Twisted Narratives: The Inside Out World of Jake Grewal.

By Camilla Iannucci

The current artistic landscape is incredibly varied and conceptual, partly because of the numerous ways artists re-elaborate reality, each artist with their own view of things. The young artists’ gaze, however, often transmits a desire for creative difference. There are endless viewpoints people can elaborate on the world but today the spotlight is on Jake Grewal’s. With a Neo-Romantic perspective, the London-based artist has his first institutional solo exhibition: ‘Jake Grewal: Some days I feel more alive’. Giving us an example of how it feels to experience the world through the eyes and feelings of a rising creative talent. Read more about Grewal’s work here in Twisted Narratives: The Inside Out World of Jake Grewal.

Main Photo: Annie Tobin

The forthcoming exhibition will display a new body of works by Grewal, a mixture of raw charcoal drawings and paintings. The works portray self-reflective figures, impulsively bringing an inside world in from the outside.

With a fresh way of elaborating figures, the landscapes consume the characters that appear limitless as they become one with the background. The artist strongly encourages the viewers to interpret the pieces in their own way.

By doing that, the viewers elaborate on the paintings merging both the artist’s viewpoint and theirs. As we experience art as a collective, the work wants to convey a sense of ambiguity. When at the exhibition, we are all one with the paintings in the same way the characters in them are one with what’s around them.

Jake Grewal, Eaten // Fled Tears, 2021.© Jake Grewal. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: Richard Ivey

Grewal’s narrative sways through the attention to detail in his paintings. The choice of negative space in the works, creates a sense of intimacy between human beings and nature, with nature being an allegory of the human experience.

In Grewal’s work lies a strong interest in the expansion of the concept of time passing. Although hard to portray, time passing influences the paintings in an almost claustrophobic way. With the dreamy, confusing visuals the artist explores time stretching and shrinking. Once again, is clear how feelings regulate his artistic world, although figures aren’t clear and images are not sharp, everything is highly emotionally impactful. His paintings throw the viewer into a chaotic, but somehow harmonic, inner world experienced emotionally differently by each one of the viewers.

There’s a pattern in the colours as well. The palette recalls historic photographic image-making, showing once again how the representation of time is a muse for the artist.

Regardless of how differently people perceive the artworks, the artist insists on creating a space, through his pieces, that communicates a sense of confusion everyone can sense. The soft shape of the bodies and the whimsical colours describe the gaze of a young artist trying to describe a transitional phase of his life, where the present is baffled and the future unknown. In his artistic world, time is inevitably passing and yet things don’t seem to get any clearer.

It’s getting harder to express something in a way that hasn’t been explored at all yet. The whole point of artistic practices is, however, to express your most authentic self as that definitely is still unknown. Grewal’s work speaks about the unveiled and vulnerable reality of a queer, young artist facing the frustrating outer world.

Grewal’s exhibition, ‘Jake Grewal: Some Days I Feel More Alive’ will run from 28 October 2023 to 21 April 2024 at Pallant House Gallery Chichester here. It will also feature a display, curated by Grewal, of works by several British Neo-Romantic artists.
You can get familiar with Grewal’s work here.

If you enjoyed reading Twisted Narratives: The Inside Out World of Jake Grewal, why not read RMZ Foundation; Pioneering Art’s Journey From Gallery to Street.

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