Full Artist's statement
As a student at Columbia University, Ian Jehle worked one on one with many of the artists and thinkers he had been studying for years. Burdened at times by his respect for and his desire to differentiate himself from his artistic heroes, Jehle began making giant portrait drawings of his mentors and peers. By combining the monumentality of large-scale portraiture with the close-up intimacy of drawing, Jehle is sorting through the complicated relationships artists have with their own and the previous generation. "I can't say whether what I do is and act of respect or impertinence, tenderness or enmity. My goal is simply to end up with an image that makes me feel something close to what I feel around the real person." Multiple photographs (often taken surreptitiously) form the source for Jehle's skillfully executed pieces. After making multiple small drawings, the artist cobbles together these images into what is in one sense an idealized composite and yet also a fully integrated, "whole".