"Jeff Roland creates bold, colourful pieces which reflect a constant desire to explore the human psyche. Born in France in 1969, he has sold works to collectors in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA, Norway, Canada ,Italy , etc, and his work is part of the London Museum of Everything Collection and the Barcelona Davis Museum collection .
Jeff Roland believes that his art, which emerges from the
subconscious, should not be defined according to the expectations of the
modern art world. Instead, it is a personal interaction between artist,
canvas and viewer. A self-taught painter, Roland's work is characterised
by his use of distinctive,tribal-like figures, a juxtaposition of
opposing symbols and flattened backgrounds. His paintings fuse aspects of
the raw style with contemporary literary and visual references.A
number of key themes can be idenfied in Roland's paintings. These
include belonging (as an artist and individual), interconnectedness and
conformity. He is also fascinated by the creation of history. The
consumption of one society by another appears repeatedly in his body of
works.Roland's paintings stress that "civilization" is built on the
fragments of older, arguably more primitive societies. This is used as a
psychological metaphor where civilization acts as the rational conscious
usurping the place of the more primitive subconscious thought.
The subconscious/conscious struggle
depicted throughout Roland's work highlights another core aspect of his
paintings. He constantly explores dualism and the individual's attempt
to define his place within a world of opposing forces. The polarities
embedded in his paintings take many forms and include light and dark,
ignorance and knowledge, the invidual and the society, and the historical
past (and its construction) and the present. His juxtaposition of
primitive symbols- such as snakes and neolithic style figures - and
contemporary symbols (including pop culture rabbits) - are a prominent
example of this concern. These opposites, which affect both the artist
and viewer, signify the constant pull of the conscious and subconscious
on the individual.Jeff Roland's paintings are not limited to a dualistic
world view. The artist firmly believes that between the two most extreme
points there are many universes and infinite possibilities. As such,
his works record the fluid transition from one state of being to
Dr Melissa Westbrook Ph.D June 2010
in french ANCIENNE VERRIÈRE SAINTS-PIERRE ET PAUL Le regard amusé de Jeff Roland sur la face cachée des choses
publié le 23/05/2012 à 05:00 Républicain Lorrain EXPOSITION | ANCIENNE VERRIÈRE SAINTS-PIERRE ET PAULLe regard amusé de Jeff Roland sur la face cachée des chosesRetour aux sources, tel est le nom de l’exposition de Jeff Roland, qui présente une vingtaine de toiles à l’ancienne verrière Saints-Pierre et Paul. Un clin d’œil à son grand-père originaire de Cottendorff.Retour aux sources, tel est le nom de l’exposition de Jeff Roland, qui présente une vingtaine de toiles à l’ancienne verrière Saints-Pierre et Paul. Un clin d’œil à son grand-père originaire de Cottendorff. http://www.republicain-lorrain.fr/moselle/2012/05/23/le-regard-amuse-de-jeff-roland-sur-la-face-cachee-des-choses
Jeff Roland is talking to your guts by Nadine Servant, Gallerist
Nothing is fixed in his paintings, nor explained. Enigmatic entanglements of faces, hands living on their own and. ..the Rabbit . The ochred sulphur, the warm blues, the reddish greens cannot help the human, lost in uncertainties and multiple universes. This disturbing artefact of childhood is fighting complacency and naivety , by imposing itself in a world of adults who are lost in odd truths. Without a look at each other, everyone assumes his loneliness in an abysmal universe of constellated colours. Jeff Roland is an inspired dissident
An analysis of Jeff Roland's work by Manolo Ferreras, Spanish journalist
ROLAND, JEFF (M. Ferreras) Symbolism full of signs, through "private universes" of primarily Transvanguard inspiration ... Born in Longeville-les-Metz (France), and today a resident of the City of Liverdun (with its castle and aspect of the Loire river valley), with expos in France, Rome, Britain ..., has a very personal imagery of magical surrealism, with hints of ethnic spirituality, primitivism, and so unique ...!: Mixed Stroke-traits for magical expression, from lyrical abstraction to "Brut" coloring, with oniric inspirations, fantastic, sometimes medieval (Romanesque ... brought to the century!), and in which case are distorted icons in the current era: streets, types, muralist, drama ... in a performance overflowing with nostalgia in search of hidden pictorial meaning, interlaced with postmodernism ... "and that leads him to his special" distortion "of the universe ... More, He has chosen muses, the most important ones being the Russian model Irina, and an American photographer named Elizabeth who are reinterpreted in an inspired way, repeatedly.
Michael K. Corbin , the famous Artbookguy , interviews Jeff Roland on his website ArtBookGuy.com
You absolutely need to check out the artbookguy.com website, read the insightful articles, interviews, and more .
In the meantime, here is the interview, as found on the artbookguy's site
Jeff Roland is an artist of French descent who currently lives with his family in Eulmont, Lorraine, France. I think we met online www.jeffroland.org. He creates these very intriguing paintings depicting human-like figures in interesting settings. In short, Roland likes playing with ideas of individuality and differences. I think he's a talented artist who tells a story with every painting. Read on and find out more about Jeff.
MICHAEL: Hey Jeff. To
me, your work is really "old school" in the sense that your paintings
are strongly narrative. There always seems to be a story even though we
may not be able to figure out the story. Do you see yourself as a
storyteller in addition to a painter?
