Interview with Timothy Jahn

by Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Timothy_W_Jahn_Whiskey_Letters_24x20_Oil-1Hello Timothy, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?

I must have art ADD. More often than not my studio has somewhere between 7 and 10 paintings/drawings  in various stage of finish. I have a group of still life’s that I am enjoying working on and also there is a group of figure paintings that are really exciting to me. My new figurative work is giving me the chance to deal with some social commentary. I am continuing to push the limits of my skills and this work allows me to make a more meaningful commentary on modern life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: where is home, and how long have you been a painter?

Currently my wife and I are living in Anguilla, BWI. I am running Ani Art Academies Anguilla. I instruct as many as 25 apprentices at a time.  I started oil painting when I was 10, so like, 27 years. Wow time flies. I stated working with galleries at 19.


ForbiddenWould you like to tell me some about the Group Show at Rehs Contemporary?

The Sexes show is the third exhibition showcasing the work of Ani Art Academies teachers, alumni and current apprentices. The gallery asked the participants to explore ideas related to gender stereotypes and sexual identity.  It was a great project to be part of and the artists did some fantastic work. I am so excited that two of my apprentices from Anguilla, Elizardo Mojia and Tanya Clark have work in the show!

Selfie-30x30The “Selfie” entitled piece is a real shot.. Amazing colour palette and stunning composition. How did you reach the final result, would you give a brief walk through this specific workflow?

Thank you so much. It’s really nice to hear you liked the painting. The first thing I did was build the collar out of rolled toilet paper. Living on an Island you have to use what is available. A friend of mine Daryl Ruan, is a fantastic face painter. He came to the studio and I explained the idea and picked the colors. After he stopped laughing at me, he was able to do most of the painting. My wife, Holly, painted my lips and put on the false eye lashes. Before I got all done up I set up the lights, back drop and my camera on a tripod. The camera was run through my lap top so I was able to see the placement.  I have a remote trigger for the camera and when I was all set up I could take the photos. Fancyway to get to a selfie.


Timothy-W-Jahn_The-Conjuring_22Tell me some about your recent years, how has your work evolved from when you were beginning?

Every year that passes and that I am out of school, I am less concerned with technical issues. For the most part if you’rereally into representational painting the techniques are fascinating. It takes a long time to learn how to paint things convincingly. I am still learning every day but my mind is more and more  on what I am painting, rather than how.

How have you handled the business side of being an artist?

Hard to say. I was very lucky to work for a gallery in my early 20’s. That experience really has helped me. Ann Swain was the owner of Swain Galleries, the oldest gallery in NJ. She opened my eyes to the business end of things and instilled in me some good habits.


serum_of_fools-Still life, especially in your early works were very frequent… How did you decide upon some of the re-occurring themes in your work?

When setting up a still life it’s usually stuff you have or have access to. For years I have been buying interesting objects, mostly as gifts to Holly, with the intention of painting them. Sometimes if I get a really crazy idea, I will hunt stuff down. A few years a ago I flew to The states to visit a gentlemen  who had a nice collection of legit civil war guns.
Who’s the first painter that comes to your mind in a second?


Timothy-W-Jahn_la-petite-mortWhen you were 13, what did you want to be?

A nobleman. They say in American you can be whatever you want. In the end I am glad I became an artist.


Now what’s the hardest and the easiest part of your painting passion?

The hardest is time, I never feel like there is enough uninterrupted time to paint. The easy part is working, I paint every day… A bit like a runner I have too.


These days in the office turns a trick, tell me what will you do, or what would you like to do, in 5 months, 5 years, 10 years.

5 months I would like to take my next self portrait photo so I can shave off the mustache. I hope to be showing in Europe in the next 5 years. And in 10 years, I would like to be living entirely off the sale of my paintings.
Timothy-Jahn-ReincarnationSomething you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
I really want to go to Paris.


Something you want the world to know about you.

I dream about painting. When it wakes me I write the ideas down. Holly also says I laugh hysterically in my sleep, probably because my painting looks terrible.


Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.

Laziness combined with complaining about not succeeding. That really dives me nuts.
Timothy-Jahn_Whats-the-rush_oil-14x11What’s overrated/underrated today?

Choco Taco’s, they just don’t get the respect they deserve.


What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?

The Sexes show is in April at Rehs Contemporary and the Lollipop Guild show is in June at Lovetts Gallery. I would really like to schedule a one man show. It’s been a while since I have put a big group of pantings together. While they are very stressful the experience can really push you further.

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