Jesse Hale, a Nashville-based artist, was born in 1984 in Tyler, Texas. His creative energy and curiosity were encouraged from an early age by his father, a freelance illustrator, and his mother who, according to Jesse, “made sure I got to all my violin lessons.” Besides his childhood, Jesse cites “documentaries, the internet, and lots of failure” as his primary art education.
Playing the violin since the age of four, Hale pursued music while in school, graduating from Belmont University in 2007, then continuing his musical career throughout his twenties. In 2013, however, having performed for over 8 years, he made a decision to break from the music industry with the intention to explore his art more broadly. Through this transition, he began to re-discover his childhood passion for visual art.
In the early stages of this journey, Hale resonated with work from artists such as Ai Weiwei, Chuck Close, Marina Abramovic, Sol Lewitt, Damien Hirst, and Gerhard Richter. From these newfound inspirations, along with his firmly-rooted passions for music, science, and general curiousity, Jesse began to develop his own practice as a way to grapple with questions regarding faith, existence, identity and meaning. His first exhibition, Suspensions, held at Fort Houston in December 2013, investigated these questions through the lens of geometry, color, music, and mathematics. Shortly after, the work was featured on the March 2014 cover of Nashville Arts Magazine.
From the outset, Jesse’s processes and mediums have been heavily dictated by his subject matter, exploring his ideas through drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, print, video, sound design, and programming. He often employs tedious and methodical techniques, balancing both the art and craft of his work. He uses whatever readily available materials seem to suit his concepts, from traditional materials such as paint, graphite, and charcoal, to more structural components such as wood, steel, aluminum, and glass. His love for music further fuels a great deal of his artistic approach.
A minimalist at heart, Jesse’s art is an objectification of his questions about beauty, reality, and self, conveyed through the most basic visual elements—line, shape, light, color, and texture. His works range from bold and color-driven, to cold and grayscale. His fascination with the theoretical and metaphysical continues to inform the deeper tensions within his art, imbuing it with a sense of wonder, curiosity, and desire for truth.
December 2013, Suspensions, Fort Houston, Nashville, TN
July 2016, Ceilings Walls Windows Doors [Part I], O'More College of Design, Nashville, TN
March 2014, Suspensions, Nashville Art Magazine