MLZ arts gal about town Ha Na attended opening night of the ROAM Gallery group show on August 30th which featured Jalaa Leis Wanless, Monique Hurteau, Zsuzi Ambramson and Jack Wass. Enthralled with his work, she interviewed him post show regarding his work and artistic practice.

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Jack Wass as photographed by Allan Arcangel.

Ha Na: Good evening Mr. Wass! What is the inspiration behind your work?

Jack: Well the series of paintings I recently exhibited at The ROAM Gallery are tributes, I guess. So my inspiration for the subjects is admiration. Whether that be a past love, an expected birth, or someone who has impressed me with their own developing success.

Ha Na: That’s very beautiful. What is your creative process and has it transformed over time and how?

Jack: The first painting I did in this style, a year ago, was simply an experiment. By comparison to my most recent pieces, I can find flaws in it, but it is still one of my favorites. I have always preferred black and white photography over color, so I aimed to transfer that simplicity onto canvas, and so I began to play with the concept of posterizing the images I took.

I love the bold contrast of that style and was pleasantly surprised how well it looked in  paint. I have set up a very rudimentary studio in my apartment, and after editing the photographs on Photoshop, I print the image and then draw them onto the canvas. As each painting has evolved, I have honed my technique


Ha Na: Name three of your favorite artist that you hold close to heart.

Jack: My three favorite artists? That’s a tough one. Well, I’d say comfortably at pole position is Jack Vettrianno. I have been a huge fan of his work and the story behind how he started painting. Plus I love the eras in which he paints. That classic look. It’s a ‘Golden Age’ for me. Next I would have to say Edgar Degas. His paintings of the ballet dancers were almost like a snapshot in time and the lighting was so dramatic and elegant. Very clever indeed.  Finally, Henri Matisse. Again, akin to the bold styling of his gouaches découpés. I find that his work really jumps.

Ha Na: What message or personal interpretation of your work would you wish to share with your audience?

Jack: Well I like the idea of intimacy. I like the idea of my work bringing the viewer up close and personal, without it being invasive.

Ha Na: All you’re paintings are of women from your new collection, is there perhaps a point of feminism present in your work socially?

Jack: I’m smiling here. Yes, I have had that point brought up a few times. The story behind the work is simply one of appreciation.

Ha Na: Do you feel your background in photography has influenced the way you view your subject?

Jack: You know, I’d never thought of it that way, but yes, it has. With hats tipped to the aforementioned Degas, I’m trying to show a snapshot. A brief moment with a back story for the viewer to ponder over.

Ha Na: What would you like people to take away from your work?

Jack: A smile!

Ha Na: What is a medium you aspire to challenge or work with in the future?

Jack: Well I’m actually very happy with oils for the foreseeable future. With the negative space in my work, I like to use a hatching which gives a little depth, and the oils I use are perfect for that.

Ha Na: What can audiences expect from Jack Wass in the future?

Jack: Well, I’m a bag of ideas right now! There will be a series of idols, a series of erotica, a series of copied renowned art, and a series of love, to name but a few. A friend of mine recently said that I’d found my style, having been painting for most of my life. So with that in mind; I want to paint as much as I physically can. I want to push my abilities and see what I can come up with. I find this all very exciting indeed.

Ha Na: Well we all certainly keen to witness more of your art in the days ahead. Thank you, Mr. Wass so much for taking the time to give audiences a deeper understanding of your work and practice.

Jack: Thank you Ha Na, I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me.

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Photographed at ROAM Gallery by Ha Na. Right: Writer Marilyn Wilson and ROAM Gallery owner Jennifer Daerendinger.

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Photographed at ROAM Gallery by Ha Na. Left: Artist Yves Descary. Right: Ha Na with showing artist Jaala Leis Wanless.

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Photographed at ROAM Gallery by Ha Na. Left: Jack Wass, MLZ founder Angela Krewenchuk & MLZ Editor-In-Chief Helen Siwak.

The ROAM Gallery is always looking for fresh talent to showcase! Contact them through their FB page here: