Meet Painter Jacob Bartanus
In this interview, I get to introduce you to my new friend Jacob Bartanus, a fellow resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Jacob reached out to me with a comment about the show. I checked out his work and was blown away by its dynamic energy and many layers, both literal and figurative.
Jacob's got a story that is fascinating and inspiring, and I can't wait to share his upbeat, curious outlook with you. He's a very bright light.
Jacob is currently showing his work at coffee shop and art gallery PaLatte Coffee & Art in Grand Rapids, MI, as a participant in this year's ArtPrize show. ArtPrize is hosted once a year in the town, with local businesses sponsoring artists. The work is judged by a panel and by the public. The show runs from Mid September to Mid October.
Check out the video for discussions of some of Jacob's work.
This interview ran long, so I've broken it into two parts for listening convenience. Part two is available now at passionatepainterpodcast.com/episode82.
A Nation Divided by Jacob Bartanus, acrylic on canvas, 48"Wx60"H, 2021-2022
Jacob is currently showing his work at coffee shop and art gallery Palette Coffee & Art in Grand Rapids, MI, as a participant in this years ArtPrize show.
Rufus the Yooper Rabit by Jacob Bartanus, acrylic on canvas, 48"W x 60"H, 2020
Sucker for Abstraction by Jacob Bartanus, acrylic on canvas, 48" H x 60" W, 2020-2021
Sucker for abstraction by Jacob Bartanus, on temporary display at EDGE ad agency in Marquette, Michigan
Jacob Bartanus has been a creative creature for as long as he can remember. He’s completely self-taught. His passions are abstraction, lowbrow, and graffiti art.
When Jacob was twelve, coming from a broken home and deeply closeted, he would look at art to shield him from the world. Many years later, he witnessed the death of his brother to a drug overdose and sank into a deep depression. He lost everything.
While homeless for a number of months, Jacob would again look to his art to save him. He’d park his truck underneath the lights of vacant parking lots and allow himself the freedom to have a secret voice.
For the last five years, he has primarily focused on using acrylic paint as a medium. Jacob’s art speaks from the poverty line that he’s walked down for most of his life. As he grows as an artist, these will be the roots which nourish the many different leaves of his ever-growing and changing life as that creative creature.