Jesse McCloskey


EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey1The Lovers, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 18 x 24 x 1 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey2Woman with a Mirror, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas,  22 x 28 x 1.5 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey3Artist’s  Studio, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey 2Death and the Maiden I, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 22 x 30 x 1 inches

“Good painting reveals itslef slowly: the longer you look, the more you see. After looking at Jesse McCloskey’s thickly collaged paintings, numerous technical and narrattive levels emerge. The saturated vivid colours and startling composition grab you right away, but there is a lot more to discover in these tightly packed though relatively small pictures.”  Read More


EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey3Magic Horse, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas,  22 x 28 x 1.5 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey4Would Be Lovers, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas,  22 x 28 x 1.5 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey4Birch Skirmish, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 21 x 27 x 2 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey8The Little Party, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 21 x 27 x 2 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey9Girl Smoking, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 50 x 60 x 1.75 inches

EscapeIntoLife -JesseMcCloskey10Astral Massachusets, vinyl, paint, paper collage on canvas, 50 x 60 x 2  inches

Artist Statement

A couple of years ago I was rummaging around in the dumpsters where my studio is. I found two things of great interest to me. A collection of black and white photos taken in the early sixties of New England graveyards, and a picture book with a variety of iconic grave stone imagery such as Weeping Willows with funeral urns, Death’s head with wings, and stone carvings of early Puritan New Englanders. This was a revelation for me having grown up on a horse farm in rural Massachusetts near a Revolutionary War cemetery where it was rumored that two accused witches were buried.

l paint pictures by drawing first then adding colored shapes of paper to make changes of movement and design. Then I paint on top of that to make further revisions and on and on until the picture feels correct.

One of the interesting aspects not easy to see in reproduction of my work is the layer of paper and paint. Occasionally you can peek into a cut in the paper seven or eight layers down with all the abandon structures and designs under neither like an excavated city. I continue in this process until the final layer of paint completes the painting, and suggest the direction of the next work.

About the Artist

Jesse McCloskey’s paintings are certainly representational, yet he considers himself an abstract artist.

McCloskey begins each work by making several large, colorful, abstract paintings, then cutting them into hundreds of exacting sculptural shapes. These small pieces of painted paper are painstakingly applied to a stretched canvas layer by layer, building up dimension, color, design and impact.

The artist creates form, loosening and tightening it over and over until it feels right; the final work is twenty to thirty layers thick: arresting, haunting and mysterious.

Jesse McCloskey Bio

Jesse McCloskey is a New York based artist hailing originally from a tiny town in Massachusetts where little abandoned cemeteries list smallpox victims and stories of accused witches lay buried near the town green. He received a BFA from the Swain School of Design in Massachusetts and a MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York.

Jesse McCloskey at Claire Oliver Gallery