Far beneath the resplendence of daily imagery, deep below billboards and feeds, down past the crust of genre, there is a giant rubbish heap. It is infinite and dark, and limitlessly holds all the visual detritus of the world. Each of the images that wind up here, in their impossible multiplicity, lie on the margins of a culture which has reached a full stop.
Amongst the innumerable heaps of discarded information – friable or corrupted, furtive or obsolete – lie those images that slip unnoticed, or actively resist, the discretionary eye of capital. Anonymous, they squat festering on unmoderated Reddit threads and defunct Flickr profiles; buried under Dall-E offcuts or in dead forums now accessible only on The Wayback Machine. Because these images have never been given a name, and so remain in their own way inexpressible, they cannot be scooped up by the indifferent trawler nets of a search engine. In their abundance they compound and mulch and stink, but together, as a mesh or a base, they are fertile.
Jack Jubb’s paintings begin in the traversal of this heap; in sifting through the debris to find an antagonistic image, something that can pierce this malaise – the flatness of our expectations. Small collectables, toys, caricatures and figurines – they are markers of an attempt to participate in a market not built for the feelings they retain: homeyness, nostalgia, farce, grief. Nestled among storks and vultures, the distant subjects of bird- watching, these trinkets sit at the end of the binoculars’ barrel yet are uncannily yanked to the fore. Their likenesses are livid, almost beatific. We divine fulfilment from them. As talismans of desire, they retain a visual clarity which works against flatness and homogeneity. In puncturing despondency, they go straight for the nerve of love.
Now rendered in airbrush on absorbent surfaces, and having evaded the gaze of the market, these images next begin to evade visual purchase. Just as they resist optical proximity, sliding away right at the moment in which it seems they should come into focus, the works invoke the unidirectional intimacy of something which cannot quite be grasped: the hobbyist to their subject; the degradation of fraternity; parasociality; loneliness. Something asinine provokes pathos. Jubb weathers it.
Jack Jubb (b. 1993, Oxford, UK)
Recent exhibitions in 2021 include shows at DJ Berlin; Seventeen Gallery, London; Moarain House, London; Osnova Gallery, London; Kupfer Projects, London; Franz Kaka, Ontario, Canada.
Jubb will have his debut solo show with Carl Kostyál in Milan on 26th October 2022.