Jesse M Bell was born in Michigan and received his BA in Visual Arts from Olivet College. Focusing primarily on the abstraction and interaction of organic shapes in various painting mediums, he employs symbols and detached iconography to create what he refers to as “visual poems”. He currently works and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Inspiration for his work comes from many unassuming places—an errant line, a whirl of handwriting, the prickly thatch of cross hatched marks, a splatter of ink—each element contributing in its own unique way to the formation of his images. More conventional symbols and markings often make appearances too, such as arrows, stars and kites. The resulting work is steeped in the visual language of modernism and the corresponding, mid-century modes of formal exploration. It is art primarily concerned with the interaction between, and delineation of, both shape and color and often emphasizes a loose, more automatic approach to the application of pigment and arrangement of form. This framework allows Bell to discover the narrative, or slice of time, that is the underlying content of the piece. There is a story there, waiting to be manifested and described. It is through this artistic exploration, and continuing visual conversation, that he assimilates time, experience, and his being-in-the-world.