"It's hard to read even one piece of historical writing from any place or point in time without shouting 'Oh my God, you mean this has happened before?' and throwing it across the room."
Jacob Yeates is a Minneapolis based artist, hellbent on pushing himself to learn and to empathize. Each piece is a rough and stark hallucination, born of ink, charcoal, graphite and conte (hard pencils made of graphite and clay). His work is a balancing act of pulp, gross cynicism, ugly drawings, and humorous elements.
Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Yeates has been living in the Twin Cities just under two years. In terms of sheer repetition, Yeates reminds himself to keep it together.
"People tend to read it as a negative or fatalistic thing to say, but I definitely take it as a good thing. Life is hard and the world can be pretty terrible. If you're managing to keep it together, I'd argue things are more or less okay, you're in a good spot. It's realistic. You could be doing worse. "
This recent Minneapolis College of Art and Design just earned his MFA. He's been adjusting into a proper work/life balance. Most recently, Yeates has been doing a lot of drawing on Duralar film, which allows the artist to do some pretty cool drawing and painting techniques.
Yeates studied English as an undergrad, and reading has always been important to his creative process. He gravitates toward more cynical and pulpy writers. Through the blend of literature and visual arts, Yeates believes, "you have to be willing to acknowledge, think about, and investigate obscene things before being able to prevent them from continuing around you."
Do you believe in ghosts? "Too risky not to."
"Humans seems have set a pretty low bar as far as the whole crafting civilization thing is concerned, so at the very least I'm pulling for it."
Yeates now splits his time with freelance illustrating, and teaching.
Check out more of his work on his website: Jacob Yeates.