Jason Lazarus, To Abdul Abdi (who everyday in Mogadishu, Somalia makes signs that read ‘Beautiful Mogadishu’ to remind citizens what has been lost), 2007, 2007, 30 x 34 inches
The subject of a photograph inevitably holds it’s own story, the role of photographer at its most base, simply to present it. Jason Lazarus, our featured masthead artist builds upon this tradition, creating work wherein the role of the artist — in as many forms as that can take — is presented and evaluated. “The hell-raiser, prophet, failure, historian”, his statement reads, listing off the possible roles of makers. He doesn’t mention owner of understated subversive acts, the form many of his pictures seem to take, but maybe he doesn’t have to. The slow photographic read of his work eventually does it for him, greatly rewarding any viewer.
This week in our masthead a far away figure holds up a sign for an unseen audience reading Beautiful Mogadishu. It’s a simple, elegant gesture likely meaning more to the sign’s owner than it does whomever happens to see it. Lazarus’ placement of the figure underscores the beauty the sign describes, while simultaneously exposing the absurdity that such messages represent the fringe of society.
Jason Lazarus, The entire three minute duration of the ‘America’s Answer’ fireworks package, $99.95, Independence Day 2007, 54×70 inches, archival inkjet
Since receiving his MFA in 2003 from Columbia College Chicago, Jason has exhibited around the country and abroad. Highlights include solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Emerging Artist series 12×12 New Artists/New Work in Chicago; Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago; Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery in Cologne; and D3 Projects in Los Angeles. In addition, his work has been included in group exhibitions at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, Silverstein Gallery in NYC, The Future Gallery in Berlin, the Minneapolis Center of Photography, and the Australian Centre of Photography in Sydney.
Jason received an Artadia Artist grant in 2006 and the distinguished Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Emerging Artist grant in 2008. Currently, he is represented by the Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago and Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery in Cologne, Germany.