Jacob Ouillette was born in 1974 and grew up in Coastal Maine. After studying painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, he moved to New York City in 1998 and worked as a studio assistant to the painter Sean Scully.
Jacob Ouillette conceives his paintings like musical compositions. Entranced by the possibilities of color, Ouillette, who hand mixes his own pigments, explores its simultaneously scientific and subjective nature. Channeling the act of live performance, he applies each colorful stroke in one motion, working from left to right and making no revisions. He does not draw his compositions beforehand, cautious of distracting the viewer from his gridded hues. The multicolored results are like visualizations of combinable, permutable sounds: just as some cnotes are loud and others are soft, some colors are bright and others dark. "When the brushstroke bends, swoops, dips, swings, sings, and vibrates, to me it could be blasting out of a harmonica, saxophone, or an electric guitar," says the artist.
PaintingWorks on Paper