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Jimi Gleason: The Reflected Painterly Surface

Automatic Slims by Jimi Gleason

The works are striking upon entering the gallery. In an alchemy of silver nitrate and acrylic-coated canvases, the gallery was alight with pastels backed by a black canvas and silver coated acrylic in a variation of many colors. This new set of works by California artist Jimi Gleason is titled Reflected and Absorbed and is currently on exhibition at William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station, Santa Monica through January 13, 2018.

Gleason uses a technique of impasto combined with silver nitrate to create large works of art. These luminous surfaces react with light and change with the point of view. In the video below, Gleason shows how he creates these works. This is a process he has been refining for decades.

(Q&A of Reflected & Absorbed with Gleason below video)






MAJ: What’s your process to create these? How do you do it?

GLEASON: It’s very simple. Its acrylic on canvas, then its chemically electro-plated silver nitrate over the top of the acrylic. Then I finish it with a clear lacquer finish. The silver nitrate is sprayed on. But its’ chemically elctro-plated, so that helps all the chemicals go through and do all the magic that they need to do. 

MAJ: Is the electro-plating, is that how you make al the different colors? Some are gold, some are rainbow?

GLEASON: OK good point. After they’re electro-plated with the silver nitrate, then I color them with a transparent lacquer paint. Since they’re transparent, the brilliance of the silver comes through the color coat. That’s how they stay so brilliant.  

MAJ: How do you keep the colors separate, like in Automatic Slims? You have blue, then black, and orange and then red? How did you keep all those colors separate?

GLEASON: Those are all just taped off. Very simply, just taped off. On Automatic Slims you can see it is blended a little bit, but that is just sprayed over the top. The section on the right there is just completely taped off.

MAJ: Who are your influences?

GLEASON: I have a ton. Ed Moses, Tony DeLap, Larry Bell, a lot of west coast mojo. Mary Corse, Bruce Marden.


Gleason Mini-Bio:


Artist Jimi Gleason

Jimi Gleason was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated with a BA in Fine Art from UC Berkeley in 1985, later moving to New York. Upon his return to California, Jimi worked as a studio assistant for renowned abstract painter, Ed Moses.


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