Jon Jaylo @ Distinction Gallery | California Center for the Arts


Distinction Gallery in collaboration with California Center for the Arts, Escondido presents Jon Jaylo‘s solo exhibition: ‘All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way’, featuring the artist’s most current body of work. Jaylo’s paintings are visual riddles waiting to be solved. Just like enigmas, his paintings are composed of metaphorical elements. These visual riddles, however, are more complex than most riddles we know because they were composed to correspond to unlimited numbers of equally valid answers. An avid observer of life, he intertwines his personal musings with universal truths and concerns. With these, he imbues his works with multiple layers of meanings: His own ruminations, and each viewer’s personal reactions and interpretations.

Jon Jaylo: ‘All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way’


Opening Reception:
Friday, September 23, 2016 |  5:30 – 9:30 PM

Exhibition Dates:
September 23 – November 13, 2016

California Center for the Arts, Escondido

340 North Escondido Boulevard
Escondido, CA 92025

Admission Fee:
$10 for general public
Free for CCAE members

(Above) “Ascension” (2016), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, framed to 58 x 46 inches

Let’s get the ball rolling with some basic questions: Will you tell us about yourself, both as a person and an artist? 

I’m a painter, a traveler, an art collector and a single parent currently based in New York City. At an early age of four, I knew already that I wanted to be an artist. I remember when I was growing up in Manila, Philippines I would fill our walls in the house with images of characters from TV shows & comic books that I grew up with. I got accustomed to drawing every day, for me it was a part of my routine like waking up, eating or going to school, art was already a part of me ever since I can remember.

Growing up both in the Philippines and here in the US gave me the opportunity to see, compare & study the different cultures and way of life. At first it was chaos, moving around most of the time brought confusion, but in the end, it helped me realize the beauty of diversity and to be able to find balance in the middle of it and adapt. I am an avid observer of life and I truly believe that this is one of the main ingredients as to why I can connect with the viewers through my paintings. Now as a person, I’d like to think that I am a work in progress. I have failed so many times in my life and made so many unintelligent decisions before, bad choices that I’m not proud of. I guess I had to learn the hard way.

All I know is after all the mistakes and failures that I’ve been through I would like to spend the remaining years of my life with sense, meaning, sincerity and purpose if possible.

(Above) “The Two Stories Collide” (2016), oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches

And, will you tell us about the concept of your upcoming exhibition? How did you come up with the title: “All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way”?

I wanted to create a show that focuses on Life. How we encounter varieties of questions. And from what I’ve noticed when we go through difficult and unusual situations in our lives, for example when a relationship ends, or life changing moments, losing loved ones, failures in any field, these are the questions that produce a lot of questions. We look for answers . . . sometimes we find an answer right away, sometimes the answers are too late or sometimes those questions are left unanswered. Are we supposed to know the answer to every question? Does it have to be logical or explained all the time? When is the time to keep searching and when is the time to give up on it, to accept things and move forward? What if the answers are never coming our way? Will we put our lives on hold?

What do you try to communicate through these paintings?

That it is okay if you cannot find all the answers in this world. There’s humility in acceptance . . . that it is important to have faith. Life is mysterious and we must embrace it for there is beauty in that.

(Above) “The Paradox of Freedom” (2016), oil on canvas, 42 x 30 inches, framed to 52 x 40 inches

What’s your thought about surrealism and pop-surrealism genres? 

I have high respect for the two genres. It is both intriguing and mind-boggling. It is something that I can easily connect with. To be exact I welcome all forms of art. I may not understand or like some of them but who am I to judge? . . . Every genre has a right and a place in the world of art.

Art means different things to different people. Will you tell us what does art mean to you?

Art for me is freedom to create and express what comes from your mind and from your heart. It transcends beyond visuals & aesthetics. It is a creative form of expression without fear of judgment from others, without limits or borders. Art in its purest form can move and inspire people; it nurtures and heals our souls. I guess what I’m trying to say is . . . for me: Art is Life.

