Unit London is delighted to present Strata, a solo exhibition of new works by British artist Mr Jago, featuring original works in oil. The name Strata refers the complex layers in both the composition and inspiration for his abstracted paintings. As a body of work, Strata celebrates the ever-increasing depth in his pieces, and the levels of meaning conveyed through the translucence of the carefully overlain painted surfaces. Mr Jago’s take on abstraction leaves interpretation up to the spectator, inviting them to decide what lies beneath the gestural brushstrokes, drips, splatters, and scrapes. The paintings in Strata balance opposing dimensions: opposing areas of lightness and darkness evoke feelings of both love and despair, of celebration and mourning: a mirror for the viewer to use to simultaneously inspire and reflect their own emotions. Strata is Mr Jago’s second solo show at Unit London, following the success of his first sell-out solo show Nil, of 2015.
Mr Jago’s practice blurs the boundaries between the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, Contemporary Modernism, and Jago’s own formative experiences working within Bristol’s acclaimed urban art scene. His intense interest in graffiti brought him to the city, where he studied illustration, before founding the Scrawl movement in the 90s- a school of street art electing members based on their abilities with line, movement, and narrative composition.
His early paintings utilised acrylic and spray paint with technical sophistication, incorporating vibrant and saturated colours which oscillate against each other through spontaneous and gestural juxtaposition. While his roots in graffiti are clear, there is a certain transcendence to his work, an elevation to an ethereal and contemplative level that brings a sense of spiritual order within the initial chaos of his aesthetic.
Despite their abstraction, Mr Jago’s paintings are grounded in nature and the cosmos, a constant informant to the themes of his works: “love of nature has been the biggest influence [on my work], the forms and flows that exist within it seem to be appearing … more and more nowadays.” Through shape, colour, and composition, his pieces refer to physical, psychological, and mystical landscapes, possessing the element of universality accessible to anyone and everyone.