An exhibition presented by Truly Virtual Web Art Museum

Chaos and Order:A Meeting Place
Jim Charette

 

Artist's Statement

 
 
When it comes to my art, I have one major goal. To leave behind a body of work that captures the time in which it was created. Acceptance or salability of the work is not my concern. I would however, be lying if I said that, as an artist, I didn't want either, far from it. It's just not as important as doing the work. I don't claim to be creating art for any lofty artistic pursuits either. I left all of that behind me in college. One struggle I always had with my professors, even then, was the fact that I have always considered the story to be as important, if not more so, than any art theory involved in the process. I could never be satisfied doing landscapes or still lifes unless there was some kind of a story involved and the idea of doing a piece just for the sake of some aesthetic exploration of color theory always struck me as rather pointless. I understand the need for studying art if you want to be a better artist and I am constantly looking at the work of other artists and still look back to those who've inspired me over the years. I'm not saying that studying art should ever end for an artist, it should be a continued daily requirement as important to your intellectual development as the daily serving of fruits and vegetables is to your physical development. I just think that art needs to say something more than," look what I can do". Much as eating right and living well shouldn't be about just looking good. I suppose that I consider myself more of an artistic journalist if you will. A commentator. Everything I do from cartooning to painting to creating sound sculptures is about the story. I try to take in as much of this world as I can, process it and incorporate it into what I do, using it as a jump off point. I have worn many hats over the years. I have worked as a cartoonist, editorial cartoonist, tattoo artist, an illustrator, independent zine and comic publisher, graphic designer for apparel companies and my work has been used in numerous newspapers, magazines, online and my paintings have been featured in a number of galleries both online and in the brick and mortar world around the globe as well as included in a number of public and private collections. Over the last five years, my health has become an issue that sidelined me somewhat in terms of what I am able to do as far as 'work' goes but, rather than seeing that as a negative, I chose to utilize the time it afforded me to focus on my life, the various directions it has taken and the various media that I have worked in for the last two and a half decades. It's been a wild ride of chaos and order, ever looking to try new media to find the perfect one to tell my stories. I started a company in 1991 called Riverrats Press. It's purpose then was selling printed apparel and the various independent comic and zine projects I had published. About two years ago it became the title of my website which has become a work in progress for me that has enabled me to pull all of the disparate elements together finally and make some sense of it all for me, Charette's Eye View-cartoons and commentary, Bigelo's Bijou-my animation efforts, the paintings, the tattoos, Video Campfire Journals-an as yet unpublished book full of images and thoughts about our shared existence culled from five years' worth of sketches and notebook entries, The Rabid Dog-an e-zine that focuses more on the work of others than myself as a means to help them get some much needed exposure, artist calls for entries to take part in a number of online projects as a means to further bring artists together and The Jim Charette Sound Project-recently started where I will be posting a new song, or sound sculpture as I like to think of them, everyday for an entire year as a way of saying thanks to all of the artists who have inspired me over the years. The chaos and order now have a meeting place. My paintings are created in this way as well. I begin with a chaotic burst of raw energy covering the surface with whatever random colors find their way to my brushes and then I try to find the order hidden within that chaos. I think that living is exactly that way, constantly dealing with the randomness of it all and trying to find some sense or meaning to it and, for me, art is life. I have also finally realized that I am not a painter, a cartoonist, a musician, a writer or any of the things that I've tried desperately to single out as defining who or what it is that I am. I am all of these things. I am an artist who chooses to work in as many media as I can manage to master to tell you a story. In the end though, as anybody who has known me for a while will attest to, I have always answered the question of, "so, you're an artist??" with a simple statement. I'm just Jim. And that's my story so far.

 

Jim Charette-May 5,2008

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