Patrick Jacobs‘s works are miniatures of imaginary worlds, which reconstruct in detail the subjective visions of lawns or the interiors of an apartment and fool the observer, who is forced to wonder if he is gazing at something real or if it is merely an illusion.
Patrick Jacobs creates meticulously crafted miniature environments as dioramas that are viewable only through peepholes and portholes in the walls. When entering a gallery containing his pieces, for a moment one may think that the space is empty. By peering into the small holes, as if spying through a keyhole, the viewer is confronted with luminous landscapes, close-ups of meadows or the interiors of an apartment through which a window leads the observer into an even deeper realm.
Through the use of intense lighting and circular convex lenses that amplify the depth and alter the visual perception of the viewer, Jacobs creates artificial, heightened realities whose intensity exceeds what is experienced in everyday life. In works like Fairy Ring with Dandelions, and Mushroom Clusters #1 and #2, the perceived worlds seem subtly enhanced, where devoid of the presence of human figures, viewers are free to imagine themselves as the sole protagonist within the dioramic scene.
Interior with View of Gowanus Heights presents a situation that is not typically part of Jacobs’ other creations. By combining the drab everydayness of an apartment building with an idealized landscape, the artist positions the viewer within a sort of double diorama. Looking through the peephole provides entrance to the first level of space within. Once inside, the viewer finds a window through which to observe a lush, green landscape whose far off distance makes it impossible to reach.
It is this tantalizing inaccessibility that gives power to Jacobs’ work where the viewer is allowed only a peep from the outside into his worlds. In taking on the role of a voyeur, yet isolated from the context itself, the viewer is projected into a parallel dimension that can only be accessed by the gaze, but never experienced physically.
Patrick Jacobs (1971, Merced, CA, USA; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) earned his BFA from the University of West Florida in 1994 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. He is represented by Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A kind of pseudo-science or homespun natural phenomena characterizes Jacobs’ work, whose protagonists are typically at odds with an increasingly anxious and paranoid world. It is only in their futile attempt at transcending their reality and achieving the impossible that they succeed. Recent solo shows include: (2010) Patrick Jacobs: Dioramas, The Pool, Moretti Fine Art, London; Other People’s Fiction, Kenise Barnes, Larchmont, New York; (2011) Patrick Jacobs: Familiar Terrain, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY. Recent collective shows include: (2010) The Worlds We Live In, the Worlds We Create, Like the Spice Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Other People’s Fiction, Kenise Barnes Gallery, Larchmont, NY; There’s No Place Like Here, The College at Brockport, SUNY, Brockport, NY; Instructions Not Included, Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; (2011) Subjective/Objective, Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Otherwordly: Optical Delusions & Small Realities, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Obsessions, Cavin-Morris Gallery, New York.