Jack Coulter is a 21 year-old abstract expressionist painter and photographer living and working in Ireland. Influenced by post-war artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem De Kooning since childhood, Coulter uses the abstract medium to express his unique experience of the world as a person living with Synesthesia—a rare neurological phenomenon which one sensory stimulation evokes the sensation of another, or when a sound produces the visualization of a color.
Coulter’s work has been featured in Dazed, Kaltblut Magazine, and GQ. He was kind enough to take the time to talk to “Beautiful Savage“ about his recent work.
Visit his website at: Jack Coulter
Hi Jack, thank you so much for answering some questions for us, please can you tell us about your visual aesthetic, and your artistic style?
My fascination resides within psychoanalytical absence, presence, instinctual consciousness. As a child, I fell in love with post-war 1940s abstract expressionism. Pollock, Rothko, De Kooning, Kline, Motherwell, Newman. Also; various second generation painters – Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis. No living artist inspires me.
I adore other iconoclasts such as; Basquiat, William S. Burroughs, Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys, Rimbaud, Keats, Sylvia Plath, Ginsberg, River Phoenix, Gia Carangi, Edie Sedgwick, Alexander McQueen, Margaret Kilgallen;
I work with anything that I can find in my death hazardous garage;
I buy second-hand house paint/canvases from charity stores. I have never in my life used a paint brush – I use sticks, knives, broken glass/sand for application.
Do you find that creating these images is therapeutic or Restorative in any way?
Art saved my life. The scars, the complexities of the intricately torturous mind – the births, the deaths they’re now alive on canvas. Individuals should never underestimate art. It will outlive us all. I find that beauty is asymmetric. Scars are beautiful. love is art.
Sex is art.
What is synesthesia? How has it informed your development as an artist?
A rare sensory, cognitive, neurological phenomenon.
I have an idiosyncratic form of synesthesia, it differentiates vastly within experiential forms. Although the dominance lays within my ability to ‘hear’ colour, which is known as chromesthesia/sound-to-colour synesthesia. My sight is iridescent, the colours burn within internal or external perception.
Do you approach colour on a visceral level?
Certainly, I’ll explain it this way: If I’m speaking to an individual, I’ll fall in love with their eyes. I’m drawn to iridescence.
I’ll be immersed within the opiatic, illustrious veins of one’s iris. For me, their emotionality resonates polychromatic asphyxiation.
Did one of your fans actually get a piece tattooed on their neck?
Yes. It’s insane, yet beautiful. As humans, we are insecure, emotional, sexual beings – personal relations/translations are inevitable.
What informs your creative process?
The consistent pursuit of an instinctual personification of truth. It’s not necessarily a process, more of a psychological aspiration. Aside from painting, I’m an ambient compositionalist, I paint to my own original musical scores. I’m infatuated with the arrangements of Franz Liszt, Antonio Vivaldi, Duke Ellington, Brian Eno, John Cage. I immerse myself within oneirology.’The Interpretation of Dreams’ is a favourite of mine. I am fascinated by Freud’s psychodynamic approach to psychology – one’s mind is rarely conditioned. I’m only 21, although I’ve been to places in my mind where others wouldn’t dare to go.
Long live the beautiful.
Interview: artist Jack Coulter – All images courtesy