Painting out of a personal need to paint and painting for an exhibition are two different things and in my mind have little relationship with each other. Every artist is challenged with this dilemma at one point or another. The danger for artists and art is that in the pressure and rush to "produce" for a market, an inferior or lightweight quality becomes residual within the work. The fact remains that not all art is great or contains the elements that make it universal and timeless. It is the artists responsibility to ensure that their motivation for making is correct and that their concern for status, recognition and financial gain doesn't take precedence, resulting in a shoddy art legacy conforming merely to the trends or fashion of the day. Great art always takes us beyond ourselves and is transcendent in nature. It should stop us in our tracks and cause us to wonder and question the bigger issues of origins, relationships, morality, mortality and beyond.
This instinct to image impulsively without extensive editing comes out of Jens practice of intense observation. Looking, looking and looking again provide the foundation for pictures that are striking in their immediacy, that just seem so right, unlabored as if they had materialised without human assistance. There is also a socially political nature to these works relating to the human condition, nature and communal relations. The simple complexity in his work calls into question the very reason for the venture of art-making. Jens is painting in order to bring forth and precipitate the stuff of life which confronts us with its very requisite nature. I have little doubt his method of handling paint is intrinsically linked to a very personal experience and sensitivity to memory and environment.
When thinking about Jens work a number of artists such as Luc Tuymans, Marlene Dumas and Gerhard Richter immediately spring to mind. I believe he has been influenced to some degree by artists such as these but rather than go the easy route and mimic a style, he has fashioned his own trademark method of image making. It is my hope that Jens work will in time become more widely known and appreciated outside his native Danish milieu!