Jarvis Brookfield on his psychedelic and tangy paintings, dreamlike states and what it means to be human

His latest series, titled Inaquien, is based on a coined word meaning “inner knowledge”. It is inspired by Jarvis’ personal experiences induced by entheogens – substances known to alter our perception, mood, awareness, cognition or behavior, and often used in spiritual development. You know, mushrooms, cacti, plants – that sort of thing.

In this case, Jarvis is experimenting to ask life’s deepest questions: Why are we here? Is all of this real? And why is it possible to experience different states of mind of being awake or asleep? These are difficult questions for anyone to understand. But it’s undoubtedly nice to see Jarvis’ attempts to make sense of it all, put the brush on the canvas, and let his imagination run wild. We spoke to Jarvis about his practice, his spirituality and his dreams, and how he hopes to inspire a sense of awe and wonder.

So, first of all, I love your job. Can you describe your style?

Thank you so much! Right now, I feel like it’s all about creating fantasy worlds that I hope people get lost in, if only for a moment. They are bright and colorful. Fluid, psychedelic, dimensional and communicates a feeling of vitality and abundance. Some people commented on how spiritual they felt, and others also pointed out a sense of fluidity and vitality.



I feel like it’s a really happy acid trip. Surely you seem curious about the states to be changed?

Haha! Yes. Every morning from an early age, whenever she had the chance, my mother shared with us her detailed and curious dreams. I have always enjoyed them more than any story in a book and loved listening to them. I still hear a few of her here and there when we are chatting on the phone or when I see her.

But I think listening to them and appreciating them so early on impressed me with the curiosity for the inner worlds. I have also always had an intense dream life, and experienced a lot of sleep paralysis while growing up, followed by several lucid dreams. But my first encounter with a psychedelic experience in Amsterdam baffled me. I remember turning off the lights in my hotel room, closing my eyes, and watching a vast, bright, shining, golden light in what looked like a Ferris wheel spinning and tumbling in front of me. Since then, I have had several experiences that have shown me that there is much more to life than I could have imagined.







What are these personal experiences you are talking about?

I’m talking about my psychedelic experiences. The images and places to which my mind was taken and shown are utterly baffling, but not unusual for the millions of other people who have ventured into the inner worlds. But beside the visions. Voices during these experiences whispered to me and offered suggestions that, after integrating and integrating, changed my life for the better.

Do you dream of painting? Is this where some of your inspiration comes from?

Yes, I sometimes dream of painting. Sometimes I work on one, and in others I have been in the painting, surrounded by it. I have also seen glorious paintings that have since faded in my memory that I wish I could paint! And I can’t say for sure whether it comes or doesn’t come from my dreams, but if it does then it comes indirectly because I was never obliged after a dream to paint what was going on there. .

I remember seeing a vast, bright, shining, golden light in what looked like a Ferris wheel … Since then, I have had several experiences that have shown me that there is much more to life than what I could have imagined.




Besides your art, where else do you quench your thirst for this subject?

Listening to Terence Mckenna’s lengthy speeches on YouTube (God bless whoever recorded them) he is such a captivating speaker. Reading and contemplation also satisfy my hunger. I regularly spend time meditating and remembering, which I couple with a journal and questioning. But I’m currently reading Brian Muraresku’s “The Immortality Key – The Secret History of the Religion With No Name” – it’s a fascinating book that uncovers how psychedelics played a role in the origins of Western civilization and possibly religion.

Your work is so colorful – do you know which palette you’ll be using before you start a piece, or does it just evolve?

It’s a little mix of the two. For most of the paintings in this body of work, I was looking for sacred spaces, especially mosques like those in Uzbekistan and Iran. And what I fell in love with was the feeling of how the colors interact with each other because of the intricate patterns. So I used a lot of these colors as the base models for my color palettes and adjusted them slightly. But when I started to lay them on the canvas, they started to change and evolve as if the painting had its own plan.

Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

Not really. I never knew what an artist was. And the perception I had of what an artist could be was what I had heard about Davinci. I remember that was the only artist name I knew, and even so, I don’t think I was aware that he was creating paintings. So the idea of ​​being a full time artist only entered my thought sphere about 3-4 years ago.







What inspirations still inspire your work today since childhood?

One of the first books that obsessed me around the age of 4/5 was a visual encyclopedia from publisher DK. I walked through it constantly, and this book inspired a feeling of joy for the inner world of objects because the images it contained were of all things in this world but broken down. There were ships, phones, buildings, animals, the human body, and more. And today, as I create work, this imaginary of the internal dynamics or the structure of forms that I create in my work is always at the forefront of my thinking. But a lot of my early inspirations, such as Spiderman, motocross bikes, Grand Theft Auto, football boots, and all the other stuff, don’t directly inform my work today.

Did you find that the paint helped you get through the pandemic, or did the brush not budge?

Yes, that helped a lot. Being creative has always been a kind of escape for me in life, and in the first 6-12 months after the first lockdown when the media escalated the fear, I unwittingly doubled my creative time and created a lot of job . Most were not necessarily completed work, but what has become most important to me during this time is the process because I started to see his lessons, which teaches you a lot about being present, calm down and let go of your expectations and attachment to results. . These are lessons I’m continually learning, but they acted as gentle reminders of what’s important and kept me grounded during the lockdown.

Jarvis Brookfield’s Inaquien will be his first solo show, launched on September 17 at the LCB Depot in Leicester. Find out more at jarvisbrookfield.com or follow him on Instagram.

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