“My art captures whatever feeling I had. I know I felt it. I know what was going on in my head.” If you can relate to it great, if not, that’s okay with him, too.
Jesse has always loved to draw despite significant impairments to his vision as a result of a fever that almost killed him and kept him hospitalized for the first year of his life.
Ironically, Jesse believes that the peculiar demands of his vision have enhanced his work. Always a good student, Jesse would finish his work as soon as he could so that he could draw. He loved looking at pictures of African art and ancient masks and sculptures in library books. “I was attracted to primitive art,” says Jesse, at times even now “I go to the library, I like Aboriginal art. It’s not like I could copy it, though, I go to get inspired.” For Jesse, the symbolism of art is what “rules.” He feels his primitive work is most is most natural to him, “it’s strange, I really do see them in dazed states…also during Tai Chi they will flash through my closed eyes.” Jesse is troubled by “the lack of ideas” that people have regarding art, “buying and selling art you care nothing about, because you think it makes you look cool, because it’s expensive, or whatever…the ancients believed in what they were doing, it meant something to them.” Jesse works on his pieces until they mean something. A recurring theme with kings and crowns relates to his commentary on how people, who need money, are ruled by it instead.
Jesse approaches his creations in the same way and believes this is what motivates him and makes him avoid submitting to materialistic pressures to serve other people’s ideas. “My art captures whatever feeling I had. I know I felt it. I know what was going on in my head.” If you can relate to it great, if not, that’s okay with him, too. Jesse also spent some time this Summer in Winnipeg, Canada, working with underprivileged teenagers, mostly native kids, teaching them to paint murals through structured graffiti art programming. “The provincial government funded a huge grant to bring in 3 international artists and 3 Canadian artist to work with the kids.” We’ll skip the part about the Byzantine governmental/non-profit hierarchy which caused a delay in the arrival of the paint but Jesse did enjoy working with the teens and created a 1000 sq foot mural as part of the commission.
Jesse’s art has been published in a number of books, including “Truth Will Measure: The Art of Jesse Reno” . 2009 brought a prestigious award: he was the winner of the ” Most Expressive Artist” Award at the Festival International Art Singulier Contemporain in France.