JAIK FAULK // back at the crawdaddy


On view January 5 - February 9, 2015
Opening reception Friday, January 9 (6 - 8 p.m.)

Jaik Faulk’s fourth solo exhibition at Nationale, Back at the Crawdaddy, is comprised entirely of paintings made during his recent residency at FalseFront in North East Portland. Working within constraints of space, material, and time, Faulk combines his conceptual focus with the tradition of New Orleans portrait painting.

After obtaining his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013, Faulk decided against returning to Portland—his home for many years—and instead moved back to his birthplace of Lafayette, Louisiana. While commonly regarded as the center of Cajun culture, Lafayette is far removed from such places of artistic production as New York and Los Angeles. Faulk, however, was eager to explore the potentiality of this perimeter. His homecoming marked a return to the naïve years of his youth where inspiration arrived through books, mix tapes, and word of mouth, and where isolation led to heightened improvisation. Through this disconnect, Faulk’s work has steered away from the sterility of art school abstraction towards meandering, vulnerable reflections of the region’s austere landscape, and his own nomadic past. 

While still coming to terms with his re-discovered surroundings, Faulk accepted the opportunity to hold a residency at FalseFront. “I continually return unannounced to previously beaten ways,” he explained. What does it mean though to return only temporarily? To inhabit multiple sites at once? