Jasmine Alleger fills us in on her work, parallel to our Winter ‘22-23 exhibition: “In the Mix”.
What initially brought you to art?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in the arts. From my earliest memories, I have been making images. As a very young child, I said, “I want to be an artist and travel all around the world,” and I recall drawing along to the PBS show Imagination Station in the early 90s. My father is a musician and nourished my love of the arts, buying me all sorts of supplies; memorably soft pastels that I made Rothko-looking images and watercolors that I used to make paintings of our San Francisco neighborhood.
What imagery has historically interested you and why?
The common thread in my work is love.
How has your process evolved in the last 5 to 10 years?
Historically I have been interested in capturing everyday life. My life became insufferably chaotic when I was in college and working as a helper in tattoo shops. To try and counter-act that, I focused on the mundane in my art, primarily painting everyday foods and household objects. In graduate school, I dove deeper into that subject. After grad school, I began traveling more, trying to capture other cultures' daily lives. As the years and trips evolved, my art practice expanded into anything that caught my attention. During covid lockdowns, I began painting Philadelphia’s closed music venues, at which point my work was not at all about daily life but about what we missed and what I loved. I realized my work has always been about love. Love of music, architecture, graffiti, travel, humans, and most recently, combat sports.
What, or who, has had the most influence on your work?
The subject matter of my art is influenced by life and moving through the world. Other artists have a significant visual impact. Some historical influences are Wayne Thiebaud, James Rosenquist, Edward Hopper, and Jasper Johns. I’m inspired visual artists working in all differentmedia as well as authors and song writers. For this body of figurative art I have been influencedby artists such as Chad Little, Kathrin Longhurst, Alpay Efe, Conrad Garner and Seaty.
What has surprised you about your practice?
Working on this series, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed painting on three dimensional objects, mainly the pairs of boxing gloves. This was a new approach for me, that I will continue to explore.
What is your identity at large? Do you think about this a lot in relation to your art?
I identify as a woman, painter, book reader, music lover and cat petter.
What is your favorite takeaway from this exhibition?
I absolutely loved seeing the fighters featured in my paintings interact with the art and gallery setting.