(Above) “As I Seek The World For Answers” (2016), oil on canvas, 27 x 20 inches, framed to 39 x 32 inches

Would you give us some hints on the things we should pay attention on when we are appreciating your works? Is there any interesting detail some of us might fail to notice? 

All I can say when you look at my paintings . . . it is a like a riddle waiting to be solved. Try not to see with your eyes only . . . it would help if you use your heart too.

I see several recurring imageries in your works (e.g., the alarm clocks . . . and, to some extent, the bowler hat, the top hat, the human heart with an eye on it, etc). Do they symbolize anything or have certain significance to you?

The human heart with a woman’s eye is a symbol that is really something very personal for me. As much as I wanna explain more about it, I wanna politely and gently pass. Now about the other recurring imageries like the hats, I’ve always been fascinated with the past, history, vintage materials & clothing etc … the top hat or bowler hat is one of most iconic head gear items at that time. For me the past has a lot to do with our present. While the clocks represent the time we have here.

A reminder for everyone to value it since it’s never going back. We usually take it for granted, thinking we will always have tomorrow. I have lost loved ones in the past so I paint clocks to remind myself & the viewers that we are here temporarily, to try to make each day count before it’s too late.

(Above) “Behind The Glass Walls Of Enlightenment” (2016), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, framed to 58 x 46 inches

How did you start your career as an artist?

I used to join painting competitions in schools; I think that helped paved the way to the art scene.  I would be invited to join group shows by fellow competitors, classmates, colleagues, and friends . . . and after a year, I had my first solo show at West Gallery in the Philippines. I started doing shows in other parts of Southeast Asia, auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s in Hong Kong, in Singapore under Artesan Gallery, then Berlin Germany under Strychnin Gallery, art fairs in Italy, solo show in Switzerland under Primae Noctis and group shows in Copro Gallery through Beinart and solo shows under Distinction Gallery back here in the US. I never imagined that my art would take me to so many places. It is a beautiful & humbling experience that art can connects us all regardless of where we are, our beliefs, color, religion, language and no matter where we are. I’m grateful that I can share my stories though painting.

How did you discover your current painting style?

To be honest I don’t know what to call my current painting style as I am constantly learning, innovating, changing and evolving.

What’s your typical week like?

I’m a full time painter so I paint almost every day. Aside from painting, I often visit museums, galleries, watch movies, Broadway plays or concerts, hang out with family or friends on weekends. And, when I get a break I usually travel. I think I will go insane if I get stuck in one place. To travel is to learn.

(Above) “A Conversation with Yesterday” (2016), oil on canvas, 24 x 48 inches, framed to 34 x 58 inches

What’s your usual working process? (How do you usually approach each new project? Do you have any working ritual?) 

Well, creation takes place in the mind first. I visualize the outcome of the artwork and finalize my concept. I research for the elements and symbols that I need for the story. If I’m not satisfied with the idea, then I go back to the drawing board. It helps – also – when I have a certain personal story that I want to paint. Then I take the photos of the models, materials and places that I need, combine them, lay it all out, sketch it and start painting. I usually work on 2-3 canvas, while I wait for the paint to dry; I transfer to the other canvas so I don’t waste time.

What are the main sources of your inspirations? 

My children are my innermost source of inspiration, people who struggle but persevere; inspiration also comes from from personal experience, stories of other people, current situation of our world, books, movies, and music. For me inspiration is everywhere, just learn to slow down and stop for a while to look around.

Do you have any favorite quote? 

I do read many quotes, almost daily. Honest words of wisdom are essential in learning and such an important source of motivation.  Instead of giving you my favorite quotes instead please grant me this opportunity to share these two quotes that I wrote . . .

A.) “The dream you desire requires dedication, courage sacrifice and your time. If you cannot give this in return … you can kiss your dreams goodbye. It’s never gonna come true on its own. It’s a good day today, go ahead and take the first step.”

B.) “Have the wisdom to understand that the success you seek will be the end result of countless trials & errors. Crawl if you have to, but never ever give up! ”














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