Scientist by day, Artist by night

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I saw an interesting article on artist Ulysses Jackson, whose day job is working as a “paint formulator” for Golden Artist Colors in New Berlin, NY (upstate New York, west of Albany). The job description has as much, if not more, aspects of chemistry as it does art, with Jackson working with binders and dispersants. What is a dispersant, you might ask? “A dispersant is processed to deflocculate solid particles excellently and lower the viscosity of dispersion. These dispersing agents are essentially used to produce stable solution without leaving space for viscosity instability.” If that makes sense to you, then I guess you’re qualified to work alongside Ulysses Jackson.

The article linked above discusses the job with Jackson, and briefly asks him about his own artwork. When he said that his work resembles “blackboards in a chemistry lab,” I had to take a look for myself, since the original article doesn’t show any of his art. (scroll down for more, below this dual picture of Jackson at work, and more-mysteriously, a blurry shadow of Jackson in his art studio)

artist Ulysses Jackson at work and in the studio

The other thing that Jackson mentioned that captured my interest is: “Some works look like what you might find in New York City alleys, with torn posters and graffiti and the history of the culture. People ask where I get my collage materials even though it’s all paint.” Since I have taken a lot of pictures over the years of torn posters and graffiti, I was curious to see what these works looked like. Here’s a few examples of his work below: at left, “Ivory Song,” 2006; at right, “Restless Wave,” 2007. I wish I could see these up close and in person, because they do look like actual torn posters … it’s amazing to think these are only paint!

collage paintings by Ulysses Jackson

To learn more about Ulysses Jackson and his art work, including some great paintings that are more-current than the ones posted above, check out his website here.

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