Jason Hirata

February 20 to March 27, 2010

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Jason Hirata. The show will include one photograph and two sets of identical drawings. Most often displaying abstract, geometric subject matter, these delicate line works on paper are crafted using raw pigment mixed with the sweat. “It’s a personal connection,” explains the artist, “but in an extremely literal sense.”

To create the works on view in this exhibition, the artist and gallerist worked up a sweat doing jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups, jumping rope, and running down the hallways of a storage facility that Hirata rented for just such purpose. As he has done in the past, Hirata collected perspiration in two containers to use as a painting medium. The artist and gallerist collected their own sweat by scraping it from their foreheads, necks, and backs. Hirata then later mixed it with raw Prussian blue pigment.
The resulting paired painting series are nearly identical in design, with the one appreciable difference being whose sweat was used to create each piece. Also on view will be a single photograph of the two men, documenting their exertion mid-workout.
“I’m hoping that the way a particular line looks,” Hirata says, “isn’t as much of an influencing fact, in deciding which one you want. It seems like the attribute of interest is whose sweat it is.” In a very real sense, the labor of the gallerist will be on display, part and parcel to that of the artist. It’s an intimate collaboration, highlighting the sometimes invisible effort that goes both into creating a work of art, and in bringing that work to public view.

Jason Hirata received his BFA in 2009 from the University of Washington. In 2008, he presented collaborative (with Sol Hashemi) performance-based exhibit at Punch Gallery and at the alternative space Dirty Shed. In winter 2009, he exhibited at The Gift Shop, the Henry Art Gallery’s abandoned museum store (turned artist run, alternative exhibition space). In January 2010, Sol Hashemi and Jason Hirata exhibited and new group of sculpture at Greg Kucera Gallery.

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