Exhibit showcases Jaquet’s portraits

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life is big and so is the art of Jonathan Jaquet.

Jaquet’s exhibition opens today at Malone Gallery on the campus of Troy University and will run through Feb. 1.

Those who attend the exhibition will be drawn to the artwork and to the man, said gallery director, Duane Paxson.

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“Jonathan’s personality comes out in his paintings,” Paxson said. “We have an annual juried art show at the Lyndon House in Athens and I first saw Jonathan’s work there in 2002. Each year after, he had one of his large paintings in the show and I was drawn to his work. When I met finally met him, I felt as though I already knew him.”

Paxson was impressed with Jaquet’s work and thought it would be great to put all of his paintings for the Lyndon House show together.

“That day has arrived and it’s going to be a great show,” Paxson said. “Jonathan’s work is representative yet stylized in a way. There’s a quirkiness his work. It’s a little surreal. Things happen in a subtle but powerful way. There is so much hidden imagery in his paintings. They intrigue me.”

Many of Jaquet’s earlier paintings have an almost sinister feeling to them, which is in stark contrast to his later work.

“The more recent paintings, which are mainly family and self-portraits, have a lighter and happier feel to them,” Paxson said. “The portrait of his family seated around the dining table is a favorite of mine and the symbolism is subtle but very interesting.”

Jaquet said there is symbolism in all his paintings and little subtleties with definitive meaning to him, such as the reoccurring scissors.

“When I was five years old, I poked my eye out with scissors,” Jaquet said. “My mother had taken the scissors away from me and I slipped back and got them.”

The scissors slipped and hit Jaquet in his eye.

“I went to my mother and asked her if I was going to be blind,” Jaquet said.

The accident did blind Jaquet in his left eye but, in so doing, it allowed him to see the world in a different way.

“With one eye, you have no depth perception and you actually draw more from life,” he said. “With both eyes, it’s hard for your hand to follow what the eyes are telling it to do.”

The quality of Jaquet’s artwork is evidence that he has no trouble telling his hand what to do.

His large family portraits are incredible artwork and those who visit the gallery will leave with a great appreciation of the artist and a liking for the man, Paxson said.

Malone Gallery is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. There is no admission fee and everyone is invited to attend the exhibition.