THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JANUARY 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE
On display at Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. is a series of new abstract paintings by Jamie Mareno. In her current body of work, Mareno combines vibrant colors with textured surfaces that capture the viewer’s attention as the artist explores the interrelations between color, texture, form, materiality, and their subsequent relations with the viewer.
Using a palette of primarily red, blue, and yellow Mareno creates Incite I. Over a finely painted base layer of red acrylic paint, she rapidly applies heavy strokes of blue and yellow paint, which mixes together with the red on the canvas to create green tonal variations. There is a stunning didactic quality regarding the painting as the artist pairs the stationary, smooth texture of the red paint which dominates half of the composition with the violent, fluid brushstrokes of the yellow, blue, and green that resides in the opposite corner of the canvas. Sprinkled over the painted surface, the artist adds a fine layer of golden sparkles mixed with an acrylic gel, giving the piece a grainy texture.
The materiality of Incite II becomes the dominating factor of the fractured painting. Raised, encrusted layers of yellow paint frame the borders of the canvas, which allow for a thin layer of sky-blue paint to fill in the middle. Atop the blue paint, Mareno applies a layer of white crackle acrylic paint that splitters into hundreds of pieces as it dries. There is a sense of tranquility when viewing the work with the knowledge that the artist had no control over the final composition, as the flecks of white paint appear almost rhythmically arranged over the majority of the painting’s surface. Varying in size, the brittle flakes of white break and form individual islands among the sea of blue, resembling sheets of ice that break and float over a chilled winter lake.
The artist uses many different methods in creating the textures of her paintings. In her piece Incite III, Mareno achieves a granular quality by applying sand to the surface of the canvas and then painting over it. Again mixing pastel blue and yellow together, the artist’s heavily applied brushstrokes only adds to the final image as she mixes in sections of green along with hints of a pale pinkish-brown. One becomes mesmerized by the work as he or she observes the relationship between the colors, the contrasts of the rough and smooth surfaces, and how the lights and shadows interact with the textured surface.
Mareno’s graphic design background is prevalent in Incite IV. As in Incite I, the artist covers the entirety of the canvas in a rich red layer of acrylic paint. She then applies strong drips of black that are poured over in controlled measures, which run along the dominant crisscrossing diagonals created by the strips of black velvet ribbon that are adhered to the surface. The manner in which the artist conceals the ribbon, openly among the poured drips, almost guarantees that this aspect would be lost on anyone that gives the work a passing glance. To truly appreciate Mareno’s work, one must dedicate the time to fully examine every minute detail.
Mareno is a graphic designer, photographer, and mixed media artist from Long Island, NY. She received a Bachelors of Fine Art degree from Briarcliffe College in 2012 and is a participating artist of the New York Contemporary Art Symposium. Her artwork has been exhibited across Long Island at Briarcliffe College Gallery, Patchogue Arts Gallery, and Islip Art Museum.
The Patchogue Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts on the greater south shore of the Town of Brookhaven. The Patchogue Arts Council and Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company created the PAC Members Gallery at Roast in the summer of 2013 as an alternative exhibition venue where PAC members can exhibit their artwork. In addition to exhibiting artwork and brewing award-winning coffee, Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. hosts weekly open mic nights on Tuesdays and Fridays and a monthly poetry night on the first Saturday of every month. The Mind Unleashed: Textured Paintings by Jamie Mareno is on display at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. from January 18 – March 7, 2016, with an opening reception on Sunday, February 7, from 6 – 8pm.
Jay Schuck, Curator