When Real and Surreal Collide - Jason Brueck steers away from the norm with his digital artworks
Sep 23, 2015 04:12PM
If you sat across this happy-go-lucky guy who is excitedly telling you that he quit his well-salaried job as an attorney to become an artist on the road, you would think he is … a genius!
And that is because for Jason Brueck there was only one option and that was to pursue his artistic passion. Even though such passion came later in life for the self-taught artist.
This surrealistic story begins in Chicago, where Brueck was born. At the age of 5, the artist’s family moved to sunny Southwest Florida and Brueck transitioned into a young man with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. He graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 1999, and then followed with a law degree from Villanova University School of Law in in Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 2002.
After securing a very exciting desk job in a prestigious Philadelphian firm, he figured that life was set; and it wasn’t until 2008, when searching for artwork for his living room walls sparked an intriguing interest that led to an unexpected world of possibilities. “I could make these myself!”—was the thought, and, boy, did he.
Brueck bought his first digital manipulation software that year and began dedicating lots of his after-work time to studying the process. He immersed himself in the art scene of the area, beginning a progressive art production and showing his first pieces only to friends and family. A local bar, which the artist frequented, provided the first official space to showcase the experimental artwork. Visitors loved his creative approach and the feedback motivated the artist to pursue even more potential opportunities.
Later that same year, Brueck ventured to secure a spot at a small outdoor event in his neighborhood. “I was so nervous because I was not sure if people were going to like my artwork,” recalls the artist, whose nervousness turned into even more motivation when he sold more than two-thirds of his inventory during the event. With recharged confidence came more artistic development. He went as far as co-owning a small art gallery in the Old City neighborhood in Philadelphia; all while maintaining his steady day job at the law firm and regularly participating in art festivals around the country.
The next obvious step? In January 2014, Jason Brueck resigned from his job as an attorney and became a full-time artist. “I needed to find my crowd,” says Brueck, referring to a steady clientele that seeks the type of art he creates. “I also needed time to develop myself and my style and I did not want to necessarily cater to a venue or event,” adds the artist, who admits to enjoy presenting what he describes as darker and edgier artworks. “You can call my art anything you want, but you can’t call it boring,” Brueck says about his unequivocally intriguing masterpieces.
The wit and talent of Jason Brueck is remarkable; not to mention his determination to pursue a career in which most find success a bit evasive. However, in the relatively short span of his artistic endeavors, Brueck has received a significant amount of accolades, such as best in show at the 2012 Woodbury Fall Arts Festival in Woodbury, New Jersey; a merit award in the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and a first-place ribbon at the 2014 ArtiGrass Arts Festival in Jupiter, Florida. Nowadays, the artist participates in approximately 27 art festivals per year, including the Fort Myers Art Fest.
“I am a member of what I’ve come to realize is a pretty large contingent of people who find that Jason Brueck’s art resonates with the very core of subconscious,” says art collector Peter Milos. “More than just beautiful and thought-provoking, each image seems to transport me to a dream state that I have experienced before, and that same experience has been related by other people unsolicited in conversation,” explains Milos, who owns original pieces by the artist.
Considering himself a native of Southwest Florida, Brueck finds the time to come home to find inspiration. He continues to polish his setup for outdoor events and art festivals. “I am also interested in doing more commission works, but only if the customer is willing to work with me,” says the artist in referring to “La Fille de Louis.” It’s a digital photo manipulation piece depicting a “romance” between a woman and a well-known accessories brand logo, shaped in the silhouette of an embracing man. “This piece was made for a friend as a joke, and a commission for a bar tap. Now it is one of my best-selling series,” says Brueck, whose website allows customers to choose between four types of fine art prints, in limited series ranging from $40 to $375. Visit the artist’s online store at alterimages.net
Written by David Acevedo, a visual artist, arts writer, curator, former gallery owner and current artist manager at the Union Artist Studios located in the Alliance for the Arts campus. He has a degree in visual arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus.