Jared Plock – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Title: Change Is Contingency Is Anxiety Medium: A full set of living room furniture Size: 9' wide x 13' tall x 6' deep Year: 2014

Title: Change Is Contingency Is Anxiety
Medium: A full set of living room furniture
Size: 9′ wide x 13′ tall x 6′ deep
Year: 2014

Briefly describe the work you do. 

My practice focuses on the intersection between sculpture and drawing. Through this investigation I examine objects and our experiences of them. The objects that interest me most are the common and mundane. It is these ordinary objects that we rarely invest any thought, that have the greatest potential to incite wonder. In my work sculpture and drawing become interchangeable, feeding into and out of one another. The blurred line between drawing and sculpture creates a liminal space where I explore the cognitive and emotive properties that objects hold, while calling into question the confluence between object and subject. Within this framework perception operates as a filter and memory and language dictate the viewer’s relationship with the work. Through this semiotic engagement representations become loose affiliations. Familiarity, incongruity and absurdity meld into an abstract representation, exposing subjectivity as subject matter while delving into the body / object dynamic.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

Drawing has always been at the root of my practice, even before formal training. During my undergrad, I was attracted to printmaking because of the emphasis on drawing, however, I was also enamored with the process. Many of my early works were collage based, but my approach was that each image or fragment was a line or stroke, by combining these gestures I could create a “drawing” using found ephemera. My approach today is very similar. My practice is still very process oriented and drawing is the foundation for all of my work. Research and inspiration are expressed through drawing, acting as a translator for perception and imagination. Whether the outcome of my work is an installation, a sculpture, a print, a painting, the approach stems from a foundation in drawing and process. Drawing, unlike any other media, can embrace pure imagination; there are no rules or boundaries. 

Title: Caught Between Stations #4 Medium: Archival ink on paper Size: 18” wide x 12” tall Year: 2014

Title: Caught Between Stations #4
Medium: Archival ink on paper
Size: 18” wide x 12” tall
Year: 2014

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I have a traditional studio practice, however, my inspiration and subject matter stems from the happenstance and the ordinary. Therefore, my research is constant. 

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Early in my academic career I never envisioned becoming an educator myself. Over time I realized that immersion in academia and continuing as an educator meant being permanently engaged in learning and entrenched in the creative process. One of the most rewarding facets of the education, is that as a professor I get to go through the creative process every day with each student.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

There isn’t a time of day that is better than another, I try to get into the studio whenever I can. Even if I only have 30 minutes, I will pop into the studio to think, look over what I’m working on, and figure out what is next.

Title: Still Life #2 (Chair) Medium: Found object, oil, enamel, and polystyrene Size: 36” wide x 48” tall x 4” deep Year: 2015

Title: Still Life #2 (Chair)
Medium: Found object, oil, enamel, and polystyrene
Size: 36” wide x 48” tall x 4” deep
Year: 2015

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

From an aesthetic standpoint, my work is radically different than it was 5 years ago. However, one thing remains constant; the theme of deconstruction. Something that has always fascinated me is pulling things apart, both figuratively and literally. When I was young, about 6 or 7, I had a remote controlled car. The car worked fine. It was a great remote controlled car, however, I grew bored of the monotony of it’s one purpose and decided to dismantle the entire car. I then decided to rebuild a new car. Knowing nothing of how the car functioned, it’s new purpose was solely aesthetic. The original car survived 6 months before obsolescence took hold, the reimagined car became something that I took pride in, it became a trophy of imagination. I like to think that my practice still approaches objects and making with the same sense of wonder.

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

I often think about the circumstances that have changed my process and how I think about my work. One book that comes to mind is The Stranger,by Albert Camus. Reading that early in my academic career changed the way I thought about communication and perception. Other artists that I have found influential are: Robert Rauschenberg, John Chamberlain, Mark Bradford, Jessica Jackson Hutchinson, Trudy Benson, Eva Hesse, my mentor – Randy Bolton, and my colleagues from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I have always been focused on visual communication. 


head-shotJared Patton Plock is a visual artist based in Milwaukee, WI. He holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a MFA in Printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Jared is currently a faculty member at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Carthage College and the University of Wisconsin: Parkside.

Focussing on the intersection between the drawn and the sculpted, Jared’s practice utilizes printmaking, drawing, sculpture and installation to investigate the subject/object dynamic. The blurred line between what is a painting, drawing, and sculpture is the niche where Jared’s work resides. 



All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.



About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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