“Artist and educator JP Jacquet’s work in this show explores the process and sensations of exfoliating artwork created throughout his career. The physical act of exfoliating is to remove the surface, most commonly, of the skin. For Jacquet, skin serves as a metaphoric medium to understand the human body and identity through experiences, the real and the artificial, and mark making.
The largest piece in the show is a multipanel work. It showcases layered remnants and reminders of the artist’s previous works. What initially appears as a collage of disparate images is in fact a curated collection that historicizes Jacquet’s interests in color, form, the body, pop culture, and the abstract. The panels are varnished to create a heavily textured surface that feels as callused and rough as aging skin. Jacquet includes a large superimposed reproduction of his elongated and intricate black tattoo as a finishing touch. It acts as his signature, his mark, that connects the nonlinear panels together.
Other works also examine skin’s enduring relationship to desire, gender, and masquerade. The show exhibits a series of traditional nude figure drawings, which are cropped to a centerfold format. Though the act of exfoliating removes from a surface to reveal an underlying layer, here, these models are covered in conspicuous places. We we may not be ready (read: comfortable) to see what lies beneath.
Three sculptures pay homage to the famed strong me that entertained carnival audiences for generations. The strong men, painted in vibrant colors, are covered in tattoos, in words, that are written out in delicate cursive. Some of the words are ones that we often associate with strong men while others expose a part of their identity we may not know.
As Jacquet peels away layers of skin, we are understanding the intricacies of his artistic journey. But he also challenges us to rethink those we often fantasize but also demean through marks and words that remain scarred on people’s skin.” -Marvin Aguilar
Located in the Pomfret School Gallery
Exhibit Dates: June 1 – July 30
Opening Reception: Friday June 7th, 6-8 PM