03.01 2018

First Friday – March

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First Friday
March 2nd
5:30pm – 9:00pm

Jaither West’s paintings engage with both homage and reportage. As an avid breakdancer, he pays tribute to the history of hip-hop for inspiration, painting the personalities of hip-hop’s golden era. West also paints from current events and daily life, including political campaigns and his daily commute. His work has always explored the details of the activity and the people who inhabit or pass through the city of Philadelphia. He paints to record memories and draw attention to important but often marginalized moments in history. West’s work is a way for him to experience history, communicate his passions and honor those whom he respects. Within the past year he has begun painting on a larger more immersive scale. This scale allows him to condense and include more information creating a richer history and creates an environment for the viewer to physically enter. Whether about breakdancing or historical figures, the paintings give him a platform to share the things he is passionate about with a larger audience.

West continues to explore the history of hip-hop and breakdancing through his installation and mural at Space 1026. Each piece of information recorded in his paintings takes him down a new path of discovery and allows his stream of consciousness to explore whatever new topics open up to him.

Jaither West (b. 1988) is a self-taught painter living and working in Philadelphia. His work focuses on his everyday life—from famous personalities like Michael Jackson and John F. Kennedy to the individuals he sees every day on his commute. West often incorporates his daily activities and experiences into his paintings through the presence of himself breakdancing or through his densely rendered paintings and drawings of his SEPTA commute. West has studied at Temple University and Fleisher Art Memorial and has exhibited throughout the region including Art in City Hall, Savory Gallery, Fleisher-Ollman Gallery, all Philadelphia, and Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ.