Text by Jason Bryant
For over a century Picasso’s life and his work has been a vital part of the fabric of art history. From the creation of abstraction and cubism, to all other movements in art afterwards, Picasso’s influence is undeniable and still remains relevant today. Whether you relate to, or even like his work, he still remains one of the most important figures in art from the 20th century into the 21st. One of the first ‘art stars’ as related to today’s popular culture.
In homage to Pablo Picasso I created an oil painting that photo-realistically captures a staged photo of Picasso himself from 1948. Using my conceptual narrative process by ‘merging icons’ I painted in the iconic dragon skateboard graphic created by the wonderful artist VCJ for the Steve Caballero pro Skateboard model effectively ‘stealing’ two great images and creating a duel portrait titled ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’ a quote from Picasso himself. This piece is fun, technically sharp and refined, creating an ironic portrait of an iconic figure painted hyper-realistically commentating on the ongoing dichotomy of abstraction and how they intersect in the lexicon of art history.
Born in 1976 in Wilson, NC, Jason Bryant now lives and works in New York, City. He graduated from East Carolina University with a BFA and went on to the Maryland Institute College of Art for his MFA in painting. Bryant moved to New York City soon after and began work with such notable artists as Kehinde Wiley and Bjarne Melgaard.
Heavily influenced by classic film, Bryant begins each painting by researching images from cinematic moments or magazine images of interest to fit various themes exploring loneliness, vulnerability and frailty. He renders each image, at first as a pencil sketch on canvas without the use of projection and then by transforming the image through oil paint into a photo-realistically and beautifully rendered film still. Bryant then incorporates his signature skateboard graphics, a skateboarder himself, or paints in pixilated areas often cropping the eyes or other notable features of each character.