Jason Leonard Hoopes
I paint to understand why I paint.
When my sensual grief and private violence dance alone, this is what is left. A balance between violent rejection and elegant care. I sometimes destroy what I’ve taken time to nurturing-ly render. It's often where I find the most satisfying, exciting work, the greatest beauty. I don’t want to be ugly or violent, but I want to be honest, whole.
My work is more about how my eyes move than anything to do with my hands. My eyes are more about how my shadow moves than anything to do with my will. I want my shadow to be a child again. My paintings forgive me. I paint to find redemption for the worst in my own humanness.
I work fast. When the vision emerges it is not time for thinking. Painting is action. When a painting looks back at me with its own eyes, I stop.
It is now 5am as I finish writing this. I know why my mother preferred the dark hours of late night and early morning pre-dawn. No one expects you there. You are free to accomplish yourself. Time is pure there, clean. You are at communion with your own soul, your own God. The solitude of creation. The solitude of painting. It is in that solitude that I am free to hurt and be hurt, to cry, rage, hunt, pray, pant like a wild dog, bare my teeth, suffer and stalk, whisper at my own frequencies through the madness of my breath in words, to kill and be killed and to rise again, healed. To be wild again for a moment. My God, time does fly by so fast. It truly is later than we think.
Jason, Oakland, 2021