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Jessie St. Clair

Flashing lights, dim corners, bright colours, decaying bricks, bobbing pigeons, unconventional lifestyles—mashed with an undeniable love for painting, this is only a touch of where my art springs from as an artist. The role I have willingly taken on is that of documenting personalities often forgotten or disregarded in the city. As documenter, my paintings are inspired by, and a reflection of, social as well urban transactions we partake in. Whether it be paying a cab driver, noticing wind blowing an empty coffee cup at your foot walking down the street, or involvement in an epic and unusual dance off on a street corner during a random night; all are relevant. My work stems from the intricacy of what forms urban centres and the sub cultures built because of reactions to the mainstream. My focus is in painting portraits of partakers in counter-cultures; people I have some how interacted with in an assortment of events which I was inspired to record. Utilizing a variety of materials and methods allows the paintings to be a reflection of aspects in urbanity as well a window into the lives of some unique characters.

Through these series I am not trying to make assumptions or judgments about the particular subjects and their place in society; rather, to allow the viewer to contemplate their own questions and conclusions. Although, at times there are pre meditated concepts, messages, and perhaps at a story from my own life, I am not trying to give one meaning or experience. As an artist, my goal is to continue pushing forward creatively while celebrating painting as a medium, portraiture as an art form, and making art that is accessible to a large audience. People, city centers, and urban issues are continuously changing, so there is no lack of dialogue.


Education & Affiliations

BFA, Class of 2010, University of Calgary

Co-Founder, Studio Cartel