ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 64

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
he breathtaking acrylic paintings of
Jian Jun An
take the medium to new extremes of dynamism. The artist paints
subjects from everyday life, from a coffee shop to a simple patch of grass. His most common subject, however, is
the human body. The artist paints it in motion, as a striking close-up or with an awestruck wide lens. He celebrates the
invigorating abandon of dance as well as the tension of a body poised for an action yet to come.
There are several techniques distinct to Jian Jun An’s style. Most prominent is his gestural freedom. Some works incorporate
oil paint and other mixed media; some are so layered that they become what he calls “3D paintings.” In more tranquil
compositions, the strokes are short and tidy. In depictions of great motion, the brush moves too, assertively and quickly, so
bold as to become part of the subject and its abstraction.
The level of realism also shifts with the atmosphere of the canvas, with some works being faithful slices of life and others
taking a delirious trip into the symbolic. In these, images are layered, body parts are deleted, and subjects dissolve into
clouds of paint. The painter counts Expressionismand Realism
as two great influences. The styles’ oppositional natures
are reconciled in Jian Jun An’s knowing choice of content.
Between his anonymous ordinary citizens and otherworldly
paint treatments, he drops real world allusions that deepen
the viewer’s engagement with the work. Elements from art
history and archetypes from mythology appear. The well of
subject matter runs just as deep as the paintings’ rich palette
and sophisticated construction.
Jian Jun An was born in Gan Su Province, China and currently
lives in Canada, where he maintains a studio. He has
exhibited extensively in Canada in his quest to fuse Eastern
and Western aesthetics.
Jian Jun An in his Studio
Cuba impression2 Gardener
Cuba impression5 Dancer1 Acrylic 18” x 14”
Jian Jun An
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