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Jeff Bye

Jeff Bye



My latest body of work entitled “Vanishing Points” focuses on the continuing search of capturing New York City from challenging perspectives. Either getting access to the buildings rooftops and stairwells or exploring angles from the different bridges in the five boroughs of New York.
I am trying to find the right view that is not the norm from the everyday bystander.
My love of textures is a constant presence in my work and the rough surfaces are vital through the ever-changing layers of graffiti and dirt. This is also emphasized through the constant layers of paint that comes through when creating a painting.
It’s with these sometimes ugly, colorful patinas that express a moment in time that is often gone or erased through constant change of the urban environment.
It’s with this constant change as an artist to always carry a sketchbook and camera in hand, never knowing what could be and never shutting down that curiosity factor of what could be a potential painting.
For this body of work I continued to go to these environments at different times of the day searching how the mood and light changes the dynamic of these places.
I’ve made numerous sketches and took countless photographs to document the color and tonality of the different surfaces.
From there I took that information and created this series of paintings called Vanishing Points.
I feel that every body of work is challenging in how my paintings develop and keep progressing trying consciously and unconsciously to keep the painting open for constant change or shift. This is allowed by my process to constantly travel to these places at different times of the day and season, observing how the light and weather effects me as well as the environments I am depicting.
This keeps the paintings from being static and allows the paintings to breathe by allowing me to make the necessary changes. No matter how subtle or dramatic this change is, it alters the work of art in its entirety. This process is intrinsic for me as an artist for creating a painting and not just documenting a particular scene.
I have created a new series within my urban paintings of that of the graffiti artist.
The movement and energy that is expressed through his tagging or bombing has always captured my interest. It’s always been a staple in some manner in my urban cityscapes. I have been a witness to this by inhabiting certain areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. I have also connected with certain taggers through instagram which is beneficial for them to send footage or tell me where they will be so I can see their creations first hand.
By observing this series one might notice that the graffiti artists are blurred with their back to the viewer, the clothing is mundane and their posture is that of movement. This is done initially to get that feeling of their constant motion and the initial danger of being caught by the metro authority. This tension is another variable that adds to the spontaneity of their art and their directness of not hesitating in what they are creating.
For me, it comes down to the wonderful colors and shapes that are fashioned and the under structure of the buildings’ textured surfaces. All of this encompasses my attitude about my subject matter and my process of using my medium, paint in a way that is true and direct like the city I love.

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