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jack hayes

I was born and raised in Nashville. I started painting as a child. My first commercial painting gig was at age 8, painting t-shirts with hot-rod monsters. As a teenager I was filmed building Chinese kites out of bamboo and rice-paper for a gallery opening down by the river. The bamboo stretched the rice paper enough to make a nice canvas for me to paint on. The watercolor shrinks the paper, and voila; functional flying art.

At age 19 I went to England for a year, where I fell in with an “artsy” crowd and spent a lot of time at museums – I was getting an art education without really trying to. At the time I was impressed by H.R. Giger. His art is so surreal; he’s very sensitive to the darker side of human nature. These days I’m more interested in the brighter side of human nature; the light arising out of the darkness.

I soon became more interested in the Modernists, the Abstract Expressionists , the Color Field and Non-Objective painters; artists such as Jules Olitski and Robert Motherwell. In those days I was painting portraits and doing figurative work; even though I tried, I couldn’t break through and get any more abstract than the surrealists. It was important to me to try: once I’d proven to myself that I could do portraiture, I felt I should be able to release myself into other areas.

In 2000 I met Winston Branch, a visiting professor at Kansas State University. He helped me to get past the inability to paint or draw without a figure. Branch has been acknowledged as a

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  • one of the "messenger" series

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