Jay Jacobs at Westobou's 'Seeds' debut

Westobou Gallery’s ‘Seeds Exhibit’ in 2015

Jay Jacobs has been interested in how the parts add up to the whole since he was little. Recognizing how players on a team interact, or characters on the cartoons of his childhood, Jay found intrigue in the ingredients that allow for a dynamic exchange between the parts to form a whole.

Earlier in his career, Jay began painting multiple characters on single substrates. An ongoing series of his incorporates this process, repeating similar brushwork to create unique characters in an all-over composition. Jay’s logical progression was to construct multiple substrates to support these characters.

The work he created for Westobou Gallery’s 'Seeds' Exhibit in 2015 was comprised of ten 10-inch panels. The separate parts worked as a cohesive unit, affording him the opportunity to tell a non-linear story. The narrative focuses on an abstract, non-traditional protagonist in the form of red and white stripes, symbolic of creativity. The patterned stripes are the main character, supported by secondary parts of recognizable imagery (people, objects, settings, etc.)

Jay appreciates the Jack London quote, “You can never go home.” This is represented in the Seeds 2015 works by the hermit crabs, which shed a home as they grow.  This correlates to Jay’s idea of creativity as, “The evolution of the work is inevitable,” he says.

"[The series is about] Creative identity that we are constantly outgrowing. We find new identities for ourselves over time; we make something new. And the idea that discovery and memory are at constant odds with each other while we are making new things."