Why is a Fish Falling on a Building? This is only one of many questions we have for artist, Jeffrey Hale.
It’s a new visual language that fine artist, Jeffrey Hale, wants us to learn. It has no traditional techniques of perspective, or modeling, and definitely no foreshortening. It’s as if we’ve all been speaking english, and he suddenly wants us to learn Spanish mixed with alien. One thing matters in his world: the two-dimensionality of the canvas. Reduced, fractured objects into geometric forms, and shifting light. You can trace the paint strokes with your eyes.
Why is this girl smoking a pipe?
In the paintings, there are hidden messages. Layers of stories, phrases; ideas born and abandoned. It’s a small glimpse into Jeffrey Hale’s frontal cortex. It’s off-putting and enticing at the same time. Like french kissing for the first time. It’s dark and beautiful. For some civilians it is frustratingly hard to connect with all of the images that appear to have been run over by a bulldozer.
Jeffrey Hale captures the human brain, and all of its intricacies. And it’s so mesmerizing that you can’t look away.
We were lucky enough to tour Jeffrey’s studio in downtown Salt Lake City, to ask him some questions and take some photos in hopes of getting a better glimpse into his daily life.
What is a joyous moment that you’ve experienced recently? I love to embrace my childhood by drawing with my daughter. Recently, we worked on a painting together where she absolutely had an influence on the painting. We kept her lines in the little snowmen and my son even imitated the little figure with bunny ears, which stayed on the final painting. It’s hanging at 15th Street Gallery.
Why did you start? Out of opportunity, necessity, dream job…? Definitely out of necessity. Drudging though my mundane 9-5 life, I felt compelled to take a leap of faith and transform my passion into my profession.
Did you have to give anything up to pursue this? I gave up palm leaves, fine cheeses, and sanity.
Besides this, what is another hidden talent, passion, or hobby of yours? I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. I enjoy bringing people together over a good meal. Additionally, I have a deep respect for Southern Louisiana and their cooking, which brings people together. Additionally, I am passionate about the ocean and the out-doors in general.
Are you close with your family? I try. Certainly, a deep tacit connection exists from growing up and learning about life together. I am an odd duck and my siblings and parents are fairly well-grounded while maintaining inspiring creativity.
Animal I Would Want to Be Most: Raven, Raccoon, Fox, Deer, Rabbit.
Morning Routine: Ha. Oh, you are funny…
Dream Tattoo: To add a tree with roots to my current tattoo and the words of Langston Hughes, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
Last Great Book I Read: The Powers of Two by Joshua Wolf Shenk (in progress), Wayne Dyer/Byron Katie audio Making your Thoughts Work for You.
Favorite TV Shows: The Walking Dead, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.
Favorite Drink: Anything from the Downtown Disney Rain Forest Cafe.
My Dream Collaboration: A live painting with the band The National in a music video in a box.
Favorite Comedians: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Ellen, Billy Crystal.
Favorite Song of All Time: Shine and The Other Side by David Gray (and I like a whole slew of music).
What is the most traumatic thing you’ve gone through? Life is a “bittersweet symphony” (dropped the microphone and walked out).
If you could tell everyone in the world something, what would it be? Stop the stigma for Mental Illness.
You can see more of Jeffrey Hale’s work on his beautiful website by following this link.