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Jordan Tacker: Chasing the Tingle

Do you have a particular thing that inspires you to do art? 

JT: I am inspired by the individuality of things and people.  I really like colors. Over time what has inspired me has boiled down to pure aesthetics.  I think a lot of artists are really emotional in the work and paint things because they felt it.  I don’t have a lot of feelings to paint so I don’t really do that.  I am very inspired by aesthetics and composition.  A lot of it is finding things that I gravitate towards, but visually instead of emotional 


Does that tie into you being technique heavy? 

JT:  Yeah, obviously I like a lot of very emotional paintings, but I like them a lot more if they are emotional and technical. 

Have you tried to paint out your feelings? 

JT:  I think that when I do they are more successful than my other paintings, but I don’t like them as much.  Other people are like, “Oh I love it!” and I’m like whatever. 


Do you think it’s because it's too personal for you or just because it’s not aesthetic as you would like it to be? 

JT: Both. A lot of it is I’m still working on how to translate my emotions into paintings and it is easier to just paint.   


Is art made to be for the artist or the viewer? 

JT:  Depends.  Sometimes I make paintings for myself that I don’t want to show other people.  Right now it is for the audience a lot because of school, things are made to show other people, I think my style will change once I am out of school. 


If you are a gallery artist do you still think there is at least the subconscious pressure of the audience because you want paintings to sell? 

JT: Definitely, but I’m not too worried, I’m like 70% there.  


What drew you to try to create art? Was it something you saw from someone else that you liked or was it an internal drive? 

JT: It was slightly internal, a lot of it was that I was just a really weird kid and I didn’t have a lot of friends so I just drew a lot.  It paid off in the long run.  


Do you have a definitive style, or are you still experimenting or have you changed your style? First describe your style. 

JT: Right now I’m really into the full spectrum of color.  I would describe it as tubey paint, like straight out of the tube rather than mixed midtones.  Not a big midtone person.  


Do you think it gets less saturated when you mix it instead of out of the tube? 

JT: I just prefer pure color.  I feel like there’s not really a point of having a dull color if you could have the full blown out color. 


Have you ever tried doing a painting that’s super dull? 

JT: Yeah, up until 2015 most of my paintings were black and white, very dull.  Actually, they were drawings I didn’t really paint that much.  


What you think changed around 2015? 

JT: Well, I got to high school and I realized everyone was really lame and they were all the same things and they all make the same stuff.  At first it was me trying to seperate myself from everyone else but then I realized that everyone else was boring again.  After a while it wasn’t me seperating myself I kinda just conformed, but I don’t think that’s the right word.    


Do you think your identity is based on not wanting to identify with the group? 

JT: Yeah, which is kinda bad.  But there’s a shift from black white and red into everyone except black white and red.  Only recently have I started black and red again.  I still don’t like white.  


Do you think that painting a pure white would be an inaccurate representation of whatever you’re painting? 

JT: I don't use pure white and I don’t use pure black when I’m painting.


Do you like to paint more realistically or do you like to do more stylized? Has it changed? 

JT: Right now actually last Friday I realized it needs to change.  Not that I was trained classically, but I was trained classically.  


Was that a self imposed classical training? 

JT:  No I took lessons at the Oklahoma Conservatory of Classical Art for four years and so it was like an atelier program.  I went through the whole charcoal, then black and white oil paint and then colored oil paint and then I moved away, so I couldn't do that anymore.  It was all the original way of doing things how the masters did it.  I thought in my head that's how you get better and how you get up the ranks, but I was talking to my teacher on Friday and he was saying that was the easy part.  The hard part is figuring out what you’re going to do with that. 


Do you think it’s important though to learn the classical method so then you can do whatever you want with the foundation of the classical method? 

JT: Oh yeah. You have to learn the rules to break the rules.  You can’t break the rules without knowing the rules, they’re making cool paintings but they’re not good paintings.  


In order for something to be good do you have to have a level of technical ability that you have learned before? 

JT:  I'm not saying that’s a strict rule. Sometimes people can make good paintings and they can’t draw.  


