Rowan University Art Gallery

Jackie Tileston - Chromatopia

The colorful, playful, decorative, and sensual abstract paintings and drawings of Jackie Tileston encompass a vast multitude of meanings and styles. The artist brings a global sensibility to her artwork, as she draws from and includes the decorative patterns, artwork, and cultural sensibilities of many countries from the East to the West. Her paintings gather together various types of abstraction from softly evocative atmospheric bursts of pure vibrant pigment, to thick crusts, dribbles, and mounds of dried paint. She also adds in vivid, stylized, cartoon-like graphic design elements that play against the more sensual decorative traditions of countries such as India and China. Into this wide spectrum of hand-drawn abstraction from art, popular and global culture, the artist also inserts recognizable landscape scenery, wallpaper patterns, and rustic panoramas from art history in the form of imagery transferred directly onto the surface.

The richness and complexity of her artwork stems from the gathering together of all of these disparate elements and presenting an entire world to her viewers where there is no fixed meaning or point of origin. Her expansive artworks include many opposing tendencies and realms, such as the sacred and the profane, earth and that of the heavens, beauty and ugliness in paint, and the spiritual as well as the more entertaining and popular side of visual culture. The artist humorously and rightly compares herself to a B-movie monster, voraciously gobbling up incongruous elements from many cultures around the globe and pouring them all into her paintings. It is especially the ability of art, and more specifically painting and drawing, to have the capability to hold all of these different motifs and ideas within one surface.  In her art, Jackie Tileston presents a fully realized, but changeable and nebulous world, that like our own, holds no firm answers but points the way to all of the most poignant and relevant questions that are asked.