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#LocalArtIs Jason Schutzman

Jason Schutzman is a visual artist who has been delving into various paradoxes for 13 years. he’s truly lived the artist’s lifestyle, apprenticing in Europe and other locations across the globe, foregoing conventional universities. His global perspective gives him a unique representation of expression. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jason where talk about inspiration, ego, and of course, super heroes.

Q. How would you describe your work to someone without sight?
A. Actually, my neighbor at the Brew House is a blind poet and a true artist in his own right. I broached this subject with him the other day telling him, I was still struggling with my use of linguistics to describe my philosophical ideas concerning Reality and “works of Art”. So I asked him for his help.
1. Upon entering the studio, one is greeted with immense pine trees growing in a field of flax.

2. The painting is heavy and two people are required. The surface is smooth save for a few imperfections caused by fits of rage and moments of sublime awe. Within its boundaries a massive structural machine has been folded like origami.

3. This structure is made of hot tar and feels like when a match is struck too close to one’s face. Surrounding this clanking machine of industry is a void. The void smells electric, like earth just before it rains. Whenever this void comes into contact with the structure it becomes as harsh as
winter.

4. As the machine works a flaming horse charges forward, toward the observer, yet the hot sticky tar seems to hold this Charger back from its freedom. Within the glaring eye of the horse one’s very soul is reflected. It is not clear whether the question comes from the painting or the innermost depths of one’s self.

5. Finally, the Work of Art speaks its name, saying “I am the Dakota” and a gold fingerprint is placed in completion, by its creator.

Q. Songs that people should listen to while looking at your work?
A. It’s interesting you would bring this up. I am working on a series right now that alludes to this very question in their titles. As a rule though, I do not want to confine the observer to one single type of experience because when the moment, in the creation of my work comes, that I stand back in awe of the painting (wondering what magic has created such a thing) and watch it transform into some Colossal god. That is the moment when I know the painting to be finished and I too become The passenger. See, that’s The puzzling nature of my game, I feel the individual observer of my work has as much right to define the Art as I the creator of it has and it is not my intent to ascribe any set definitions to my own work. Meaning can be found within, one just has to read between the lines.

Q. Favorite Superhero?
A. Honestly, it would most likely be any villain. It seems they get to have all the fun. If only those villains got wise and spent more time trying to change their reality on the inside rather than destroying it from the outside, there would be no need for superheroes.

Q. The most important thing you want people to take away from your work?
A. I perceive a great dragon existing through time and its name is Art. As this dragon ages its scales become a dull grey, it is then that the old skin must be shed for the New Mode, which is a glittering gold.

Q. Why art?
A. Ever since there have been philosophers the question of ‘what is the meaning and/or definition of Art and Reality?’ has existed. From Socrates & Aristotle to Nietzsche & Arthur Danto. When using a meta-physical visual language the artist is not constrained by words, for there are things that represent themselves in reality that have yet to be named. I feel this is one of the driving forces of Art, to illuminate things yet unspoken.

Q. What’s your dream job?
A. That’s easy, you’re asking about my ego. I try to stay humble in my work but truly my dream job would be a world-famous artist revered and/or beguiled by the artworld, critics, and historians alike, as one who helped bring about the New Mode of Art.

Q. Guilty Pleasure?
A. I don’t think people should feel guilty about the pleasures they experience in life. This is how I interpret Ayn Rand’s concept of rational self-interest.

Q. Artists who inspire your work?
A. Well, I must say that all depends on what I had for breakfast. Although, there is a best friend of mine named Eduardo Sancamillo. He is an Italian Artist living in Berlin, who I think is one of the greatest living, yet practically unknown, artists of the 21st century. I feel we both have the same concepts of Art, it’s just that we use different ‘metaphoric-languages”. I paint socially aesthetic beautiful things, talk of the ignorance of mankind and call them monsters. While he paints monsters and talks of beauty and truths. In that way I find meaning and that inspires me to keep the conversation about art and the questions of our existence alive.

Q. The hardest part about being an artist?
A. The hardest thing is letting go. It is just like when a parent has to watch their child move out into the world as an adult for the first time. You hope you have raised them right, given them everything they need to succeed and have the best possible life, but then ultimately you realize it is now up your child and the choices they make.

Q. Your next show?
A. That is a good question. I don’t post finished works online, to give an incentive for everyone to see my work in person. Currently I am collaborating with Easy Street Promotions and painting like a storm. Look for me at the Arts festival and at the Brew House on the south side. I just moved back to Pittsburgh at beginning of this year and would expect a big show around October 2017. I also take commissions and am willing to offer finished Artworks on a 4 month consignment .

About Rodney Burrell (93 Articles)
Editor-in-Chief of LOCALpittsburgh. Also, donuts.
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