Mappings / Current Work
Willaford’s Vinyl constructions are multidimensional objects created with sections of vinyl that he has hand-cut and stitched together. Reminiscent of a topographical map, Willaford uses the construction as an avenue to chart his place in the world and amongst society. Growing up hunting, the artist spent many dark mornings walking and sitting in the woods in camouflaged clothing, observing the color of the landscape change as the morning hours passed. The camouflaged clothing concealed Willaford's true form and intent as a hunter while his pray relied on its natural surroundings. Through a complex web of vinyl that references camouflage netting, the artist draws a connection to contemporary culture's media-saturated existence in which perceptions of our peers and surroundings can be skewed. Using discarded vinyl billboards, Willaford strips the material from its original content, modifying it with spray paint and acrylic to repurpose its intent. Constructed compartmentally, the work can be deconstructed and rearranged and its form can continuously evolve. As often holds true for today's humanity, nothing is as it seems.
In the latest development of the series, Willaford has been exploring forms with more solid masses constructed from the vinyl material, creating an aggregate of rock-like formations.
Camouflage, masks of insecurities series
The masks are made from cut out sections of vinyl, which are sewn and painted from the Mappings installation. The series of masks represent the many facades and the layers of a disguise worn by ourselves and others. The vinyl quilted masks are scanned and printed in editions of 3 on hahnemulhe paper. The work questions whether these facades are false pretenses or intentional precautions. The series consists of works on paper that create an interplay between two dimensional and three dimensional. Central images of the works on paper appear to float, and dense overlapping layers in the constructions are reminiscent of graffiti art. The works on paper provide an illusion of depth from clarity captured in the scan, leaving one contemplating, “what is real?”
Bring into the Fold Series
Willaford’s constructivist methodology. It references the prolapse, the idea that these pieces are captured or galvanized at intervals in space and time by sewing pieces of vinyl together, as well as conglomerate constructions, where the artist either revisits or remains in the moment with the pieces. For Willaford, it’s not so much about manipulating or trying to make a material look like something recognizable; it’s more of capturing the beauty of an object. The vinyl constructions are not the finished object, once the contractions are made they are then scanned and printed in editions of 3 on hahnemulhe paper, that being the piece.
Jason Willaford received his BFA from Florida State University where he studied under Jim Roche and Color Field painter Trevor Bell. After years as an encaustic painter in Marfa, Texas, he shifted his focus to vinyl-based constructions, which were exhibited in a solo exhibition at Oklahoma Contemporary in 2014. In the summer of 2015, Willaford participated in a residency at the former home and studio of Elaine de Kooning in East Hampton, NY and presented the resulting body of work in a solo show at Dallas Contemporary that fall. Willaford’s work can be found in over 200 private and the public collections of Bloomingdales, Toyota, Neiman Marcus, among others.