Senior artist Brett Jasper hopes to confuse viewers

Haley Mulder – Staff Writer

Meet Brett Jasper.

“I don’t typically make plans before I start working, and when I do, I almost never stick to them,” said Jasper, a senior art major.poster 4

Jasper is motivated to create art because inspiration comes to him through the process.

“I need to just start working before it actually hits,” Jasper said. “I don’t usually like a painting and feel anything from it until I’m at least half or two-thirds of the way through; something strikes me and I just expand on what I’m seeing until something else strikes me.”

It takes time, and a whole lot of paint.

“As far as the actual content, my ideas are never really concrete,” he said. “I just expand on whatever strikes me about the piece as I’m working.”

He claims that his inspiration comes from artists that he likes.

 “It all gets mashed around in my brain and sometimes I’ll see little bits and pieces from here and there pop up in my own work,” he said.

A mixture of his experiences, other artists’ work, his environment and natural personality; somehow, everything seems to work together.

“Simply put, I make art that looks good to me, but I’m a slightly different ‘me’ every day,” Jasper said.

Jasper’s new solo senior art show “AMRCA” can be seen in the campus center art gallery from March 18-24.

“I didn’t start with a theme and, for me, the meaning of a piece or even a show, doesn’t start to appear until it’s well underway or even finished,” he said of the work in his show. “This is the only way I know to make good work. It’s more about feeling the meaning than being able to describe it or even connect it in any way to anything recognizable.”

Jasper believes that many artists are led away from making good, genuinely felt work by the false idea that art has to say something.

“Painting is a language on its own and the whole point is that it can never fully be described with words,” he said.

Jasper’s art show remains free from a strict theme, although it speaks to him in certain ways.

“It does contain some social commentary, but other viewers’ opinions are just as valid as mine,” he said.

His favorite piece in the show is the series of “Remained Memories,” which was created with old family photos.

Jasper says that he hopes his work confuses people.

“I think an important goal of art is to confuse,” he said. “Confusion is the natural reaction to seeing something original or out of the ordinary. How we react to being confused can tell us a lot about ourselves.”

Jasper says that if you want to get anything out of art, you have to be aware of it when you’re responding, and then have to question the ideals you are falling back on. He claims that this is where personal growth and knowledge of self happens.

“People who don’t mind being uncomfortable or confused can consider every option objectively and can choose what they want to believe and know that whatever they choose will stem out of the core of who they are and not out of fear or the need to feel secure,” he said. “So in a real and practical way, art gives us confidence and a sense of direction by teaching us to lean into uncertainty. But it only works if we allow ourselves to be confused.”

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