Jason Middlebrook gathers his creative inspiration from both nature and technology, transferring their complex relationship into works of sculpture, installation, painting, and large-scale drawing. Despite these various mediums, Middlebrook’s work consistently references art-historical traditions, styles, and movements. For instance, his sculptures crafted from hardwood planks, which he began in 2008 after relocating from New York City to Hudson, New York, feature painted abstractions. They are collisions of nature, art-making, and history that exemplify the artist’s approach.
Born in 1966 in Jackson, Michigan, Middlebrook earned a BFA from the University of California at Santa Cruz before pursuing graduate work at the San Francisco Art Institute. From 1994 to 1995, he attended the prestigious Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Middlebrook has exhibited his work extensively, including at institutions such as the New Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, MASS MoCA in North Adams, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing, among others. His work will be included in the 2014 SITE Santa Fe biennial.
Interview with the Artist
1. Who's your favorite artist?
Too hard to say but right now it's my daughter, Violet Middlebrook.
2. What's your idea of a dream home or holiday?
Something near the ocean with my kids and my wife, a small studio to work in, and a few killer golf courses nearby. Artists don't really take vacations; we have great lives and work takes us around the world.
3. What's your favorite film?
Way too hard to say; I'm a film junkie. I could watch Jaws over and over. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is in my top ten. Thin Red Line, American Graffiti, Safe, all of Croenberg's films, Deer Hunter, Raging Bull, The Big Lebowski, Simple Blood, it's endless, Apocalypse Now, Dumb and Dumber, I could go on forever, Grizzy Man for sure!
4. If not yourself, who would you want to be?
A combination of Larry Bird and Bruce Nauman.