Jon Poblador (American, b.1971) is a Contemporary painter best known for his monochromatic, minimalistic works. Born in the Philippines, Poblador received a BFA from Northern Illinois University, and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Though he created figurative paintings early in his career, his main focus was always conceptual pieces, which initially consisted of tightly packed lines of text. He later explored repetition through his use of dots.
Poblador’s work, unlike that of other Minimalist artists, is characterized by single colors in various panels on a small scale. Applying thin layers of acrylic paint to his canvas creates a shimmery effect, in which the colors are added in a series of vertical and horizontal lines that can be seen beneath the surface of the work.
After relocating to Phoenix from Philadelphia, Poblador became inspired by the colors of the Southwest, using deep reds and browns, which maintained a soft appearance, characteristic of the artist’s style.
He has had a number of exhibitions, including several solo shows at Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.
Repetition is an important ritual in many forms of religion. In certain types of meditation, for example, the mind is cleared of thought so that a person can focus on each breath or sound. The idea is that a state of euphoria is eventually achieved through the trance-inducing effect of concentrated repetition. This feeling of elation, or enlightenment of the spirit, is often believed to be equivalent to an encounter with the divine.
My work is about various forms of repetition. Each piece, in its creation, is a meditation. The concept is more evident in the drawing series but becomes more subtle in the works on canvas. Even though the paintings are composed of grids, the repetition occurs through the multiple layering of paint. Each piece has at least thirty layers. Sometimes up to fifty. The layers transform the surface of the canvas by eliminating the texture of the cloth as well as adding volume to the paint itself. The increased paint thickness then produces a slight relief on the surface.
Philosophically, I’m very interested in the ideas and conflicts concerning dichotomy: the division or contrast between two different things. I see enlightenment as a form of harmony that is created when two opposing forces merge together. They become neither one nor the other but a third, neutral element. This is one of the reasons why my work often has two or three major divisions.
Neutrality is a very beautiful and mysterious concept: something born of movement and stillness, calmness and agitation, simplicity and complexity, the logical and the irrational. It is a form of perfection that really only exists in theory. Nevertheless, the challenge of physically manifesting this harmony, by means of canvas and paint, is what I try to resolve through my work.
WHOLENESS AND THE GRID
A Buddhist teacher once told me that wholeness was not singular or multiple. The concept of a "Mysterious Whole" attracts me to the grid: one composition made from many. A grid brings order to disorder and reveals patterns. Although it is not perfection, the many ways it presents itself, to me, is extremely fascinating.