Five questions to Marcus Jansen

Five questions to Marcus Jansen

Marcus Jansen, was born 1968 in New York City. He sounds a stirring battle cry against the miscarriage of justice of the early 21st century through an expressive and engaged aesthetic since the 1990’s. 

How did you get into art?

Art found me when I was 6 years old while attending school in Queens, New York. I won a local school competition within the five boroughs while painting a lion that was chosen to be hung in the prominent Lever House in Manhattan which became my first exhibition. That may have been my early understanding of what a painting can do. Ever since, I’ve  used art as a form of protest that communicated universally.



How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

I am not sure if I would refer to it as a style. But I do have directions that I choose when I paint that makes the work one of a kind. I hadn't seen paintings like these before when I started in the late 1990's and that interested me. A good painting is usually one that surprises so I work with the element of surprise that usually comes from an intuitive source and is always welcomed

How do you go about developing your work?

For these more or less latest abstract paintings, I typically draft a first layer with paint and expand the composition with a second layer of paint until the work creates a debt or space. This creates a gestural landscape composition while at the same time allowing me to freely investigate my subjects as well as the traditional painterly ideas that have existed before me with painters. I do not limit myself to any particular style or direction but instead allow chance and emotion to lead the charge.

Who or what influences you?

Life influences me, various aspects of it. My diverse chapters in life perhaps. I have been fortunate to be able to experience different cultures and places from within and from the outside in. I have always taken a little from each chapter with me to express as well combine forms of expression.

Make us curious. What is planned next?

I am working on releasing a signed edition that will be available soon through It will be announced shorty on my instagram.

Photos: Sabrina Jansen & Brian Tietz