A Many “Firsts” for Jaymerson Payton
Never mind that he doesn’t have a web page.
Never mind there are about ten postings (at the time of this writing) when hash tagging his name on Instagram.
However, do mind his very first solo show “The Pragmatic Protagonist”…and is catching the eyes of savvy art collectors.
Meet Jaymerson Payton. The 26 yr. old Atlanta-based new artist whose flare for the abstract strikes all the right chords of a seasoned mature artist. Except he is not. It’s Jaymerson’s debut solo show at Mammal Galley, a nondescript artist space on a sleepy urban downtown street. Actually, the show was a last-minute venue replacement after the first gallery closed its doors a few months earlier. As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. For Jaymerson, a little bit of luck and timing was on his side, otherwise we would be reading a blank page.
The Pragmatic Protagonist features three large-scale unframed canvases, a sprinkling of works on paper and a found car seat sculpture that coalesce into a smartly curated show overflowing with unexpected style and sophistication, especially for an artist this early in their career. Opposite of Jaymerson’s reserved demeanor, the brash bold large canvases (oil, oil sticks, spray paint) wrinkle of grit and orderly chaos and are back dropped by a limited muted color palette that punches the viewer with reds and yellows.
For example, one of the show’s prominent works, Ezekiel 25:17, is centered on the quote recited by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie, Pulp Fiction. According to Jaymerson, the scripture speaks on the turmoil man faces in the quest of deciphering whether he is the Shepard or the Sheep being led through the valley of darkness. Essentially dissecting the question of right and wrong, and how it dictates who we are, and what we stand for. Much like Jackson’s conscious, the piece is divided into two visual planes. One side marked in chaos the other side marked in a grid like structure to stand as a visual representation of formality. Both sides joined in the center of realization commonly described as an epiphany. Having this piece in the exhibit was very important as it visually captures the essence of the entire body of work on display and their relation to the title. It is a simple rendition of the combining of good and evil. Understanding they must coexist in order to provide balance and growth. Ultimately leading to a better understanding of one’s self on the search for enlightenment and truth.
“This first exhibit will always be a special memory for me,” said Jaymerson. It’s a great feeling having my ideas on full display for the world to see.”
Jaymerson, who recently graduated with a B.A. in Studio Arts at Georgia State University, exudes a quiet confidence and is fully committed to staying the course of art making, even if that road leap frogged him to the attention of European collectors. Cautiously optimistic, he remains humble and flattered while welcoming the crash course learnings of behind-the-scenes art world happenings, shipping and art handling, etc. But then again, Jaymerson prepared himself early on for the twists, turns and curve balls to come his way. The opening of his artist statement is befitting of where he is today…and tomorrow.
“Through life’s complex endeavors, we experience moments when we must face the incumbent fork in the road. We are granted the opportunity to choose the path we take in most instances, which in turn shapes our individual experiences in unique ways. These are often happenings of chance leaving us very little time to prepare our reactions.”
What is next for Jaymerson? Just prior to his debut solo show, several elite art institutions including SAIC and MICA, as well as Goldsmiths and the Royal College of the Arts in London accepted Jaymerson into their MFA programs. However, his practical sensibility points him to a full ride MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. (Side note, August will be his first time he steps foot in CA unfamiliar with its surroundings and no personal connections). In tandem with his MFA studies, Jaymerson started working with Gallery Sunday-S for a formal introduction to European arts scene. Call it life imitates art, as Jaymerson is the pragmatic protagonist, an emerging young artist with a bright future of talent and focus.
(Full Artist Statement)
Through life’s complex endeavors, we experience moments when we must face the incumbent fork in the road. We are granted the opportunity to choose the path we take in most instances, which in turn shapes our individual experiences in unique ways. These are often happenings of chance leaving us very little time to prepare our reactions.
We become who we are from the choices we have made. The human lifespan is one of, if not, the most interesting examples of life that exists on our planet due to its ability to vary between each individual. As we travel through life we attempt to create situations that coincide with our idea of a “good life” but there is no concrete definition to what that actually means. The only hope we have is from the faith we focus on the decisions we make. Carefully concocting a remedy for hardships with the belief that one day we will reach our full potential. In this body of work I have attempted to translate my life experiences through a plethora of paintings, drawings, and sculptures to visually convey my reality and the ideals I have come to question along this path. As life continues to move forward and seconds tick away there is just enough time to make your next choice the one that shifts your life one step closer to your destiny.
BA Studio Arts Georgia State University
MFA Candidate – California College of the Arts, San Francisco
“The Pragmatic Protagonist ” Mammal Gallery, Atlanta, GA, 2018
“Thunder Foxes”, Camayuhs, 2018
“36,200 feet” Murmur Media Atlanta, GA, (Oct, 2017)
“A Pack of Cigarettes” Murmur Media, Atlanta, GA, 2017
“M4: Second Severn Crossing”, Hathaway Contemporary Gallery, Atlanta, GA, 2017
“Reflex” Eyedrum Gallery, Atlanta, GA, 2016
“People’s Choice Art Show” Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2016
“Midnight Sublime” Metropolitan Warehouse, Atlanta, GA, 2016
“The Pragmatic Protagonist ” Mammal Gallery, Atlanta, GA, (April 2018)
“36,200 feet” Murmur Media, Atlanta, GA, (Oct, 2017)
“A Pack of Cigarettes” Murmur Media, Atlanta, GA, 2017
“Midnight Sublime” Metropolitan Warehouse, Atlanta, GA 2016
Camblin, Victoria. “The Lies That Tell the Truth.” ARTPAPERS, Jan. 2017, p. 38Tags: Jay Payton, Jaymerson Payton