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Artist talk with Jesse Morsberger

'Slowpoke Rock', 2021

Oil on canvas


Tell us about yourself.

Hey! My name is Jesse Morsberger, I’m an oil painter working out of Los Angeles.  I’m from New York originally and spent my teenage years in a small village nestled in the Hudson Valley.


Where did your passion for art begin?

I’m from a family of artists.  My grandfather was a painter and my dad was a musician, so I kind of breathed the arts growing up.  I always just assumed it was what I was going to do with my life.  I wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the week so we spent a lot of time around the kitchen table drawing comics; those are my earliest art making memories.


'World1-1', 2021

Oil on canvas


How would you describe your work to someone?

I make oil paintings that bridge together digital landscape and icons with loose painterly language.  The work is intuitively made and spiritually driven, I often don’t know where they’re headed until I take a step back and notice they’re finished.


What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m working on a bunch of new video game paintings- a lot of them are seascapes.  There’s a lot of dark green in my palette at the moment.  I’m pulling from memories of high school summer vacations on the Jersey shore with my mom and the stretches of time spent driving there from New York.  I’d play Gameboy Advance in the backseat of her minivan for hours.


When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?  

My process is really intuitive.  Because of that, the work often goes through pretty drastic changes over the weeks or months I spend painting on a surface.  The work generally starts off loose and gradually attains clarity over several sessions of work.  I might start with an idea or palette in mind, but I try not to get too attached.  

'Maverick Hunter', 2021

Oil on canvas


Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

At the moment I’m very into Kyle Staver, Marsden Hartley and Derain. I really love painters who wrestle with the paint and stumble into some kind of truth through that process- Philip Guston, Todd Bienvenu, Dan Schein, and Susannah Heller to name a few.  Susannah was a professor of mine at undergrad and recently passed away.  She taught me to trust my instincts and dig deep for the painting.


'Cyndaquil', 2021

Oil on canvas


What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

Painting every day and not settling for easy and immediate solutions in the work.

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