Clash: An Organised Explosion Of Colours

By Catarina Wilk

Beyond question, landscape painting is a fascinating art genre with an impressively long tradition. Originated in ancient times when Greeks and Romans started creating wall paintings of landscapes and gardens, many more artists followed this route over the last hundreds of years.
We all remember the sublime art works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Thomas Cole, Claude Lorrain and, of course, Vincent van Gogh which all left their individual mark on this art genre.

Jacob van Ruisdael. Landscape with Dune and Small Waterfall. 1643-1682.

Claude Lorrain. The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba. 1648.

Vincent Van Gogh. Garden at Arles / Flowering Garden with Path. 1888.

In 2015, colourful and artistic paintings on walls or on huge canvases continue this old tradition (which still exists in its original form), but in a different and modern way. We all have seen this kind of visual art multiple times in public areas. And no, we are not talking about simple smearing which are more considered as vandalism. We are talking about real art, namely street art, which shares quite an impressive amount of contributors as well as fans.

A clash of tradition and modernness. That’s how you can describe UK street artist Duncan “Mr” Jago’s colourful art work.
It is his abstract and very modern response to the great tradition of landscape painting that make his paintings so unique.
Whereas the 17th century – the birth of the classical landscape painting – was mainly characterised by the exact positioning of objects in order to create a harmonious, balanced and timeless impression, street artist Mr Jago has a completely different creative approach.

Mr Jago. Miami 2010.

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Mr Jago. Triptych. NIL 2015.

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Carbon Farmers, Acrylic and Spraypaint on canvas. NIL 2015.

His examples of landscapes show extremely vivid colours which are mixed and even layered on the canvas. When taking a closer look at his work, it is striking that the artist creates a balance between spontanity and instinct on the one hand, and organisation on the other hand.
By doing this, Jago’s work gives a large margin for imagination and creativity. His art work is very thought-provoking indeed…what do you see…?

His current exhibition NIL runs from 23 October to 20 November 2015 at Unit London.

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