Interview with J.F. Lynch

1/There’s a great amount of movement in Some Produce and Stranger Glances, which is impressive since you capture that animation in both charcoal and oil paint. Is that an effect that you strive for in all your work or was it a facet of this specific pair?

It really depends on the subject of the picture. Movement was an important aspect for both of those pieces. Some Produce, for example, is primarily about a still life; a bowl of fruits and veggies.  I was staring at these plants and thinking about their individual forms. How the curve of a banana tells the story of its growth and the gnarly top shows how it was twisted and torn free from its bunch. Each item–cucumber, zucchini, tomato–contained in itself the evidence of where it came from and how it got here. To really look at it was to watch it grow and arrive. Calling such a grouping “still” seemed grossly inappropriate. So the letters of that word are tucked around the forms in the picture.

But on the whole the presence of movement in my work has become more important. Whether it manifests as the appearance of a moving object or the movement of my hand rendering a stationary object, I think movement is a defining characteristic of a thing.

2/You have an undergraduate degree in illustration and will soon be completing your MFA in painting. Does your background in illustration lead to any themes in subject matter or composition choices?

Most definitely. One thing that I find many fine arts educations lack is the tenets of visual storytelling. At least this was the case when I was an undergrad, it may not be as true as it once was. But having studied illustration at that time allowed me to assimilate certain fundamentals of picture making, particularly treating a picture as a narrative. This heavily informs my compositions. I have a flittering notion that illustrators preserved many of the most important organizational techniques of both the Classical and Renaissance periods when Modern art had little use for them.

3/How does literature affect your work?

Whereas literature used to be an inspiration for my paintings, my recent drawings and paintings are in many ways an exploration of painting as literature. Seeing what it can mean to write in illusion, which is probably an asinine way of saying that I am testing the relationships between a real object, a written word, a drawn object, and a “real” word (spoken or thought).

4/Sum up your work in apt in five words: go!

No, really, what is that?

J.F. Lynch’s work can be seen in the first print issue of apt, which can be purchased here.



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