Greg Jaskot is a mixed media artist who also exhibits at JAM Gallery in Malvern, PA. I met him at one of their exhibition receptions last year. His work uses graffiti stencil techniques and collage with found objects. I was drawn to the graphic quality in his work and you know I love the whole idea of doing something because others told you not to…
How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)
I think it was a mixture of naturally growing up wanting to make things and a bunch of art teachers telling me I couldn’t do one thing or another. I remember having a scrap end of a 4×4 and a yellow tack hammer. Whenever my father would work on the house I would drag that piece of wood in the general vicinity and proceed to pound copious amounts of nails into it. I think I was trying to assist him and do my part in the building of a fence or repair of a door frame. I remember taking pride in these achievements as I envied my father as all young boys do in some way. Eventually I grew older and I learned the skills that my father possessed. I still take pride in being able to design my own stretchers and painting surfaces.
Eventually I ended up in art school ( even though my high school art teacher instructed me not to…) and I began learning new sets of skills. At first I learned each medium as a separate technique and kept them separate. As I grew as an artist I began to feel inhibited by sticking to just one media. I felt that if I could incorporate more techniques and media into my art making and be able to transition from one to another as I went, I would be able to create work that was diverse and capable of encompassing the message that I was grasping for. If I were to make an analogy for this I would say it’s like a musician with the ability to play more than one instrument. I guess I’m still evolving and adding things to my repertoire. I think this is something that keeps me in the studio and ideally it will never stop.
What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?
Recently I was exhibiting work at JAM gallery and another artist, Bob Hakun, said that my work reminded him of Joseph Cornell. I considered this a tremendous compliment because I admire Bob’s work greatly. I was already aware of Cornell’s work but the thought stuck with me and I began doing more research into his history. I liked the idea of creating cabinet like spaces in the work and drawers. I’m currently working on the first boxed section to be attached to one of my paintings. It actually consumed a huge amount of time this weekend and I’m pleased with the results so far.
Who are your favorite artists in your field?
In no particular order… Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Rauschenberg, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Piet Mondrian, Squeak Carnwath, and Kathe Kollwitz. I don’t know if any of them are in my field but I always get something when I look at their work.
What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?
I have a wooden box that my aunt gave to me. It’s made from several pieces of wood laminated together ( ebony in between two pieces of blond burl wood I think.). It’s beautiful and I keep things of immense value in it. My aunt was very supportive of my artistic development and it reminds me of her.