Artist Statement

Jason K. Milburn at Pretentious Tremont Artists Association

Jason K. Milburn drawing a portrait at the Pretentious Tremont Artists Association (photo Tim Herron)

Milburn’s work explores the ways people might try to explain their surroundings or better themselves, such as religion, psychiatry, self-help literature and meditation. Sublimely sardonic, it addresses themes of isolation, interpersonal relationships and the absurdity of existence — often flirting with the existential. (Shawn Mishak, Cleveland Scene)

Most of my drawings start in my head as an image that was sparked by something I saw or overheard. I’ll spend weeks or months making mental edits to the original idea, usually thinking a few drawings or a series ahead. I rarely work from sketches. I start directly on the final surface with ink. I like that it isn’t easy to make changes or correct mistakes. I use a razor blade to scratch out marks I want to change which leaves a record, or ghost image, of everything I put down.

Milburn was born and raised in Ohio. He received his BFA in drawing and printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art and MFA in painting and drawing from Kent State University. He has received an Individual Excellence Award and been a summer fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, both through the generosity of the Ohio Arts Council. He currently lives and works in Kent, OH.