Description

Jason McLean maps his environment in his art. From places he has lived to thoughts that cross his mind, anything and everything is apt to become a visual motif and part of a sort of encrypted language. It’s as if he were keeping a diary of his observations on the pictorial surface, assembling events from his personal life and elements encountered here and there. His paintings are heavy on drawing and typically feature graphically busy compositions influenced by the world of comic books and fanzines. Big in Canada is a prime example, a quirky map of the country that jumbles geography in an ironic commentary on the fact that success earned at home is no guarantee of similar recognition south of the border. The three red dots correspond to the Canadian cities where McLean has lived, and there are all sorts of inscrutable annotations. A fantastical logic is at work, creating a teeming profusion of allusions in an approach where everything merges and the elements morph into a face. J. B.