I am interested in creating paintings that bring together a wide multiplicity of sources into a coherent – and sometimes discordant – whole, an attempt at a “unified field theory” of painting. My paintings feed off of the history of abstraction, physics, traditional eastern imagery, Chinese landscape motifs, digital imaging, and other sources. There is a constant flux between atmospheric and graphic, abstract and figurative, quiet and chaotic forces. I see my creative process as an infinitely expansive endeavor in which anything I read, see, or think about can potentially be incorporated into the language of the paintings. This medley of sources is orchestrated to create or reconstruct a world within the painting in which a new kind of sense is made – one in which the beautiful, absurd, sacred, and mundane can coexist. I do not find a conflict between meaning and visual opulence, between commercial culture and content, and I often purposefully cultivate an operatic sense of surface and reference. I am interested in the challenges of trying to forge a pictorial landscape in which anything could be included, but that seems to possess its own logic.
A re-reading of Foucault’s 1967 “Of Other Spaces – Heterotopias” essay was a recent inspiration since it perfectly defined the intent of much of my current work – to create paintings in which several different locations or spaces are made to coexist within one space. Ideas about how we construct our realities and selves through language, social structure, geography, and belief feed into this desire to juxtapose sites, spaces, and images that are themselves somewhat incompatible. My work as a painter is to knit the world together in a kind of visual globalism. There is both a sense of idealism and anxiety that accompanies this endeavor – the desire to make a democratic garden of Eden, and concern about how to make sense of it and reconcile disparities.
I am interested in visual democracies, nomadic thinking, rearranging hierarchies, and trying to fuse personal expression with shared social and cultural spaces, in full pictorial glory. My goal is that my work can transform its multiple sources into a stronger, weirder, and more complex pictorial version of the world, a millennial baroque environment of inclusion.
Jackie Tileston received her BFA from Yale University, New Haven,CT, and her MFA in painting from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Tileston has had exhibitions at the Discovery Museum, Bridgeport,CT; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY, Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack,NY, and more. Her work is in collections including: JP Morgan Chase; Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; Dallas Museum of Art and West Virginia University Art Museum. She has been awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation 2011 Painters and Sculptors Grant.