In her latest body of work, “Celestial Cues,” artist Jaxon Demme’s fascination with the cosmos and universe and its influence on human behavior and emotions has never been more pertinent. At No Gallery, ninety-six concrete butterfly sculptures inspired by the migration patterns of the Monarch Butterfly are mounted, creating a dreamlike atmosphere and exploring the relationship with the celestial world. The pieces are filled with rich colors, bold lines, and surreal imagery that are captivating and thought-provoking.
The butterfly sculptures came about as a result of a meditation practice. They are infused with the spirit of self-reflection as a tool for development and reject the idea of a masterpiece in favor of crafting as a method of spiritual healing and inquiry.
Compelling and inspiring, Demme challenges the notions of specificity and the need for artworks to adhere to a logical structure of emphasis in this new body of work and embraces the pursuit of oneness. “Celestial Cues,” which closes on March 5, marks a shift in the artist’s perspective and a drive toward using creation to connect to something bigger than ourselves.
In Conversation with Jaxon Demme: Exploring Art, Creativity, and Inspiration:
1. What inspired you to explore the themes of self-reflection and surreal imagery in your art?
I feel like there’s no other way for me to breathe sometimes. Painting is essential to my self-reflection process — to meditate through living life on life’s terms. Painting gives me the space to unload, solve problems, crack codes, get vulnerable, and be frustrated. It’s like magical math. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than getting incredibly messy and seeing what comes of it.
2. How does your fascination with the celestial world influence your creative process?
During my creative process, I choose to surrender to the unknown, which allows me to embrace a lack of control in my practice. It’s sometimes scary and frustrating but never gets old. I have to allow the work to be what it wants to be. I usually work in dead silence, which allows me to tap into a space of nothingness where I am nothing and I let the work become something.
3. Can you tell us about your signature style and how it relates to your subject matter?
My paintings are thick and messy and hold layers of past lives. They are complicated and loud yet shy — craving to be mysterious. My process is reactive and requires patience. As I build meaning with texture layer by layer, I’m in a juggle war of adding and subtracting. Throughout this excavation process, my subject matter reveals itself, and I nurture its desire to be seen.
4. What message do you hope to convey to your audience through “Celestial Cues”?
Be quiet, listen, and try to hear a softer voice.
5. How has your work evolved over the years, and what do you see as your artistic direction moving forward?
My work has grown up with me, constantly changing and wearing different hats although there are certain motifs that have stuck around and evolved over the years, one of which is the butterfly. I’ve been working on an album and a doll series for almost 2 years, which has me all “goo goo ga ga”. I will forever be painting and drawing because it’s like shitting and eating; it keeps me alive. Although there is something incredibly thrilling about dipping my toe into new waters.