Maverick gallery Peres Project's founder introduces the young graduate's suspicious works
From the final week of entries to the Dazed/Converse prize, maverick gallerist Javier Peres of Peres Projects has selected a young graduate of Glasgow's environmental art BA. Jack Saunders' perceptive combinations of text and image provide a tongue-in-cheek glance at the world acknowledging both the beautiful and the absurd...
"It was the attitude of [Jack Saunders's] work that drew me to it. I look for intriguing subject matter and a compelling visual aspect. Honesty and sincerity. Art prizes for emerging talents are important to encourage artists to keep working and developing. I find the best places for scouting young talent is the Liste Art Fair in Basel. The best piece of advice for emerging artist's is "Treat the people who you like the least the best", I find it be really disarming." - Javier Peres
Dazed Digital: What aspects do you frequently find that you return to in your practice?
Jack Saunders: I always seem to be thinking about ideas of self-righteousness, ignorance and fecklessness with regards to absorption of information and the subjective nature of responsibility. I'm pretty fascinated by contradictions too.
DD: What is at the core of your work?
Jack Saunders: Suspicion and pseudo-sincerity.
DD: What is it about contemporary graphics / text that you like?
Jack Saunders: It's this sense of power and the fact that an image or phrase can seem so brash and commanding, yet be so vague. I love how strongly people react to them too - but it's like trying to fight a ghost.
DD: Describe your working process?
Jack Saunders: It totally changes from piece to piece. Sometimes work is made in a day, sometimes it takes months. with my practice I don't see any direct correlation between the amount of time and consideration that goes into a work and the quality of the end product, I figure it's all part of an ongoing train of thought. As long as I keep my mind / eyes / ears open, it always seems to work out.
DD: What's your everyday inspiration?
Jack Saunders: Nothing extravagant, just things i see and hear. I read a clockwork orange the other day - the whole nadsat thing really blows my mind.
DD: What's the best exhibition you've seen in the last six months?
Jack Saunders: Galápagos at the fruitmarket gallery had some alright work but I haven't seen anything that's ticked all of the boxes for quite a while.
DD: What living artist do you most admire?
Jack Saunders: Lawrence Wiener. His ability to manipulate is second to none and he always seems to avoid the pitfall of portraying a sense of ownership in his work.
DD: What is it about being an artist that drives you?
Jack Saunders: I like the idea that your work is never done and that one idea will always lead to another. I think it's good to never feel complacent.
DD: What's your next project?
Jack Saunders: I think I'm going to start watching the wire. It's something I've been meaning to do for a long time but never got round to. I also might venture back to a piece i made in january and expand it a bit.
DD: If money was no object..?
Jack Saunders: I would have the moon wrapped in a huge mylar bag with 'A Ω' on it. the night sky would still be black but the moon would be really bright and you would have these two letters looming down on you from space. the adverse effects on earth would probably start pretty quickly but I think it would at least be interesting for a wee while.