Jeff Broekhoven

Region: Midwest


City / State: Springfield, MO

These paintings are from a series titled Blankets, and they operate within a broader theme I call Comfort Calamity, which depicts narratives that are carefree despite their claustrophobia. Keyed-up color reinforces a discombobulated and compressed illusionistic space loosely organized by a grid that suggests a picnic blanket, tile floor, life raft, tabletop, or window. By compressing the visual space depicted in each painting, I make all areas the subject, and all compete for attention. These factors establish narrative in the work.

The compositions include figures on a blanket, the impression of figures on a blanket, objects assembled by figures on a blanket, and a still life of figures on a blanket. These changes in structure reinforce the presence and absence of the figures and question the role they have in constructing the scenes—are they showing up for the picture or are they arranging it? The goal is to understand what type of character could live in these spaces, and to establish a figurative language and overarching narrative in response to these conditions.