in Collaborations , Videos | 26 AUG 22

Jammie Holmes’ Baroque Visions of the Deep South

Ahead of his debut solo exhibition ‘What We Talking About’ at Marianne Boesky, New York, the artist speaks to paying homage to his community and the artistic process as a self-taught painter

in Collaborations , Videos | 26 AUG 22
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Before garnering art-world recognition for his neo-expressionist paintings of contemporary American life, self-taught artist Jammie Holmes worked on oil fields –employment typical for inhabitants of his hometown of Thibodaux, Louisiana. Speaking to me today from his studio in Dallas, as he prepares for his debut New York solo exhibition at Marianne Boesky, Holmes draws a connection between his former occupation and his artistic practice: ‘Because I’m so used to holding things in my hands […] it feels the same,’ he tells me. ‘Except it’s more romantic to me now.’

Titled ‘What We Talking About’, Holmes’s new show marks the latest chapter in an impactful five year career that has seen the artist continue to challenge expectations with evolutions in technique and style. His visions of Deep South communities depict basketball courts and neighbourhood get-togethers painted from deliberately skewed angles and featuring loaded details that evoke a multi-faceted familiarity. The works, he tells me, ‘pay homage to people that you don’t really see in fine art’. It’s an ethos Holmes holds as central to his practice: ‘I would not be an artist,’ he adds, ‘if I couldn’t bring my community into it.’

Notable in Holmes’s new body of work are nods to art-historical movements (the baroque) and styles (chiaroscuro) that appear alongside visual codes of personal and cultural significance. Sparrows – birds whose ubiquity connects to ideas of freedom for the artist – fly above scenes that interweave individual experience with collective memory. From daily moments of joy and love to the shared grief of racial injustice, Holmes creates imagery that connects people. ‘It is my story,’ he notes, ‘but it’s everybody else’s story as well.’



‘What We Talking About’, is on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery from 8 September – 8 October 2022. For more information, visit the Marianne Boesky Gallery website here.