About Tom Jackson
Quotes About the Artwork of Thomas C. Jackson
"…there are specific American images and American traditions… Another maybe more up-to-date way of approaching this subject is American Slice 17 by Thomas Jackson …; a suburban landscape in digital media. These American Slices - including American Slice 21 and American Slice 22 – deal in a seductive way with the flood of images that surround us; the repetition, the extrapolation of formal elements, the different chunks of contemporary reality – they are all strong in their diverse compositions."
“A cluster of photographs in the show, which began to emerge as early as the initial slide review and selection, explore the American Landscape… Thomas C. Jackson’s uncanny juxtaposition of a woman’s hair curlers with nocturnal views of Las Vegas and Washington D.C., explore the stranger side of Americana.”
“Tom’s pairings and sequences rarely have literal explanations. More often, he is responding like a poet, sensing the visual relationships like rhythm, shape, or color. And in doing so he converts the images of daily life, no matter how clichéd, back into moments of wonder.”
“Jackson’s photographs are evocative of generations of important American and international photographers, while not imitative of them. His images of casual scenes within the urban environment call to mind images by André Kertész and Eugene Atget. Similarly, Lee Friedlander’s work in both the urban and natural environments also feels connected. It is perhaps Robert Frank’s seminal mid-1950s series The Americans that finds greatest resonance with Tom Jackson’s work. They seem to share the same guiding spirit in capturing the essence of what it means to be an American, albeit separated by more than fifty years. Unlike Frank, however, Jackson’s pairings and compilations create a new view of the American scene – one which captures a sense of life in the early 21st century with its emphasis on visual over-stimulation. In Jackson’s hands, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and we see our own world with fresh eyes.
“The paintings of Cedar Rapids artist Tom Jackson display the contrast and similarities between two well-known Iowa pastimes: political involvement and state fairs. Iowa's caucuses and early primaries signal the start of a long political season that features prominently in presidential campaigns. State fairs represent activism on a different level, an annual tradition of participation and interaction. Both share crowds of people, over-the-top marketing, and a sensory overload that are all explored through Jackson's large-scale paintings."
“…a sly nod to traditional views of Americana”
“…will inspire the viewer to pause and reflect upon carefully chosen Americana images… These pieces demand attention and thought; some even bordering on controversial.”
“…turns his eye to the social and topographical landscape… depict scenes that may be mundane, but they’re also numinous… the diptychs juxtapose scenes and objects in a manner that’s at once unexpected and somehow obvious… the net effect is both memorable and deeply ambiguous…”
“There is no code to figuring them out. There is only the presentation, and viewers can make their own guesses about what Jackson is suggesting… -- like photos on a magazine page without a written explanation to make sense of them… The intrigue keeps a viewer interested…”
(About the work of Thomas C. Jackson and Priscilla Steele in two-person show) “Both masterful. Working with the same models at the same time, they each have taken their perspectives in different directions. The human figure is the springboard of the visual conversation that occurs between the two artists. Each artist, in their own way, have pushed the work to abstraction.”
“I see the entire exhibition as an installation that engages the viewer as a single work of art. Rather than viewing individual pieces with considerable wall space between them, Jackson fills the room with almost an overload of visual information. Our selective mind and eye then filters it out and makes connections amongst the images evoking beauty, emotions, and memories. Each viewer takes from the show his/her own personal emotional history that the show has produced for them.”
“At Moberg Gallery, Thomas Jackson’s “Child’s Play” continues a 40-day run providing an ironic look at the ambiguity of American character. For a decade now, Jackson has been composing stacked images that consider a subject from seemingly incongruous points of view. His choice of subjects has been influenced by Robert Frank’s mid 1950’s series, ‘The Americans,’ … Jackson has been trying to do the same thing for the new millennium. While most of his imagery began as a photographic safari, he now translates much of it into paintings and ink brush drawings… The dominant ambiguity of Jackson’s new show stacks images of child’s play with deadly serious stuff like handguns, violence, sex and advertising.
“…enigmatic pairings of photos…”
“Jackson’s show… immediately reminded me of Robert Frank’s photographs, “The Americans.” And there is a visual relationship – with a skewed twist.
“Jackson works between the edges of realism and abstraction. In his paintings, he often concentrates highly realistic detail into specific sections of his compositions, especially the candidates. He frequently leaves the rest of the painting loose and unfinished, as if these areas are unimportant because they’re not in the camera’s eye.”
“The Cedar Rapids artist keeps pushing doors down and merging diverse media.”