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Jas Sykes – Self Portraits

Sykes profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Magazine Volume Two December 2020

Within my practise I explore notions of reality. The age of digitalisation has blurred a multitude of realities to indistinguishability. There is also a disregard for truth whereby we are content with mere imitations and images of a reality. In many ways this is an expansion of reality. I explore this in my work through forms of faces and bodies that are recognisable as such yet differ from expectations of how bodies and faces do and should look. I observe notions of reality under the umbrella of my main protagonist: colour. It too carries questions of reality for it is dangerous, allusive, superficial and cosmetic. It also stands for a push to equality and peace for it has been pushed out in the past on the grounds that it is feminine, queer, primal, and for these reasons I want to bring it back.


This collection of paintings is called ‘(Self) Portraits’.

With this series I explore notions of self and reality. Today, we take endless selfies. Meaningless, never ending photographs that nurture a societal obsession with perfection as the only way to be beautiful. These figures have beauty in a grotesque way. I chose the title (Self) Portraits because these figures could be me or anyone. Their identity is not important and we focus on their appearance. This conceptualising of self is parallel to how we view each other through social media. Due to this, I haven’t named these paintings, I wait until someone gives one a nickname, like ‘Avocado Man’.

–  Jas Sykes

01 Sykes LE Vol 2 Dec 2020

02 Sykes LE Vol 2 Dec 2020

03 Sykes LE Vol 2 Dec 2020


© Jas Sykes