Phones phones phones: Jurell Cayetano’s paintings don’t just reflect the everyday lives of his friends, but all of us
For the Atlanta-based artist, every moment is an opportunity for a painting as he adorns the mundane.
Why is it that when you watch a present-day TV series or see a contemporary genre painting, characters are hardly ever on their phones? A huge part of our everyday lives, you’d think that any piece of work that seeks to reflect our times would have them in every single frame. In the work of Jurell Cayetano they are everywhere, along with all the other pieces that make up the mundane: piles of washing, devices charging and interactions with pets.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the artist now lives and works in Atlanta, where he continues to paint from the everyday experiences of his peers. Using his phone to capture these moments before translating them to his canvas, he elevates these scenes with gouache paint, oil paint, and expressive brush strokes that evoke a deeper appreciation for our quiet moments spent alone or with friends. “It’s all about storytelling and bringing moments that may have otherwise gone unnoticed to light.”
Jurell Cayetano: Beach Towels (Copyright © Jurell Cayetano, 2021)
About the Author
Yaya (they/them) is an editorial assistant at It's Nice That, with a particular interest in Black visual culture. They have previously written for publications such as WePresent, and worked as researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.