Six Tomatillos by Jeffrey Whittle - 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle
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 lifes (like this one!) 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.
Why tomatillos? An avid cook, Whittle is inspired by the ingredients and how their
differences are a metaphor for human individuality. Each little green nightshade seems to have its own personality: shy and retiring, flirtatious, reserved, investigative, exhibitionistic. He says that he used their papery husks to suggest various stages of dress and undress. The backdrop is a piece of fabric from the 1960s that he bought at a thrift store, and you can tell that he has an interest in texture and pattern from the contrast between the natural and artificial objects. Whittle calls the scene “a little stage,” inspired by Spanish baroque still-life painter Juan Sánchez Cotán, who also suspended objects from strings to vary his images. The result, with one tomatillo dangling above the rest, is theatrical and slightly witchy.
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. In 2018, he was invited to be the Kirk Visiting Artist at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. Oxford American magazine recently named him one of its 100 under 100, "The New Superstars of Southern Art." 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