Transcenders Trio

by Nathan SpoorPosted on

If you are in the Los Angeles area, or even if you aren’t, there are three artists of note that are worth the while to check out. Jason D’Aquino (from HF v.6), Michael Page, and Jason Limón. Each artist is representing a unique approach to creating handcrafted excellence, and each hails from a faraway studio in a different culture and environment within the States. Yet, when they emerged on the fair cityplex of Los Angeles this month, they do indeed embody the show title, “Transcenders”. Follow us inside for a peek into this trio of artists’ minds, their studios and their works…

Jason D’aquino, Buffalo, NY:

Tell us a little about where you’re located or where you’re from, and how that affects your work.

I am a New Yorker, always have been, and i am currently haunting upstate NY. The places I live, typically yield up the surfaces I work on, as they are salvaged from old houses and flea markets and other such places… The search for the found surfaces upon which I create my images, is half of my artistic process. I never work on artificially aged surfaces, as that would feel dishonest, and take a good deal of the magic out of a piecebefore it’s even begun to form. My drawings are born with their own history, as the surfaces have a feel or a life of their own.


Jason D’Aquino – “Nikola Tesla”, graphite on matchbook, 10.5 x 13 inches

Tell us a bit about the story behind your work, the narrative aspects of it, if you will. What is it that you are engaging the viewer in?

I am trying to create a dialogue between the surface, or object, and the images rendered upon it. The scenarios depicted often involve themes of loss, temptation, evil -the darker aspects of the human condition…and at times, the Absurd.


Jason D’Aquino – “Patek Phillipe”, graphite on paper, 23.75 x 25.5 inches

When you sense a strong response from those that view or collect your work, how does that affect you? Does it make you want to pursue that vein of creativity, or attempt to recreate that moment?

I don’t often attempt to re-create a work or theme because it was successful. Usually once I have made a particular piece, I’ve gotten it out of my system and it is time to move on. Strong responses to my work are positive, but I am so self-critical that they can often cause a negative reaction, or even no reaction at all. I guess my own opinion is the only one that drives me forward. I know that may sound self centered or even arrogant, but I dont think that is where it is based, especially if one considers that my opinion of my own work is nearly always negative. My own disappointments and shortcomings are what make me try to consistently do better, so I guess it’s a mixed blessing.


Jason D’Aquino – “Prescription”, graphite on vintage prescription notes, 13.5 x 17.25 inches

At what part of your creative journey do you feel your work is at? And where do you see it going from here?

My process is always evolving, always growing and changing. I dont know where it is at along any kind of finite timeline….that would actually be quite scary. To have an accurate timeline, you need a beginning and an end….so I hope my work is in the very very early stages of it’s journey of development, as I hope not to be dead anytime soon.


Jason D’Aquino – Sketch for Gwar poster

What are your strongest influences? And I mean influences in the broad sense, what helps you spark the best ideas and keeps you interested enough to take on a new concept or creative effort?

My mom is a huge influence, as it was her artistic spark that lit the fire in me. My best ideas for individual works come from the contradictions in life, the absurdities and peculiarities I see around me. When something strikes me as glaringly ironic or absurd , I often try to capture it in an image. At other times, I just enjoy rendering..the more intricate and intimate, the better…and the intimacy is achieved by rendering in a small scale.


Jason D’Aquino – Finished Gwar poster

And lastly, if you could travel anywhere to create something, regardless of cost or materials, where would you go and what would you create?

That’s a weird hypothetical….I could go back to Germany 60 some odd years ago and help Adolf Hitler with some studies, get him admitted into art school, and effectively prevent the holocaust…just a thought….of course we didnt discuss time travel….I guess I’d like to hole up in the oldest , creepiest house I could find, and let the atmosphere soak in to my mind, and see what I come up with…maybe not the most exciting answer, but it would be an interesting journey (creatively I mean)


Jason D’Aquino – Finished Gwar poster

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Michael Page, San Franciso, CA:

Tell us a little about where you’re located or where you’re from, and how that affects your work.

I grew up in Southern California and moved up north about 8 years ago. San Francisco is a great city to live in, there is so much going on around you and so many great artist. I enjoy going outside my front door and seeing people all around working on their lives. Most of the people I encounter up here are all trying to make something happen for themselves the “non-traditional” way..mainly working for themselves and I find that very motivating and inspiring.  

If you could please, introduce a few ideas about your medium and why you’ve chosen that particular format.The mediums I really enjoy most is acrylic and oil paint…I for sure dabble in others to play around but mostly acrylic and oil.


Michael Page – “Unsuspecting Approaching”, oil on wood, 30.5 x 23 inches 

Tell us a bit about the story behind your work, the narrative aspects of it, if you will. What is it that you are engaging the viewer in?For a while I was trying to show how dark and crummy the world can be and the problems that people encounter when trying to force their views on others. Right now I’m trying to show the chaos that is going on in our world and the struggles we are all going through. I wanted to bring brighter colors to my work to show that there are brighter days ahead.


