“I’m a punk-rock kid,” says artist and musician Jacob Bannon. The 38-year-old, who lives and works in his home just outside of Boston, brings his gritty, hardcore aesthetic to CO Exhibitions this Saturday. “Fragments,” his solo show of mixed-media and screenprint work, runs through October 23.
Bannon attended the Art Institute of Boston, where he found himself drawn to design and photography. He graduated in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, and initially worked as a freelance designer for firms in the Boston area before branching out to do his own art.
“I come from a design perspective where everything I see influences me, even if I don’t like it,” he says. “I look at design, patterns, and the implementations of the idea in everything.”
Early on in his career, Bannon was influenced by metal music, skateboard, and BMX cultures. For many years, his paintings, drawings, and mixed-media work evoked the high-contrast, iconographic flyers from the ‘80s and ‘90s underground music scene.
Bannon has been involved in the music scene as much, if not more, than he has in the art scene. His metalcore band Converge has been churning out music for over 25 years, and has released eight studio albums and multiple EPs. Bannon has been their art director, creating album art for the group and for other bands as well. In 2000, he founded Deathwish, a counterculture record label, with Tre McCarthy.
Bannon now divides his time between these many artistic endeavors. He has exhibited across the country, but for his show in Minneapolis, he’s teaming up with Burlesque of North America to create one-of-a-kind silkscreen prints, some of which he’ll be working on just days before the exhibit opens. Also on display will be three large original mixed-media pieces, which he says represent a brighter, crazier, happier aesthetic. It's a change from his previous bodies of work, which tend toward the morbid, even gory, end of the spectrum.
“I used to work with limited palettes, where I would say, ‘Just these two, three colors,’” Bannon explains. “But in the last year, I went a little more wild.”
The new prints are made with a combination of high-gloss black UV ink, translucent ink, and neon ink with dry-brushing, splatter, and spray-bottle techniques.
“Everything around me influences me,” Bannon says of the origins of his inspiration. “Life influences me. That’s kind of a cop-out answer, but it’s true.”
IF YOU GO:
Jacob Bannon’s “Fragments”
There will be an opening reception Saturday, September 26 from 7 to 10 p.m.
1101 Stinson Blvd. #2, Minneapolis
Through October 23