Formally trained in architecture, it's no surprise that J Humphries' visual artwork is an exploration of angles. He's interested in the way that lines intersect, the connection of forces, and how planes overlap. Within his artwork, layers and patterns pervade the visual plane and render an organic, distant familiarity that's reminiscent of architecture. A building on legs pries itself from the Earth, and the weight of gravity buckles the legs, causing a negotiation of forces--a diagram from imaginary physics. It is within this "buckle" or struggle that the artwork takes on its deepest meaning, ultimately suggesting that lines, or the built environment, are meant to bend. That we, as viewers (or more potently, as humans), are responsible for the built environment and the way that humanity interacts with this environment.
Humphries' artwork brings to mind questions about cities, structures, environmentalism, and design, while begging that consumers prioritize design over functionality. We have long lived in an environment where design aesthetics are bastardized for one reason or another, and Humphries asks us to review our stance on this issue. These themes are timely and deeply appealing, perhaps even more so in the pieces where the artist sacrifices centrality for patterning, an exploration that is reminiscent of the art of textiles, which, like architecture, is an old art form that hinges on use-value. Humphries' reinvention of old world venues is exactly what makes his work both resonate and appealing, as well as why I'll be making a purchase at his upcoming show.
Here's sitting down with @couchcommunity
One road to drive down forever: Any road with that perfect tree canopy that makes a nature tunnel
If you could have one super power... I'd like to be better at reading minds
A metaphor for how you feel on Monday morning: Unfortunately, I don't think there is an appropriate metaphor for how much I loath Monday mornings.
Your favorite art project to teach: I'm always showing people how to relax. The best ideas I've ever had come from being comfortable and prepared for any obstacle. (Usually on a couch)
Beer or wine? Beer.
If you were to anamorph... I should probably say something that flies, explores, and discovers great things, but in reality I'd just be anything that hibernates.
What triggers your “aha” moment? Well as I said before; you just need to get comfortable for a second and let your mind be the only force. Then the ideas roll.
Immediately when waking up in the morning, you... Let the dog out, as to not be attacked with slobber.
Who is your greatest role model/person that you would like to emulate? Well this changes everyday, its like people always wanna be something they're not or so it goes, right? I have always liked Jack Nicholson though.
What are some of the things happening in Jackson that excite you? I am excited now and hope to continually be excited about my generation coming to the table with new ideas and ventures for this city. Jackson is so ready to be the progressive epicenter of the state (maybe region), and I like to think that these new creative strongholds will take charge to make this place greater.
For you, what does the 50//50 project mean? I love the idea of this project because it makes a connection between two places that have been isolated and so desperately need networking.
If you could take over the world, you would.
Couch-community already serves a large part within the Ko'ox Boon organization, and we are so proud to feature his art in the Fine Art Auction on December 11. On November 15 at the Hatch in Midtown, he will sell works at a show entitled "Works in Retrograde" along with upcoming artists Samantha Ledbetter, Audrey Bardwell, and Taylor Coleman. Be sure to make it out to pick up some pieces there! Follow @couch_community on Instagram and Twitter. He also manages Mississippi AIA's Instagram @aia_ms.