Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jesse Poimboeuf, Ten Visuals

Jesse Poimboeuf has made a great reputation as a multi-media and performance artist here in Lafayette, LA. (And in New Orleans; and elsewhere. Get him to tell you about his raccoon suit someday.)  But his whole enterprise strikes me as more mental than media—what’s at hand is made to serve (even though it also helps construct) his vision. I spoke with him about some of the ironies involved in reducing his (and others’) constructions to a flat digital format, but there’s also a provocative sense of competing perspectives (as in Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” maybe) as the eye tries to seize what the bytes chew up and spit out flat. I can’t provide instances of his performance work here (although I do have a fine painting that he did of a performance done in collaboration with me reading poems), but here are four representations of some of his constructions in three dimensions. (JM)

"Valentine Baby"

"Valentine Baby w/ Japanese Mask"

"Eye / Heart / Hand"

"Eye / Heart / Hand" (verso) 

A terrific collagist, Jesse often presses multiple media towards effects comparable to collage—his acrylics, charcoals, watercolors, oils, pencil, crayon, etc. establish distinct spaces, directions, perspectives, even timeframes, as if each medium insisted on its own dimensionality calling out to, but maintaining distinction from, all the others. Here are four examples. (JM)

"Surrounding" (Charcoal/Acrylic/Pastel/Colored Pencil/Canvas)

"untitled" (Acrylic/Graphite/Dye/Paper)

"Curtain at the Beginning" (Acrylic/Pastel/Charcoal/Dye/Colored Pencil/Paper)

"untitled" (Acrylic/Ink/Watercolor/Charcoal/Paper)

So what happens when an artist this engaged with sensuous media and materials goes digital? Jesse’s been working lately using an iPad app (Brushes) he discovered online in an article treating its use by David Hockney (see It’s wonderful to compare these (I’ll upload three here) with Jesse’s otherworldly representations of wild birds in acrylics, colored pencil, and pastels (see, for instance,; note, especially, his "Crazy Jay Blue"; JM).



I can’t help but comment on this last one, “Ruined Pixels.” There’s so much in it about working in a new medium, or working between and among media, and, again, the sense that what emerges (from the materials, from the machine) is fundamentally mental. I love the electric finger, poised over the (musical?) keyboard, and the way everything seems eventually to turn to waves. (JM)

"Ruined Pixels"

Jesse Poimboeuf was born and grew up in New Orleans, and has also lived in Lafayette (Louisiana), Denver, and New York. He now resides in the country on Bayou Teche near Arnaudville, northeast of Lafayette. He's taught Fine Arts at the University of New Orleans, Loyola, Tulane, Fordham, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He and his wife Nancy own the Kitchen Shop and Pistache in Grand Coteau, LA.

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