A caterpillar emerging from its chrysalis with newfound wings. A baby bird leaving nothing but an eggshell behind as it sees the sky for the first time. A man looking inside himself to discover how he can reflect his true nature on the outside.
Evolution is a never-ending process, and over the years it’s become a prominent theme in Justin Gaffrey’s work. Every person goes through some kind of metamorphosis during his or her life—probably more than once. With artists, that change is easier to see because they leave a body of work behind to document the stages.
Justin was a chef and restaurant owner before he evolved into an artist. From that professional experience, he learned the creative process behind making a meal not only taste as good as possible, but also look appealing. There is artistry in presenting food a certain way—the colors, the texture, the plating. That’s something Justin brought with him into the next stage of his personal evolution, and many of his first paintings even involved food, such as one painting of skeletons dancing around a fire cooking fish, or another of a bundle of ingredients on a cutting board.
Justin’s artistic evolution has been through many stages since he started painting in 2001. Working with materials ranging from acrylic paint, wood, welded steel, recycled materials (including but not limited to clocks and bicycles), and more, he has explored various techniques of creating art, which he believes is an important lesson for any artist. When you keep doing the same things over and over, you don’t grow, your work doesn’t grow, and you stop getting the same level of fulfillment out of creating something. That is why Justin strives to keep evolving himself and his work, and he is excited to see where it’s going next.
Meditation has been an important tool in figuring out which step to take or what Justin will create next. Some of his recent Exhibition Collection pieces, such as Namaste, focus on that process of meditating to see what’s inside yourself and what you truly are, instead of always thinking you are the person other people see. Like a butterfly, you can change their perception of you and become something different, but you’ll always be your truest self on the inside. Justin’s art is about finding a balance between what’s on the inside and how to display it on the outside. He hopes to use his creations to continue sharing with others what he is thinking or feeling, or new discoveries he makes.
You can follow Justin’s artistic journey, both past and present, by viewing the galleries here on JustinGaffrey.com and in person at his studio–gallery in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida. Thank you for visiting!