Artists and aesthetes alike attended local artist John Reno Jackson’s art show that translated themes of how migration and identity integrate for people’s own interpretations.
The show was held Saturday at Premier Tap Room in George Town.

“Migration affects the identity of people in any way, shape, or form, whether it be through gender or race,” Jackson said. “Some people identify more white or black and how to represent all of those themes in abstract portraiture gives more opportunity for people to interpret the work.”

Jackson said he wanted ‘Observations in Passing’ to highlight the process he goes through while he creates his artwork, which he said always starts with sketching oil pastel figurative reference pieces and using them to create his abstract work.

“Because a lot of my work is a lot of small glances at things when I make my paintings, I’ll have a couple of these [figurative/reference pieces]. That is what the show is about – explaining this process,” Jackson said.

John Reno Jackson stands in front of his abstract painting at his art show in George Town. – Photo: Carolina Lopez

He said that one of the hardest things to convey in a painting or portraiture is his exact artistic message, because sometimes it can contradict a society’s perceptions.

“I feel like I’ve gone from someone who has just been painting for me to more trying to paint for the community, and I noticed in this community there’s a lot of people who don’t like this or that,” Jackson said. “The focus of this show, as well, is people are supposed to step out of their comfort zones with some things they might be thinking about already.”

Among attendees were local artists Al Ebanks and Wray Banker who came to support the artist. Jackson said he sold all his paintings and figurative sketches for the show on the same day.

This is the artist’s sixth show this year.

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