Jesse works in multiple mediums, on multiple substrates. Surreal landscapes that twist, and turn, and become animated through perspective are the makeup of his alternate reality. Through use of a saturated palette, and dynamic light source, combined with distorted spatial issues, a unique, whimsical feeling is evoked in his work. The compositions are sometimes compared to scenes from "Alice in Wonderland," Toon Town in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," and sometimes likened to the unique worlds of Escher or Salvador Dali.
Jesse draws inspiration from the impressionists for their use of color to express light and their actual application of paint on the canvas, techniques that continue to impress, awe, and influence him. Surrealists like Rene Magritte have left an indelible mark on Jesse by creating realities where there are no rules. He appreciates Caravaggio and other Baroque-Era painters for their dynamic use of light, and painters like Salvador Dali who create expansive landscapes with un-ending space through use of perspective. Modern street-art, and grafitti also heavily influences his work, complimentary colors, and seemingly 3-D compositions being the attributes that interest him. Comic books, concert poster art, product label art, the list of visual inspirations is endless.
In addition to his fine-art, he enjoys creating functional design that contains elements of his aesthetic, ideology and style. Commercial signage, logos, visual branding, personalized shoes, beer can labels, not much is off limits. Working with his hands to physically create, the production side of design is very fulfilling and therapeutic for him. The entire process is satisfying.
Simply, he enjoys creating worlds one can escape to, in his fine art. With his perspective typically expanding outwards, a viewer is immersed into the landscape, traveling from the real world to his. It's a journey that he creates, with his hands through his brush. Take the trip!
Who is jjm4?
Jesse Johnson Morgan IV a.k.a. jjm4 is a fine-artist living in Northfield, MA, originally from Amherst, MA. He has always been a drawer/doodler since he was young. His parents would consistently buy him colored pencils, markers, drawing pads and other miscellaneous materials for the holidays. He is thankful that they cultivated his artistic aspirations from a young age and made accessible, materials for creating. After filling multiple sketchbooks in his pre-adolescent years, he attended The Williston Northampton School, graduating in 2001. New materials, and different mediums were available to him there. Jesse took multiple electives in his time at Williston, choosing design classes such as architectural drawing, life drawing, and finally painting during his senior year. He took to painting naturally, being able to manipulate a medium with a brush, visualize a final product, and take the necessary steps to make the concept become whole on the canvas, a finished product which was inherently his,
Jesse continued his interest in the visual-arts while attending Lafayette College in Easton, PA. He began college as an Economics/Business major to start, while fulfilling his core-curriculum, and taking multiple electives, which included almost all visual-arts classes. The beauty of a liberal-arts college is that, through a diverse curriculum, a student gravitates toward a field that is most fulfilling. Thus, halfway through college, he had changed his major from Economics to Studio-Art, a decision that would ultimately change his life. Throughout Jesse's time at Lafayette, he continued to gain knowledge and skills in the visual arts, honing his own personal craft. He grew confidence apprenticing under multiple professional artists, working as a Teacher's Assistant, and having success in his individual assignments.
Jesse's studio classes were fulfilling on a personal level. He was motivated and eager to produce new work and grow as an artist. His career priorities had changed, and the idea of the future had shifted from crunching numbers behind a desk 9-5, to creating representations of himself through art, and having a need for a creative outlet working with his hands. After multiple Internships, independent studies, art-histories, teacher's assistant jobs, public art instalations, and curated shows, Jesse graduated Lafayette College in 2005 with a BA in Studio Art. Thus, his professional career was launched as a fine artist, designer, and maker.
Jesse strives for continuous growth as an artist, always learning new techniques and skills as he seeks out new ways of looking at the world, experience that influences his personal design. He creates compositions that brighten the dreary, and monotonous routines of daily life. He lives in this alternate dream world, and finds solace. Jesse has a strong desire to share his work with others, in hopes that they too can enter into his world and be fulfilled with the journey.
The Williston Northampton School 2001
Lafayette College B.A. Studio Art 2005
Proficient with stretching canvas, matting, framing, working with large tools and machinery. Experienced with the Adobe Suite, other design platforms including flexi-sign, and multiple production managers for wide-format printing. Experienced working with wide-format printing on materials including, but not limited to, different papers, vinyl, banner stock, canvas, magnet, and t-shirt transfer materials. (Roland, Epson, Mimaki) Experienced with digital photography and editing.
"I am an illustrator, painter and sculptor and am well rounded in my own personal design practices. I personalize shoes, creating functional art. I design and create commercial signage and digital branding, and unique art for beer can labels. I also design and paint murals. I am a man of many hats!"
Additional Work Experience
TEACHER'S ASSISTANT; LAFAYETTE COLLEGE EASTON, PA - 2003-2005 Beginning and Intermediate painting; responsible for setting up the room, making materials available, providing individual student help emphasizing the requirements and purpose of the project. Administer and participate in weekly critiques. Evaluate student work with the professor throughout the assignment.
GALLERY ASSISTANT; GROSSMAN GALLERY LAFAYETTE COLLEGE EASTON, PA - 2004
Assisted gallery curator and professional artists in organization of multiple shows. Constructed and prepped walls and problem solved with the installation of unique artwork. Organized, designed, and sent out marketing materials for opening receptions. Helped run opening receptions. Prepped various fine art for shipping.
PAID INTERNSHIP; R. MICHELSON GALLERY; NORTHAMPTON, MA - SUMMER 2005
Responsible for data entry and cataloging of fine art. Assisted in various daily duties around the gallery. On-site assistant for events. Met artists and gained experience in a for-profit environment. Assisted framing shop.
SIGN SHOP PRODUCTION ASSISTANT; MOUNT SNOW RESORT WEST DOVER, VT - 2005-2007
Responsible for production, application and installation of signs, banners, marketing visuals, and other various visual information on multiple substrates using a variety of materials. Gained experience working with wide-format, print and cut eco-solvent printers, vinyl, lamination and heat press applications. Gained experience working with design programs such as Flexi-Sign, Adobe Suite and color theory across a variety of printed mediums.
SIGN SHOP PRODUCTION ASSISTANT; SIGN-A-RAMA WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA - SUMMER 2008
Responsible for production, application, and installation of signs, banners, marketing visuals, and other various visual information on multiple substrates using multiple materials. Gained experience working in a commercial sign shop, with emphasis on customer service. Assisted in production of light boxes, and vehicle graphic wraps. Responsible for prompt delivery and installation of signs.