Jason Seife paints persian carpets. Yes, you might need a second to digest that. The intricate details and patterns are outstanding and we had to know more about the process and inspiration behind Jason's work.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up?
I grew up in Miami, Florida, with parents of both Cuban and Lebanese descent.
How did your path as an artist begin? What was your inspiration and/or driving force?
I knew I wanted to be an artist from a very young age. When I was 10 years old, my art teacher realized I drew well and recommended I apply to a special arts school. I did and attended for a few years and fell in love with painting. I hit a rough patch in high school where I was denied entry into an arts program that I wanted to attend. At the time I took it quite roughly and stopped painting for a few years. During that period I taught myself how to play guitar and began writing music. I did that for a few years before returning to my true passion in visual arts.
What led you to paint persian carpets? And how long does one artwork take?
I've been drawn to the imagery my whole life, its meaning. its symmetry, the craftsmanship and detail etc. All those things drew me into it and it currently takes me about 2 months to complete a painting
Do the different persian carpets have hidden meanings? Or are the designs purely based on aesthetic?
They all have hidden meanings, much like the original weavers who would select certain colors and materials to represent where and when the rugs were made. I have a chart of certain colors and certain motifs that I use to reflect what emotions I'm feeling while creating the painting. Since they take a few months to make, my state of mind can change a lot from when I started the painting to when I finished it. It's great to be able to look back and see how my emotions may have changed throughout the process and to be able to reflect on the ups and downs of life. It essentially creates a hidden language embedded in the painting.
You've exhibited in quite a few exhibitions. Can you name the most important one for you? And how was the publics reaction to your artwork?
My most important one so far is my current exhibition at Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami, it's my first time showing locally and it's my first time showing the new rug paintings. The feedback has been amazing and I'm thrilled to be able to show the world what I've been working on for the past year.
What are your future plans?
I will have new paintings at Context Art Fair during Art Basel Miami and will have more shows coming in 2017 with a possible solo show. So next year will be quite a busy and exiting one for me.
Jason Seife is currently represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery in Florida.
Images courtesy of the artist