Like Franics Bacon, the reason why he painted like that was because he couldn’t do proper figure drawings.

JT:  I bet he tried to do proper figure drawings and then realized he couldn’t which led him to paint like that.  So it all kinda ends up in the same place.  


What was the conversation where you realized that your style needed to change specifically? What do you want to change about your style? 

JT: He was talking to me and he was saying that eventually there’s a flatline of technical ability.  Not that I’m perfect at everything because I’m not, but I’m starting to flatline.  You know when you make a painting and there’s a tingle? I think at some point once you learn everything and it's fine, but when you keep doing it you lose the tingle. I think that I’m starting to lose the tingle, I’m trying to experiment a little bit.  It’s interesting because when I do things that aren’t as figurative and things that aren’t as realist, I still don’t have the tingle.  


What do you think needs to happen to get the tingle back? Is it material subject matter, mix of both.

JT:  I don’t think it’s material because I don’t really have an interest in doing things that aren’t paintings, drawing or printmaking. I really liked 2D stuff.  I think doing 3D stuff is cool and mixed media is cool, I just don’t see the point as much.  I think it’s more of me at this point doing more experimenting with color and light. 


Do you think that adding emotion will help you get over the flatline? 

JT:  Yeah I think it will help me.  Maybe that’s what the flatline is.  A lot of my emotions are already kinda shown through the aesthetics, I get it but other people don’t. 


Would you try not out of the tube? 

JT: No I think different combinations. Sometimes I need to knock it down a little bit.  At some point all the colors get too bright and so nothing stands out, there’s no hierarchy.  I’ve been doing better, knocking some down bringing some up to bring more dimension.  At this point it is me experimenting with mediums I know I like.  I’ve been talking to some of my teachers and everything I see in studios and everything has a subject, just one which is the center of the picture and then there is everything else.  


Do you think that’s just for school purposes? 

JT:  I think there’s something about understanding the whole space you're working with rather than just figure ground.  I think people are gonna get it. 


Where do you want to go with your art? 

JT: I don't know.  In my head I see myself as a gallery artist that makes paintings in a studio.  Obviously that can change.  


What would the other option be? 

JT:  I think it would be really cool to do window designs for 5th Avenue stores.  Something along those lines, it’s kinda like an installation.  But that would be once I would get really bored with paintings.  Maybe I could integrate my art with it, do both I don’t know. 


In terms of where art is now, what are your overall feelings about the contemporary art world. 

JT: Yeah I have a lot of feelings about the contemporary art world.  I don’t know how to explain it. I like contemporary art, but  I think it’s hard to talk about because right now there’s everything.  There’s a lot of realism and there’s a lot of abstract and that and that.  There’s aspects of it that I really like and I think overall there’s a lot of sacrifice in the technical stuff. 


Do you think that technical paintings aren’t cutting it anymore and that you need to have a style? 

JT: Publically yes.  For me no.  A lot of people can do classical stuff and have the tingles forever.  I could totally sit and paint portraits of live models for years and still have the tingles, gesture drawings and figure drawings.  The whole minimalist movement came and then went really fast. 


It was a minimalist movement. 

JT: Yeah exactly, there’s a lot of people that can do classical stuff and they can do that forever.  I feel like there’s a difference there and people think they’re equal, but I don’t think they are. 


Do you think there is still more room for art to evolve? 

JT: I don’t know.  I think at some point everything will have been done.  Some people will steal from other people and just do it again and again.  


Do you think that’s already happening though? 

JT: I think the fact that we're addressing it means something.  Not that it is happening, but it’s starting too. It’s not a gradual thing, it's gonna keep going and then everyone will be doing it. 

Does the access to social media and overflow of ideas and people being able to take from someone else more easily contribute? 

JT: Yeah, definitely.  Which I think is good and bad.  There are so many views of social media, I like it.  It lets people know I exist which is nice.  It helps me spread my art and make my money which I see as a positive.  I think it has also hurt art, but I like the fact that it is bringing art to people that wouldn't normally see it.  It is so much easier for people to copy things and get influenced by things they wouldn’t realise. Nothing is really pure anymore. 

Check out Jordan's work! 


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