INTERVIEW WITH WORLD-RENOWNED ARTIST: JEFF ROLAND
EXTRACT ..... full interview here
“Hi! My name is Jeff Roland, I’m an international french artist and I paint.”
“Hi, Jeff. It’s nice to finally be able to do this! Can you tell me a little more about your painting technique, how you started painting, what inspired you to start painting, and maybe one of your biggest accomplishments?”
“I started painting as a kid because I wanted to draw comics. I was selected to be on French TV when I was 7 years old. From then I never stopped trying to get better. At the time what I was drawing is equivalent to comics. As a teenager, I was really fascinated by Italian painters and renaissance paintings, and especially Netherland paintings. Jerome Bosch was a huge inspiration, who draws very whimsical creatures and is fantastic. I started painting in oil with crazy characters but in a very classic oil technique. After that, I started to do some performance painting with more experiments on the canvas. Then I started to realize I liked painting on wood and I introduced more and more elements like acrylics and inks. I put some textiles (clothes, glitter…), and then I gradually introduced collaging and now my technique is what could be called purely mixed media to the extremes. I will use absolutely anything that I can find really, but I still prefer to paint on wood. This is what remains from my inspiration from Renaissance painters.
"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 another.
Dr Melissa Westbrook Ph.D June 2010
Jeff Roland is talking