Interview with Marcus Jansen, longlisted artist for Aesthetica Art Prize

A contemporary American painter, Marcus Jansen’s work redefines urban landscape painting, blending action painting and objective subject matter. Major themes in Jansen’s work include reflection and commentary on global political and social concerns and a resistance to transforming world order. Since the beginning of his artistic career in the 1990s, his subject has varied, but its core, regarding our current direction, has remained consistent. Most works are often issue-charged environments, employing symbolic imagery that works in harmony to engage our innate concern for humanity’s well-being. Jansen does not claim to be a political painter, however his work continues to address conditions in the world in which we inhabit. With the Aesthetica Art Prize 2013 open for entries until 31 August, we speak to 2011 and 2012 longlisted artist Marcus Jansen about his work, his inspirations and his motivation for entering the Aesthetica Art Prize multiple times.

Jansen’s collections include The Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), The New Britain Museum of American Art, The PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art. Jansen is also part of the next generation of artists for the ABSOLUT VODKA Global campaign.

A: Your work featured in both the 2011 and 2012 Aesthetica Art Prize longlist. What is it about the competition that made you want to enter in consecutive years and why do you feel art prizes are so important for both established and emerging artists?
MJ: I think it’s a good idea to stay involved with what is going on outside your comfort zone. International competitions help do that and keep you connected with other artists regardless of their ranking history. Art Prizes can be useful for artists to get a non bias feedback by professionals and scholars in the arts. It helps gauge where you are with your work on a global scale.

A: Is there a particular a location where you’d love to be featured?
MJ: I would like to show at Tate Modern in London. I visited Tate in 2008 to see the Francis Bacon show and thought it was a great venue.

A: Where do you draw your main inspirations from as an artist?
MJ: Painting itself inspires me, the process of it does. But with regards to themes, I draw many from world events and mostly under reported stories that are of concern to me personally or to humanity at large.

A: What can you tell us about your current projects?
MJ: I am getting ready for a Museum solo show in Rome Italy and will take part in a Phillips Auction in 2014. We also have exhibitions in Milan Italy coming up at Bianca Maria Rizzi & Matthias Ritter Gallery and International Fairs.

To enter the Aesthetica Art Prize visit the website, the final deadline is 31 August,

1. Image courtesy of Marcus Jansen and Aesthetica.