Athens artist Jeffrey Whittle is also a teacher, a curator, a sports enthusiast, and a hiker. His art, too, contains what seem like multiple identities, interacting with and informing one another. He’s made portraits using maps as a surface, impressionistic and almost magic realist paintings of people wading in bodies of water, still lives with brightly colored backdrops, pictures of animals, lots of images of boats and oceans, paintings of fields of wildflowers and more. Somehow, they all come from the same hand, even though they can be very different.
“Paper Boats II” is an image he’s painted in several configurations. A couple with their feet on the edge of some shallow water hold hands, visible only from the knees down and in their distorted reflection in the water. At their feet sit two paper boats, folded out of the maps that Whittle used so often in his earlier work, sitting on top of their reflected heads, almost like hats. Whittle says he’s “drawn to the synthetic version of a place,” with maps not being real places but representations of them. The idea of “embarking” (pun definitely intended) on a new journey with a new partner is strongly present, as the two boats are carried along the same stream, and the Queen Anne’s lace wildflowers in the background traditionally symbolize sanctuary.
Whittle received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Cornell University. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and resulted in grants, residencies, and awards. Oxford American magazine recently named him one of its 100 under 100, “The New Superstars of Southern Art” and in 2018, he was the Kirk Visiting Artist at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. He teaches studio courses at UGA and is an Exhibitions Specialist at the Lyndon House Art Center.
• 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
• Finished Puzzle Size: 19.25" x 26.625"
• Linen pieces on quality blueboard backing
• Matte Finish to reduce glare
• Recommended Age: 13+ Years