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Joel Jaecks
Set of four original collages, 'Happy Birthday' cards by Joel Jaecks

1982

$1,700

About

This set of four birthday collage cards are rare early examples of the small-scale collages that American artist Joel Jaecks began producing in the 1980s. Jaecks began working in watercolors when he was studying at UW-Milwaukee, but at the same time he was also experimenting with collage and assemblage. Some of the earliest expressions of this were cards like these, made to be mailed to his friends. Nonetheless, they demonstrate the sophisticated visual language of layered, appropriated imagery developed by artists like Jasper Johns. Titles, from left to right: 'And good night to the street sweepers' 'And the old men in wheelchairs know' 'No one speaks English and everything's broken' 'The fugitives say that the streets aren't for dreaming now' 9 x 3.88 inches, each card 11.13 x 20.13 inches, frame Signed and entitled on the reverse Housed in a brass-finish aluminum moulding Overall good and stable condition; some areas of slight toning; some minor craquelure American artist Joel Jaecks (b. 1958) began his college career as a watercolor artist in the early 1980s after graduating from UWM with a bachelor’s degree in drawing and painting. These watercolors achieved notoriety through exhibitions and a strong collector base in the 1980s. "While houses and the foliage around them are the objects my camera records," he said, "the subjects of my paintings are the photographs themselves. What appears to be reality in my paintings is not necessarily what is true to life, but what is true to the photograph." Joel Jaecks was spellbound by the abstraction of reality recorded by the camera. Painting from photographs, he highlighted the same nuances he notices in mechanical recordings: the flattening of three-dimensional images, exaggerated angles, the changed intensity of colors. After studying the photograph of an object caught in a peculiar light, Jaecks would paint the scene in great watercolor detail. This detail, expanded to the large scale of his paintings, compels the viewer to look beyond the simple play of shadows. In the time since, he has moved on to focus on his assemblages, which are themselves inspired by the work of Jasper Johns. “I did my first one in 1982,” he said. “I used to send mail art to my friends. They were flat pieces of paper with paintings or collages on them. After a while I started making them three-dimensional and I guess I haven’t stopped.” To make them, he uses mat board to build them. He paints the backs of the boxes, glues the sides together, and then fills the space within with ideas, dreams and memories. “The inside of the box usually begins with a photo,” he said. “It might be my own photo or a photo from a book, but it’s usually an image that I start with. I’ll glue it in and then I might let it sit for a few weeks until I find something else to add.” He uses found objects in his work — puzzle pieces, screws, credit cards, paint samples, an image from a cereal box. He also incorporates text, either from books or song lyrics. “I want my work to be more than the objects I find, or lyrics from a song,” he explained. “When I put it all together, I want it to become a piece of art.” Jaecks also includes string and bamboo sticks in his work to make the boxes kinetic, more dynamic. In some, elements are mounted on strings and can be slid up and down. “People seem to really respond to things that move so I like to incorporate things that hang or spin,” Jaecks said. He elicited the passing of time in a dream-like piece that features an old photo and clock that spin. He continues to live and work in Milwaukee and is a teaching assistant at Fernwood Montessori School. Biography adapted from: Maniaci, Monica. "Fernwood’s Fine Craft and Art Fair includes assemblages by Joel Jaecks," in The Bay View Compass, April 1, 2014.

Details

  • Artist
    Joel Jaecks (1958, American)
  • Creation Year
    1982
  • Dimensions
    Height: 11.13 in. (28.28 cm)Width: 20.13 in. (51.14 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Framing
    Framing Options Available
  • Condition
    Overall good and stable condition; some areas of slight toning; some minor craquelure.
  • Gallery Location
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 955d1stDibs: LU60536880452

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Milwaukee, WI
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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