Closed Eye Visions: New Works by Jimmy Joe Roche
RARE is pleased to present Closed Eye Visions, Jimmy Joe Roche’s third one-person exhibition at the gallery. The artist’s new video, series of drawings, and paper & wood sculptures continue his multi-faceted engagement with cultural and aesthetic motifs that find their roots in Surrealism, Op art, performance, cinema, meditation, music, and the digital realm.
Born out of an array of influences ranging from American visionary artist Charles Burchfield and German biologist/naturalist Ernst Haeckel to Op art and Tibetan and Native American motifs, Midnight Ethereal Royal Texas Dripper is Roche’s first fully freestanding sculpture. Like the artist’s earlier cut paper and metal wall hangings, this work merges mandala, totemic, and organism-like elements into a single form.
The video Leather (2014) explores the brackish waters in which several moving image art forms intermingle – traditional narrative, video performance art, Structuralist cinema, and contemporary digital glitch art. The result is a new hybrid form in Roche’s ongoing conversation between video and painting, channeling not only the aesthetics of Stan Brakhage’s Dog Star Man films and Steina Vasulka’s videos, but also the paintings of Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko.
Evolving from a desire to break open some of the structural and process-oriented aspects involved in creating his sculptures, Roche has made a recent foray into the medium of drawing. In trying to “get at something more raw and spontaneous” – what he characterizes as the “dreams of sculptures” – he finds inspiration in the Surrealist practice of automatic drawing and writing. During the creative process he works quickly and erases nothing, simply letting his hand float and flow over the paper. These drawings were made when Roche was studying Tibetan and Hindu motifs and practicing meditation.
Roche lives and works in Baltimore, MD. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Denver, CO (2010), and at Erin Cluley Gallery in Dallas, TX (2014). His work has appeared in Beautiful Decay, The New Museum’s Younger Than Jesus Artist Directory, 100 (2011) by Francesca Gavin, and BELIO magazine. Roche exhibited in a two-person show at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2013, after which BMA purchased one of his wall hangings as did 21c Museum in Louisville, KY. In the fall of 2015, he will exhibit with fellow RARE artist Johnston Foster at Gallery5 in Richmond, VA.