Jacob Van Loon fuses organic and structural elements. The organic encompasses and dissipates from confined linear and geometric spaces, prompted by architecture, scientific illustration to name a few; taking on illustration, painting, assemblage and design. His manner of drawing materialised from a perspective tutorial by Bruce McIntyre and several books by Ed Emberley; consequently developing an analytical approach within Jacob, assisting an existing innate observational tendency, able to detect and analyse minute detail and repetition within forms. This facilitated a new fascination of representing such forms, layered or heavily integrated. There are suggestions of surrealism, constructivism, Bauhaus, quite simply; he enables the amalgamation of design and art.

I started with Graphic Design at university, albeit naively, to give some practical grounding to my existing interest in visual art. Design is the practice of efficient communication, it is visual elaboration. Visual art does not function outside of that basic principle therefore the best design is cognisant of art and vice versa.

Often more than one piece of work is in progress, to allow a wider breadth of active conceptual exploration and avoid ‘overharvesting.’ Certain anecdotes, statistics, the treatment of history are just a few grounds of research for projects. The ultimate concept often manifests into its own outcome after deterring from initial sources on a journey of transformation. ‘My accruement of influence is tangential. For example, research of a town might lead to research of a house which might lead to research of the owner which might lead to research of a profession or industry that provides social or political framework to a period in history. Recorded history is dynamic and has a unique interaction with current culture. What we revere about our own pasts has an impact on the present day, it's that exchange of information which interests me most when starting new pieces.’

As is understandable, it is unlikely that an artist is limited to a handful of rousing artists, but going from Jacob’s recent tumblr activity, it is obvious that the intricate line doodles of Michael Canich and the reproductions of existing material by Chad Wys are already two examples with the potential of stimulating ideas for drawing work and assemblage. There is a variation of interest from the extreme precision of Jeffrey Simmons ‘Resonator’ paintings to the ephemeral work of Anthony Cudahy.

We are curious of Jacob’s critical methodology, of his need to control the media. The bleeding colour, watered down and delicate, the splatters and sweeps… and yet it is evident that there is a conflict of containment and expression and an exploration of structure and deconstruction. It is the act of control that in itself is a challenge, learning to manipulate watercolour and develop motifs around said manipulation with as Jacob says, ‘the other part of control [being] more sinister.’ He questions the purpose of the media, how it is to be communicated which is communicated already. There is no interest in reinventing the way in which we see colour or technical skills, instead the work communicates the friction of these ‘dominative influences of media and genre’ to a degree.

Some may be familiar with soon to arrive Parashi LP on Retrograde Tapes, designed by Jacob, involving painting, photography and print design, branching into further mediums. There is a hope to work on interactive projects to branch out even more tackling design briefs with an ‘arts’ focal point; especially music or literature; something we can imagine Jacob to embark on in the near future, as motivated as he is, having designed with Anobium, Luke Shumard and Ellwood House Museum. As McCarthy says from ‘Child of God’, ’You are either going to have to find some other way to live or some other place in the world to do it in,’ coinciding with Jacob’s work ethic, he is no way ready to stop the ball rolling, with intentions of allowing his art to develop and lead him to new experiences, places and people.

Jacob claims that while not being a sentimental man, a significant accomplishment in his career would be not inadvertently killing himself with fumes! Although such a situation did nearly occur; more so in relation to cleaning a bath…

Explore more of Jacob’s work at http://jacobvanloon.com/
Feature by Amber Scarlett / amber@thirstforvision.com


SÝN Magazine

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