JAKE WOOD-EVANS

Brings back past centuries and giving them a bohemian and classical perspective

By:
Irina Iacob

Evans’s universe can be perceived as an adventure. Stepping into his world is like taking a trip back to old versions of you and history, and the way you have learned it. His compositions are characterized by depth and he has such a particular imagination that easily tricks the viewer’s eyes.

Jake’s oil paintings recall past times – those in which a gentleman, for example, used to have a cup of tea with a lady two centuries ago. Those times in which both of them were dissolving the minutes they have spent together by feeding a growing lovely tension; saying nothing at all, just swelling that special glimpse hidden between.

Evans’s canvases put a hand in your soul, touch your flash, your eyes, and your entire perceiving process. It grabs your hand just like your grandmother, for instance, used to do in order to tell you about her young years, about how she kept writing letters to your grandfather while he was fighting on the front.

Jake Wood Evans is a British painter from Devon. He became a very known artist because of his oil paintings and drawings. When you get to know his compositions, to admire and to contemplate them, you come to realize that history has been an important impact on his educational path.

He’s living in Hastings, East Sussex, with his family. Hastings recalls such a huge amount of historical details. What an interesting coincidence – being fascinated by history, reproducing through painting historical portraits and living in a place full of historical significance.

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Jake’s paintings have been exhibited at galleries in London and across the UK. Also, his collections can be found in New York, Miami or even Malaysia. He speaks so differently from others in the European art field, confessing that he has always wanted to be an artist.

The way in which he uses the light captures the viewer’s mind forever. His paintings are like a candlelight that stays pure and shining inside your inner self. Evans achieves something absolutely fascinating: to be ludic, to have faith in the light and to play with it. Light is the center of his imaginary. By using flash of lights in the middle of his canvases, he connects time with them and makes the viewer think and rethink about what he sees. And it’s a double process: ‘’think – rethink’’, on one side, and ‘’meditate – contemplate’’, on another side. All these mechanisms are touched by the two main boundaries: past and present, and, obviously, the changes between.

Analyzing Wood’s paintings is like watching Titanic, for example. The movie allows you to discover the magnificent year 1912, and the main character tells the story by portraying the sociopolitical relationships by keeping you between past and present. The exact same thing does Wood – rearranges historical characters and atmospheres.

Figurative paintings are the ones that catch your attention. His preference for historical portraits recalls chivalry and idyllic landscapes, and the viewer remains lost between time and space. The painter rethinks and captures centuries in which nothing was rushed and people were not being consumed by concepts like digitalization or speed; centuries where human interaction and relationships used to take long time to develop. He paints time corridors; he brings back past centuries by giving them bohemian and classical perspectives.

Jake’s art work has the power to enchant your perspective due to his analytical way of expression. His canvases describe introspection.
Among known historical characters he reproduced, we discover the portraits of Julius Caesar, Philip IV, Pope Innocent X, Rear-Admiral Charles Inglis or Reverend John Home.
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His portraits emphasize a specific process – the deconstruction of the faces. Aesthetically speaking, Evans reproduces mystery by scratching all the faces. But the light continues to maintain as the center of his entire composition. It’s about creating depth and transforming old stories by adding different layers of paint. Doing so, the new meaning is in between the new layer paint. It’s about seeing what’s hidden and vulnerable in you, the viewer. The portraits may recall history details and, in a way, a specific education of the viewer. But it’s the abstract of the face itself that provides new angles of interpretation, ones that till now they were unknown for us.


The portrait is the light source, the main cell who divides itself into a core of introspection and analytical process, just like in novels. Wood uses repetitively colors like: yellow, blue and red. And with these three creates flashes of light. The faces he reproduces watch you, the viewer, differently, as if their life vanishes away between periods. Their scratched faces ask you who you are now and who you were in the past; what have you lost between these two-time borders; how is your struggle being kept inside past-present experience.


The painter has a poetical sensibility. Even the air ‘breathes’ differently in his works. The admiration for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds can be linked with the poetical sensibility I mentioned. Nick Cave is recognized worldwide to be one of the best songwriters due to his inner poetical galaxies.


When it comes to drawings, Wood-Evans black and white drawings emphasize tension, despair, struggle, tension, dark thoughts. All the sharp lines he uses to talk about an analytical inner mechanism. Enchanting, bohemian, classical, light and struggling are the main concepts that Jake Wood Evans uses to reach his audience.

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Jake Wood-Evans | INSTAGRAM

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