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Artist Statement – Jeff Weispfenning, 2012

Posted on: June 2nd, 2012 by Jeff Weispfenning No Comments

I make art using oil paint on canvas.  My paintings are usually imaginary portraits of sad people with dark emotions.  I utilize my own memories and experiences as subject matter when I paint.  Sometimes I have an exact idea of what I am about to paint.  Other times, I just see what appears, adding and subtracting until I feel the piece is finished.

My portraits show the natural human condition we all have within ourselves.  I am making a commentary on the world around me, poking fun at some types, while being more sympathetic towards others.  Each portrait is a sad mixture of human frailty, innocence lost, addiction, misguided adventure, or just plain ugliness. Most of my work involves some kind of damage or failure.

I don’t always paint with that intention.  I can be happy and content, but I do dwell on the sadness and badness of life.  I want to say something about society and humankind and their choices using my cynical mindset and humor.  This may be why I paint imaginary portraits, rather than directly portraying real people.  I enjoy exaggerating the overall feel of the idea, using color or lack of color to my advantage.

My paintings show that love, pain, illness and death are natural outcomes of being human.  People are always searching for love, but rarely do they find it.  They may think they have it, but the feeling is only fleeting.  Everyone gets hurt physically or mentally, gets sick, and experiences the death of loved ones and eventually themselves. This is what makes us all human.  This is basic human nature.

(Photo by: Becca Sabot Photograpy)

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