Jacob’s practice is largely centred around portraiture, combining elements of realism and abstraction. With areas of illusion aside flat sections of colour, he places his figures in an ambiguous, often surreal pictorial space.
With a social documentary feel to his work, Jacob is interested in making the familiar unfamiliar, drawing attention to the mundane, routinely overlooked moments of daily life: the ‘in-between’ public spaces, environments which exist as mere utility. Public Transport, in particular the Merseyside bus routes. is one such public space that has formed the basis of an ongoing visual enquiry, which he has titled ‘Connection’. Acting as a voyeur, through candid photographs and quick sketches, he attempts to discretely capture people on his journeys. These later become the reference material for his paintings, which each aim to transform a mundane, everyday subject into a surreal, emotionally charged portrait.
Typically, the passengers will attempt to isolate themselves within the public, often crowded circumstances, through the social security of their mobile phones or other handheld devices. There is a telling irony here, emphasised by the title ‘Connection’ in that, the devices which we use to aid connectivity, actually make us more disconnected from people and our surroundings.
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