Mr Jago’s previously illustrative work has been advanced over the years to a place of pure abstraction - subtly shifting hues burst and drip in an expressive manner. Synthesising acrylic and spray paint these piquant creations reflect the artist’s love of the natural world: they encompass both the terrain and canopy of the earth’s atmosphere, at once reminiscent of leaves on a forest floor and stars in the night sky, if one were privy to the entire cosmic spectrum of light.
Duncan Jago’s career as Mr. Jago began as a formative artist in Bristol’s acclaimed graffiti scene. He initiated the Scrawl movement, a school of street art that elected members based on their abilities with line, movement, and narrative composition. Jago was featured in the seminal, eponymous book Scrawl published in 1999.
Having studied illustration at the University of the West of England, Mr. Jago’s style, initially heavily illustrative, has evolved into something far more abstracted and expressive. Mr. Jago has taken spray painting to a level of sophistication rarely seen in the medium; there is maturity and depth to his use of colour which he uses to describe the natural world and the cosmos, as he says, “a love of nature has been the biggest influence on my work, the forms and flows that exist within it seem to be appearing … more and more nowadays.”
These references to landscape imagery with less emphasis on gesture and brushstrokes, combined with a strong focus on colour and its emotional function, is strongly reminiscent of the mid-century Colour Field movement, pioneered by the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko. Mr Jago is also influenced by painters such as Jules Olitski, Dan Chistensen and Albert Stadler.
In March 2018 Mr. Jago partnered up with Aedas and Swire Properties in Hong Kong to celebrate street art by participating in a live painting event along with two other British artists. The murals were composed of smaller canvases that were sold individually to raise funds for the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation’s programme for disadvantaged and underprivileged youth. "Duncan Jago was an obvious artist choice for the HK art event in Tai Koo with Swire properties and Aedas Architects. Duncan’s energetic vibrant colours and compositions perfectly captured the dynamic DNA of this amazing city." — Max Connop; Owner, Global Design Principal of Aedas.