I’ve always considered myself a clumsy person.
Stubborn as I am, there are things you have to recognize, no matter how cliché it may sound when one confesses to be that girlfriend who keeps bumping into walls or forgetting to look both sides before crossing the streets. It’s a harsh reality, indeed.
It gets worse: I have learned to accept the fact that small and delicate objects, such as needles, piercings, earrings, fine-point pencils and pens, or even nailpolish, become absolutely obsolete in my hands. No, it isn’t something I’m proud of, but I’ve managed to live without learning crochet, and the five years of Art School were survived in spite of my embarrasing print-making skills and watercolors.
This is why my ego is so deliciously hurt when I cross the path of a miniaturist. It is twice as painful, when it comes to an illustrator. I find this to be an art full of fetishes, intricate secret lives and whispers, the patience of a magic card castle builder, the skill of an artisan, the wisdom of an ancient enchanter…or a spider.
Jason D’Aquino is a master of the absurd. His creative process includes collecting antique materials such as 18th century animal-skin vellum, antique ledger pages and the matchbooks you see on this page. None of these pieces have been stained in any way: all the surfaces have naturally aged, and were of little or no value until found by D’Aquino, who adds his inner visions, his tattooing conception of images and his child-like execution of a composition, for a genuine result worthy of high-end galleries and private collections.
Working on these old and delicate materials not only means patience and dedication, it means being absolutely sure of what you already see, before imprinting it on the “canvas”. Erasing much would immediatly destroy the surface, which means plenty of sketching before each of these pieces is created.
Jason D’Aquino says he gets his inspiration from abandoned buildings, some of his own dreams, and even walks to the flea market. His collection on matchbooks came as a desire to easily demonstrate the quality of detail on his works to his viewers, so that people would be able to compare it in scale, to something they easily recognize. Using the matchbooks as reference for the size of his drawings is a very daring thing to do, but Jason manages to do it well. The effect, in the end, is quite astonishing.
Many of his original graphite drawings are political in nature, and others immediatly show us his background as a tattoo artist, due to the shading and outlines typical of this form of art. D’Aquino is the co-owner of Blue Moon Tattoo in Buffalo, New York, and among his upcoming projects, currently prepares a hardbound volume of his work.
When visiting his website, a tiny little spider will crawl accross the screen to welcome you. It reminds me of his hands, the delicate threading of lines and shadows that are executed on his found objects, and transformed into unique art pieces, as fragile, as misterious, and as perfect, as a spiderweb.
His exhibition at Last Rites Gallery took place on July 30, 2010. More information can be found athttp://lastritesgallery.com or directly at the artist’s website at http://jasondaquino.com
About Last Rites Gallery: Last Rites Gallery is New York’s only gallery of dark art. Having opened in April 2008, the gallery has received accolades from places as diverse as Inked Magazine, Tattoo Society, Juxtapoz, Hi Fructose, NY Post, and the Channel 11 Morning News.