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E Pluribus Unum: Marcus Jansen's First U.S. Museum Show to Open at Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Marcus Jansen, E Pluribus Unum, 2008, Oil enamel, mixed media and collage on canvas, ©2020 Marcus Antonius Jansen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

By NOAH BECKER September, 2020

Marcus Jansen will be having his first U.S. solo museum show, opening Sept 18 at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, FL. I asked him a few questions about his working process. 

Noah Becker: When you make paintings, are you pre-planning a narrative or are you working intuitively?

Marcus Jansen: I work intuitively from beginning to end in most cases when it comes to paintings. Even if I have a subject or idea that triggers me to respond in some way visually, it’s intuition/instinct that guides my decisions; from size of the canvas to the actual process of how to use the mediums best suited for the task. If a narrative emerges, it is usually more of a natural result of the process, allowing the freedom of the work to play out and communication with the work to take place. There is no set aim when I start out other then the search to fulfill a mission.

Becker: What elements do you feel make for a successful painting?

Jansen: Generally speaking, a successful painting is in the eye of the beholder, but for a painting to work for me, three key components must be in it.

1. Impact

2. Mystique

3. Uniqueness

Becker: How do you think about the use of color in your work?

Jansen: I try not to. I use colors that are not particularly mixed or prepared. They are randomly used and usually mixed (or not) by complete accident. This is one way of achieving new color combinations and oppositions which always serve well in establishing new grounds and ways of seeing things. Establishing new color compositions is a very difficult thing, since so much has already been done in that arena. But by allowing random picks, the chance of a less rational, more emotional decision is likely. WM


Noah Becker

Noah Becker is an artist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine. He shows his paintings internationally at museums and galleries. Becker also plays jazz saxophone. Becker's writing has appeared in The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post. He has written texts for major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010). Becker's new album of original music "Mode For Noah" was released in 2023. 


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Email: noah@whitehotmagazine.com

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