Jonathan Gleed, "Consequences," 2014, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 30".
It took Jonathan Gleed a while to find what he describes as his true calling. Born in Ottawa, he tried his hand at writing, photography and video production before dipping his brush into paint and deciding it was the most effective way he could communicate.
Gleed focuses on the everyday world around him – city streets are a common theme, especially at night or on rainy days – and his palette tends toward a darker, more sombre range. Still, he has no problem explicitly stating that his goal is to extract beauty from the mundane – things like rain glistening on a passing bus – and evoke what he calls “emotional vigour” in viewers.
“We tend to actively pursue that perfectly poised, perfectly composed piece of art,” says Gleed, whose paintings are based on his photographs. “We don’t need to look that hard. We need to start appreciating more what we have right in front of us every single day.”
Gleed is self-taught and still relatively new to the art world, emerging out of group shows on Vancouver Island in the last few years to mount a show last fall at Couch, a new gallery in Victoria, where he’s lived for a decade.
Jonathan Gleed is represented by the Couch Gallery in Victoria and the South Shore Gallery in Sooke, B.C. His work sells for $700 to $5,000.