Jean Jacques Bastarache

Jean is unavailable for studio tours. He is preparing for an exhibition later in the year. 

Born Jean Jacques Bastarache in Montreal, Canada, Jean was raised in Westland, Michigan

The themes of Jean's paintings revolve around key cultural and personal issues such as being lost in a robotic world of

consumerism, finding a personal identity when faced with options that are often dehumanized, and the beauty of the animal kingdom often lost inside of an overpopulated planet, and existential issues of meaning and purpose at odds with current therapy and promises of false happiness.

A well known art historian, Gombrich’s stated; “There is no such thing as art. There are only artists.” 

This statement may well suit the work of Jean Bastarache. For as he appeared on the art scene in the late 80’s his style of painting perplexed the main stream art world. At the time there was no category for his style of work. Yet he kept painting and showing and his shows would sell out at the Julie Rico Gallery in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California up until the year 2000.  Jean also showed works on the Lollapalooza tour's “Mean Art Tent” exhibition organized by Julie Rico in 1995. 

Traipsing throughout Jean’s work are symbols, signs and images that deliver ulterior messages. His use of realism in the anthropomorphic creatures provides a melange of subliminal messages. When you look at Jean’s art you get the feeling that you are a voyeur. Perhaps an unwanted guest.

Many of the details related to the characters in the paintings are so fine one must sometimes use a magnifying glass to see them. He paints with a 1 hair brush!

In the 80’s Jean rose up with many other artists affected by the liberated american landscape that came from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s golden age of music, cartoons, the Rat Fink, television, graphic design, Frank Frazetta, Warhol, etc. This new wave of artists emerged to create a new art movement, (Low Brow/Pop Surrealists). 

Today the term Pop Surrealism has emerged as the new moniker for the movement that originated as Low Brow Art. Although Pop Art and Surreal Art have distinct legacies, Jean’s work inhabits the sweet spot between the two.  Not only does his work have a wide appeal, like Pop Art, but simultaneously, it illustrates messages rendered deep from within his subconscious, that speaks Surreal, and gives voice to the hidden thoughts within the culture at large. At last, many artists considered Pop Surrealists have taken their rightful place in prominent private and public collections, museums and well respected institutions around the world. Jean’s work was at the forefront of creating work that marks the significant transition from Low Brow to work that shines as important and collectible in its own right.  His paintings were featured in Juxtapoz Fall, 1997 and Art Alternatives, Issue #6 and his one-man shows in Los Angeles and Santa Monica always sold out!1

It should be noted that Jean worked on the Ford Motor Company Assembly Line in Wayne Michigan as a spray painter from 1975-1988.

Jean currently is preparing for an exhibition in 2017 or 2018.

For more on Jean Jacques Bastarache


Jean Jacques Bastarache

Piece of Mind

oil on canvas

24" x 18"