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Image: Lucia Hierro - El Costo de la Vida -Independent Art Fair - LatchKey Gallery

 JASON URBAN: Available Works


Through pattern and repetition, I aspire to evoke the repose of nature as well as the frenetic energy of an endless RSS feed. I make images that are objects and objects objects that are images.

Screensavers rarely depict bustling city streets or traffic jams and they almost never feature buildings or shopping malls. More often than not, they highlight an idealized nature. They take us to a place that most of us have never been but somehow feel like we know. The deserted tropical island with no tourists or hotels or kids… a generic cliché, yes, but an appealing one that provides a momentary break from our day-to-day lives. This disparate relationship of analog to digital, real to virtual, is at the core of my work.

Iʼm engaged with the idea of nature but I'm tentative about the reality: itʼs dirty and inconvenient. In nature, there are a lot of bugs and cell phone service can be sporadic. My own relationship to nature consists of walking my dog and occasionally seeing lizards crawl on the screen of my kitchen window. Yet I'm drawn to cliché images of the mediated, natural world and intrigued by the artistic tradition of pastoral, idyllic nature. Knowing that I most-often experience nature in this indirect and hands-off way, I have mined this simulated experience to fuel my studio practice.

Consistently connected to production, my works consist of gradients and color shifts referencing a second-hand experience of natural phenomenon. My research focuses on systems of image/object generation that require meticulous and monotonous labor. I have a seemingly endless appetite for repetition. It's this inclination that has led my work to embrace printmaking, the very essence of repetition: obsessive-compulsive work. I commit mundane physical acts- drawing stripes, carving dots, or pulling screenprints ad infinitum and through repetition these banal gestures become a stand-in for the sublime. Through quantities of vibrating pattern and color, my drawings, prints, and installations simultaneously evoke the repose of nature and the noise of an endless RSS feed.