Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City is opening a solo show by Jacub Gagnon on June 21. Titled “Worlds Collide” this body of work is a step further in Gagnon’s exploration of his surrealist paintings that tell stories of animals, the way they interact and the way humans interact with them. The intersection of the human world and animal kingdom has always been the main focus of his work and with this show he pushes it further with new concepts and unseen characters.
Other than the black backgrounds that accentuate the natural beauty and incredible colors of the animals, one of Gagnon’s signature elements is arranging and designing their interactions. He arranges species in clusters that represent geometric interplays of form, a part of his work that has evolved with these new paintings. Gagnon takes it further by experimenting with tessellation. Always interested in and fascinated by technical masters like Escher and the use of mathematics and geometry within art, he incorporated this concept into his work. Applying such strict ideas when painting realistic creatures results in very unusual images.
His new works have even stronger narrative backgrounds. Each of the rich and complex paintings tells an equally rich and complex story. This element is especially evident in his portrait works he painted for this show. By using one of the oldest forms of visual art, Gagnon gives us more in-depth backgrounds of his characters. Instead of showing them within a bigger story, these surrealist portraits focus on the individual. Using the symbolism and the appearance of each animal, these figurative works are a definitive step deeper into Gagnon’s world.