Well Michael, I am definitely an "old school" painter ... or maybe I'm
re-introducing a part that was missing as I'm also fully aware of the
arguments of the post-modern artists, which would possibly put me into
the post-post modernism era or something like that. I am a storyteller
and have always been inside and outside a painting. Telling stories or
proposing tales is to me a way to see whether the images I put forward
have an effect on the spectator. And then, to see whether it matches my
expectations, which makes it even more old school as I do have
expectations as far as the viewer is concerned. In fact, he or she is a partner or a co-player to the game.
MICHAEL: I've never heard an artist put it quite that way. That's very cool. With that in mind, how do you create a painting?
I usually observe a simple situation in reality and let this situation
derive into a reflection and consider the implications at a broader
level, sociological, political, psychological and philosophical. And in
this way, as I paint, the story unfolds in front of my eyes and I invite
the spectator to participate. For example, in my paintings entitled
Statues, I present two figures that are rushing or seem to pass by
without noticing other. They are the ones who lead their lives without
taking too much notice of others. They are into a project or to put it simply, know where they are going. Then there are two other figures represented as trees, living trees, with long roots. They
have chosen to lead a static life. They have made another choice based
on roots, family, something around them. They are fully happy with that,
both groups have made choices and live accordingly. Then, you can see
two characters, looking at both other groups. They are the ones who spend their time criticizing, patronizing and observing with bitterness and disgust at the others.
MICHAEL: Very interesting scenarios from real life.
This is a situation of everyday ... some people are like that. But it's
true that when you look at the painting, it can be seen from another
angle. This is very welcome and I'm always very interested to hear
different interpretations, but I have my story. It is always important
for me that the painting may be a simple aesthetic pleasure for the
viewer. He or she doesn't have
to understand. People should be free and I know that that aspect of
respecting the need for the pleasure of the eyes and nothing else is
another very old fashioned trait and I have no problem with that at all.
The figures in your work seem to be humanistic rather that fully human.
To me, they seem to be otherworldly caricatures.
or sometimes not even humanistic at all which makes me step away from
the old school unless you go back in time enough to see that
representations of figures, be they human, gods, goddesses or otherworld
creatures, are in fact coming straight from a zone in our mind where
nothing is really clear. I have occasionally worked on figurative human
forms, for example, when someone wants me to draw or paint a portrait. Well,
I will do it, but I won't be able to refrain from bringing a scene or
character or shape that will step apart from realism. I admire the best
works of figurative painting, but what truly attracts me is the
spiritual value of paintings.
MICHAEL: How do you show that?
This can be expressed through several different aspects: color, shapes,
representations, musicality, atmosphere, you name it. I believe that
the sincerity in your process and the dedication to your "ritual" as a
painter are most important. I feel related to the early primitives, to
whom all sorts of representations and inventions are possible. Not real,
MICHAEL: And that speaks to the "otherworldliness" of your figures.
Other worlds are the worlds around us and we are others too if seen
through the right eyes. The idea of difference, acceptance of it and
dealing with it is central to my painting, which has been tagged as
outsider before, but is rather more precisely the expression of
"outsiderness." It's through an
ensemble of various processes, most of which are invented on the spot,
which makes me also understand that I still have to discover what my
work will be made of in the future. I want to try to be open to
experience, textures, paint, techniques, inventing or re-inventing
techniques, learning and un-learning to paint, structuring and
destructuring. I can't remember exactly a quote by Antoni Tapiès, but he
said something like ... "An artist can only be considered as such when
he's undertaking an adventure." I can refer to this quite perfectly, allowing myself and my spectators to live an adventure!
just said your art is often about the "idea of difference" or
"outsiderness." My guess is that you've experienced this in your own
life and perhaps that's why it's such a strong theme in your work?
JEFF: First of all, I don't come from an artistic family or surroundings. This
has always given me a feeling of having to give long explanations about
how I see the world, how come I wasn't interested in very down to earth
thoughts and the like. At a
point, I really felt like an outsider because, I just felt un-adapted or
literally somewhere else. I have drawn as far back as I can remember. It
was not a way out, but a sort of meditation. I have gotten into a habit
of reaching for another world inside my mind, creative, fun,
intellectual, playful and developing imagination without having to rely
on my surroundings.
MICHAEL: Believe me, as a writer, I can totally relate.
I was a quiet kid, pondering a lot. But even if quiet, I was attracted
to the people who were the most different from me ... different
cultures, social backgrounds, ways of life. Then I started learning
English and went to England every year during the summer to take in the
culture and see France from another point of view. I don't know whether
you have noticed but there's something weird about France. It seems to
pretend that we all live as a group sharing a lot and not having the
need for communities. I reckon this is a mistake and this process of
restraining people affected my work a lot.
MICHAEL: The French do seem very independent spirited to me.
Well, as for my life, I do feel a little like Groucho Marx when he says
that he wouldn't want to belong to a club that would accept him as a
member. I don't want to belong. I want to be free, I want others to be
free. Mind you, I do believe in
rules, but most of the ones I follow are self evident, not mass control.
This is another theme in my work that's linked to the previous one ...
control. For the sake of our own biodiversity, not just strange animals
in a rainforest, but us, as thinking apes, it is important to open our
eyes and ears and not let anybody control us and make us forget about
our differences. Difference is wealth, progress and fun.
MICHAEL: Oh, I like that observation!
Uniformity is always uniform according to the choices of somebody and
that somebody obviously isn't you. But maybe you're asleep!
MICHAEL: Amen Brother! Thanks Jeff. I really love your work and this has been great.
To see Jeff Roland's cool and imaginative works, check out his website at www.jeffroland.org.