American Artist Jeff Schofield’s paintings are special. Unlike most artists, Jeff uses discarded waste material from construction sites in the UAE to create absolutely fascinating paintings
Being an architect by profession, Jeff Schofield feels a responsibility towards the environment. “Times are changing and so should our approach to art,” he says. “Any kind of extravagance doesn’t fit anymore into our modern way of life particularly if it is damaging to the environment. My approach is based on restraint. Hence, I recycle construction wastes such as steel cables, wires, and jute fabric onto canvas, along with an installation of steel cables on the floor to accentuate the raw materials. They came from the construction site at the Abu Dhabi Airport”.
Discipline and rigor are the master words for Jeff’s unique approach to art. Modern in technique and thought, his paintings are an unbeatable combination of the ethical and aesthetic. The paintings express the energy of a construction site, with the colors of concrete, rust & sawdust. “I evoke the noise of construction activity with the gestures of swirling motion expressed by the cables”.
He points out, “Often people find it hard to put environmental goals into practice and these remain limited to being hot topics for social gatherings, corporate meetings or academic workshops. There seems to be a general confusion over what does – and doesn’t – constitute environmentally sensitive art and how we should judge them. I believe my works will serve as an inspiration for others and will fuel a new trend in art increasing public awareness of sustainable issues in our daily lives. It is not new to the region but definitely not so widespread.” Jeff’s works range from riveting large outdoor installations to small intimate paintings, with a focus on unusual formats including narrow perpendicular pieces reminiscent of Chinese scroll paintings.
In terms of colour Jeff tends to use warm, lighter neutrals in most of his paintings that allows his works to fit seamlessly into any style. Majority of his abstracts are more muted and subtle. He says, “Large contemporary pictures can totally transform a space and can work in almost any room. When one adds a big modern painting to a room, it takes on a fresh, new and updated feeling. Abstract paintings are a wonderful way to introduce colour. They are paintings that you can sit in front of for hours.”
Every job Jeff does is an original work of art. Nothing is preordained to be in one spot or another. Rather, Jeff has incredible instincts and his canvases take shape as he goes along totally unguarded. He emphasizes, “In a sense it is quite liberating. It is like working through a vast, fascinating puzzle. In the end it is hugely satisfying.”
Jeff Scofield has extensive experience in a number of artistic fields ranging from modern architecture through to Chinese brush painting which he studied under Oriental masters in Paris and Dubai.
After obtaining a master of architecture degree at Columbia University in New York, he studied art at the Beaux Arts in Paris.