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Marcus Jansen: The Tao Of Modern Urban Expressionism

Marcus Janse: The Tao Of Modern Urabn Expressionism

Influenced early in life by the emerging graffiti movement in his neighborhood of Bronx, New York and later by the old German Expressionist work from the late 20th Century, as well as European culture, painter Marcus Antonius Jansen’s work has received well deserved international acclaim. The decayed structures and human forms are exemplified in the emotional strife of his urbanscapes of the poor. 

Jansen’s distortion and exaggeration through use of intense color, agitated brushstrokes and disjointed space is jarring, violent and dynamic. Either a reemergence of certain medieval art forms or of Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and the Fauvism movement, Jansen’s work is a new angle on an ancient art and is reminiscent of the movement between 1901 and 1906 where several comprehensive exhibitions were held in Paris. One of the first avant garde developments in European art, these exhibitions made Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne universally accessible. The effect was one of liberation. Painters of that time period experimented with these radical new styles. Fauvism was the first movement of this time period in which color ruled supreme, much like Jansen’s work.

“Many painters remove their ‘imperfections’ in their work, I use them to teach us what we do not know or see. It is through those imperfections that we learn,” said Jansen in an interview with Malibu Arts Journal. “Expressionism is the art of the emotive, the art of tension provoked by consciousnesses with the forces that surround mankind. The inevitability of war, the rise of Industrialism, the power of capitalism, poverty, all these things weighed on people’s minds at the beginning of the Century when Expressionism originated.”

In his forward to Modern Urban Expressionism: The Art Of Marcus Antonius Jansen, noted museum director Allan Donson writes, “I told Jansen that I believed he was the originator of a new movement, which I called Urban Expressionism, and that I believed there would be many followers in this new style. But there will be only one Marcus Jansen.”

Indeed Jansen’s works absolutely use color as an emotional force. His painterly Fauvian freedom and expressive use of color give vivid proof of his intelligent study of and influence from Van Gogh’s art. Jansen seems to directly apply the paint in aggressive strokes creating an explosion of modern expressionisitic angst. Revealing a primitive reality in his Fauve influence, Jansen seems to share a vibrant power of an unselfconscious application of color – a blend of the patterning and shape of elements.

A supreme sense of Synthetic Cubism – one of the most influential and revolutionary movements in art and a major influence on Western art – is present in these works. Radically fragemented objects; decorative shapes, stenciling and collage; flat two-dimensional surface of the picture plane; not bound to copying form; texture color and space; influences from the Spaniard Pablo Picasso and the Frenchman Georges Braque who each splintered the visual world sensuously and beautifully; breaking down subjects into a number of facets; showing several different aspects of one object simultaneously; giving the appearance of using pieces of cut up newspaper. The entire frame adds up to a sense of a past movement that is reemerging with artists the likes of Henry Eric Hernandez yet holds fast to a uniqueness all Jansen’s own.

Expressionism to the degree of Freud.

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