Jason Rowles Fine Art and Photography

Statement of Intent

My fascination with graffiti has taken me to many places that have long been forgotten by society. I study the abstractions painted on the walls of abandoned factories and defunct warehouses and amusement parks in hopes to better understand their often-cryptic messages.

I am interested in these places when they lie dormant in suburban and rural areas as I find much juxtaposition. One of the most interesting things is the contrasting urban practice of graffiti in these pastoral settings. There are stories that each tag or piece carries in it’s mark-making and style. Sometimes, age begins to show in the paint as it flakes and moss, mold, mildew, and water stains creep into the piece as the surrounding environment claims it as it’s own. While time makes itself present and layers of spray paint cake the marred and crumbling walls, a conversation develops between the graffiti and the structures that ensnare them. Vibrant colors reverberate off the ashy dull surfaces and text speaks to state of mind of another being that once occupied one of these destitute sanctuaries. I am often trapped in the irony of the delinquents that deface these once populous places as being the only visitors that they now see.

To capture the surreal tension that is so often present in these places, I prefer watercolor, as I enjoy the subtleties as well as the unpredictability of the medium. Although my work stems from photographic references, there is a great deal of interpretation to be had through the process of painting. I look to artists such as Tim Saternow, Tom Freidman, Gregory Crewdson, and Rackstraw Downes to study their approaches as a way to further my abilities.


-Jason Rowles