You hold a stone — you feel it bears weight beyond its mass; of its history, eroding from its larger self, and of its future, fragmented into its smallest of constituents to be reformed under great forces into stone anew. Looking into the work of Oscar Jarsky, you are aware, again, of the limitations of your vantage and of the vastness of time before and after the depicted moments. Through prints embedded with memory, stone, and place, Oscar mines the possibilities inherent in an intaglio plate, the natural formation of aquatint and spit-bite textures juxtaposed with the gesture of an etched line, and the iterative processing of state changes. Oscar engages playfully in the sublime — rather than being asked to sit with your insignificance, you, the viewer, are tasked to cartwheel into it. You are active in the transubstantiation of the work that requires you to search through printed stones as if walking the beach, to play through the frames of animations as if you were the camera, and to hinge open cists revealing their printed innards.
Oscar Jarsky is a visual artist and arts facilitator, born and based in K'jipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia, but with equal claim to the nearby coasts and countryside of his childhood. Oscar is studying to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts with minors in Art History and Drawing from NSCAD University, where he is currently employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Extended Studies Department.
Growing up, Oscar and his family would build stone bridges across inlets along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, waking from their tent the next morning they would find all traces washed away by the powerful tides. Today, they aim to bridge the space between the exploratory processes of contemporary printmaking, the romantic sublime, and prevailing questions of human relationships to land and ecology. Their practice is based in close naturalist observation driven by a deep sense of curiosity and aims to cause an equal, playful, reaction of intrigue and astonishment. This curiosity holds them within the whimsical processes of intaglio, and printmaking as a whole, which allows constant exploration, reworking, and reformatting.
Oscar has worked as an arts facilitator at Wonder 'neath Art Society's Open Studio Program, periodically in their Art Biker's Program, and with the NSCAD Extended Studies Department. Oscar relishes the opportunity to work with youth and the broader community, expanding their knowledge of the fine arts while also fostering the simpler joys of creating. Oscar's work may be found in the archives of the NSCAD Print Department, in the Exchange archives of The Maker's Studio (AU) and 9INHANDPRESS (MO, USA), in private collections in Canada, USA, England, Germany, and, pro bono, in many collections of the children he has worked with.
All content copyright Oscar Jarsky © 2014-2022.