Blue, chalk on panel, 3' x 2', 2014

Jake Putnam earned his BA in Art from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  He works in a variety of media, include paint, charcoal, and chalk.  Putnam's primary focus in college was demonstrating humor's utility in art.  He was a part of the Emerging Iowa Artists program in both the Marion Arts Festival and the Des Moines Arts Festival in 2015.  Putnam plans to attend graduate school next year.

The artist tells us this about his work:

By exploring the found images posted on social media, this series reveals how indefinite one's perception of a photograph can be.  Play is a serious matter, but a matter often not taken seriously.  We soon discover how often contemporary American society scoffs at those who have the ability to live in the moment and lose themselves in uninhibited elation.

I do not find myself relating to the characters within each work's narrative.  I have never been able to just truly live in the moment and have self-permissive fun.  Reaction to this inability to be carefree can manifest in two different ways: either through judgmental contempt, or through envy.  These works are based on photographs found on Facebook in order to reflect this kind of outside viewership; the viewers are either given the role of one looking at Facebook pictures from a night they missed out on, a night they avoided, or a night they themselves remember fondly.

Candid photography used in my work also demonstrates the incidental attitude by means of being impromptu and impulsive.  But when one takes the photo, and transforms it into a high detailed drawing, one loses the understanding that the creation of the image did not interfere with the scene.  This process of creation as an imitation of another process directly reflects the inability to live in the moment.  It shows the tendency to overthink things and focus on minute details for hours on end, further appreciating those who do have the ability to just let loose.

This page was first displayed
on September 14, 2015

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