kidding myself but I hope I am getting more articulate. What I mean is; I hope the paintings are becoming more accurate in articulating what I want them to articulate. I essentially paint the same painting over and over again, though they never end up the same, and that is the point. In recent times I have sensed more of an emphasis on the relationship between the painting-as-object and painting-as-image.
6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?
A: Wooden panels (preferably found offcuts from somewhere) and enamel paints is what I have been using for many years. I also use lots of varnish, thick yacht varnish usually, in between layers of paint to emphasise the gaps between layers. I like my paintings to have a look that is somewhere between an icon and an old shed door.
7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?
A: I imagine my main theme is that what I make is a continuation of what made me. I try to make my paintings “real” by allowing them to evolve in ways that are analogous to the ways everything in nature evolves. Accordingly I do not have ideas that I paint but the painting is its own idea, which is becoming the embodiment of itself. It is impossible to not have ideas as such but I try to not let ideas dominate a painting and so I have tactics within my process which enable me to be constantly distracted and derailed.
8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?
A: I work part-time for National Museums Liverpool and have done for a very long time. I had a paper round when I was a kid, if that counts.
9: What research do you do for your art?
A: I don’t make things that are “about” things so in a sense I don’t do any. But then, in a sense, everything I do is a kind of research.
10: What makes you angry?
11: What is your favourite colour?
A: I am always drawn to orange things
12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?
A: On the whole I don’t really like my things very much, but at the moment I am quite fond of a few paintings: SONORA A.C. is one, and BELOW RISEN ABOVE FALLING, NOTHING HAS BEEN DECIDED and KLINGET but it changes. Usually I lose interest once I have finished with them.
13: What music/album are you currently listening to?
A: I love music so much. At the moment I keep listening to SLEEP by Max Richter while I am painting, it is amazingly good for thinking and concentrating and for falling asleep to, I think. I’d like to make a list but it would be very long. Stereolab and Beethoven would be top of the list.
14: What makes you happy?
A: Remembering when I was happy.
15: What are your favourite films?
A: 2001 is the best film ever made, but I love absolutely everything by Kubrick. Some other films I love are; INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA (Quay Brothers), ALICE (Jan Svankmajer), ENTER THE VOID (Gaspar Noe), THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (Werner Herzog), PSYCHO (Hitchcock), DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (Harry Kumel), PSYCHOMANIA (Don Sharp), MULHOLLAND DRIVE (David Lynch), THE TESTAMENT OF DR MABUSE (Fritz Lang), CAREFUL (Guy Maddin). I love old British horror and comedy films. George Formby and Will Hay are mighty heroes to me.
16: Favourite place?
A: The studio when I am working well. The London of my memories. I haven’t travelled much but I really liked Bruges.
17: One or more artists you like?
A: William Blake is my hero. I am very fond of Van Eyck and the Northern Renaissance in general. Augustin Lesage, Cy Twombly, Adolf Woolfi, Charles Dellschau, Henry Darger, Piero Della Francesca, Giotto, there’s too many to list.
18: What is your favourite word?
19: Professionally what is your goal?
A: I imagine if I could afford to paint full-time and not have to have a job then all will be well. I also fear that to be in such a wonderful position would make me completely dry up.
20: What would your dream commission be?
A: I would like to send things out into space, to bury something between stars.
website : iamjasonthompson.com