Michael Page – “Peace We Bring”, oil on wood, 26 x 23.5 inches 

>When you sense a strong response from those that view or collect your work, how does that affect you? Does it make you want to pursue that vein of creativity, or attempt to recreate that moment?Well for anyone who enjoys or collects my work I truly thank them for that. I for sure try to change up what I’m doing constantly. I do not want to feel that I’m stuck trying to do the same sort of art always. I feel that I need to grow in what I’m doing and part of that is learning more and changing. I think that part of being an artist you have to take what’s going on around you in the outside world and bring it into your own space/mind and describe it in your own way…if you do that change generally comes about.


Michael Page – “Spiral Hole”, oil on wood, 22.25 x 18.25 inches 

At what part of your creative journey do you feel your work is at? And where do you see it going from here?

For a while I thought I was content with my journey, then this last winter kicked my ass and I decided that there was this entire world that I needed to discover. So for right now, I’m at the beginning of a new journey and that there is so much more to be seen and experiment with.


Michael Page – Michael Page rough sketches

What are your strongest influences? And I mean influences in the broad sense, what helps you spark the best ideas or keeps you interested enough to take on a new concept or creative effort?

For sure other artist’s inspire me, master’s current and old, my friends and family, my wife . The outside world for sure hits me, it’s a bitch and amazing at the same time. It does inspire me to keep going though. Once you realize you can do what ever you want it’s pretty uplifting and inspiring.


Michael Page – up close in the studio / work in progress

And lastly, if you could travel anywhere to create something, regardless of cost or materials, where would you go and what would you create?


Michael Page – full easel shot with helpers in the studio

I would travel to the space and create space!

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Jason Limon, San Antonio, TX:

Tell us a little about where you’re located or where you’re from, and how that affects your work.

I was born, raised and continue to reside in San Antonio, Texas with my wife, Nancy, and two daughters, Jaz and Rissa.There is quite a bit of history in San Antonio. History that you can see and that you can kind of feel when you are standing next to some of it’s old missions that sit in the middle of wide open fields. It is things like that which I am drawn to and I try to capture in my work. Something with age to it that survives and continues to share its past with those who come near it.


Jason Limon – “Origin”, acrylic on custom canvas panels, 10 x 10 inches

If you could please, introduce a few ideas about your medium and why you’ve chosen that particular format.

I think the most important part in creating my work is the canvas surfaces. Not too many people realize, and its a bit hard to capture on the internet, that I create many individually custom-shaped, canvas wrapped panels that come together to make a whole piece. I have this nerdy “engineering” side of me that love’s the technicalities and planning behind creating precise parts and watching them fit together as one unit in the end. It’s an extra step in the process, but, to me, adds so much more to the painting.


Jason Limon – “Gene”, acrylic on custom canvas panels 8.375 x 14 inches, 12 x 18 inches

Tell us a bit about the story behind your work, the narrative aspects of it, if you will. What is it that you are engaging the viewer in?

What I’m portraying to the viewer is how I feel about everything that surrounds me. How something simple and old that you may see or find had a story of its own. How that item might have meant something great to someone at a time. How all things that are around us that were created by us have been a part of someone else’s life and hold parts of that persons life within them. I like to think that these objects too have stories to share.


Jason Limon – “Generate 3”, acrylic on custom canvas panels 8.5 x 16 inches, 11 x 18.375 inches

When you sense a strong response from those that view or collect your work, how does that affect you? Does it make you want to pursue that vein of creativity, or attempt to recreate that moment?

It does help guide me in a way. Like most artists, I spend lots of time working alone so when the art gets out there and I do get feedback I do pay attention and take some direction from that. I wouldn’t say I’m trying to recreate the moment, but attempting to build upon that moment as I add new elements and thoughts to it.


Jason Limon – sketch for current works 

At what part of your creative journey do you feel your work is at? And where do you see it going from here?

Currently, I feel I am still somewhat at the beginning of this endeavor. I’m exploring new elements and characters all the time. I feel where I am headed is filled with many forms, living and not, that are made up with a mix of mechanical and organic parts having a more serious tone which are situated in more earthly environments.


Jason Limon – sketch for current works

What are your strongest influences? And I mean influences in the broad sense, what helps you spark the best ideas and keeps you interested enough to take on a new concept or creative effort?

Most influential thoughts and ideas come from everyday life. The majority of the underlying messages arise from current or past situations with family and friends or things I can recall from my youth. Once in a while it will be a thought obtained through music or television.


Jason Limon – working in the studio, San Antonio, TX, 2009

And lastly, if you could travel anywhere to create something, regardless of cost or materials, where would you go and what would you create?

I’ve always wanted to build an all glass house somewhere in the middle of a forrest. It would be a simple, tall squared building with at least three stories. All the walls, floors and roof would be glass. I guess that’s as close as I’ll get to nature with all the comforts of a home. Seems it might be creepy at night though.

-Brought to you by Nathan Spoor

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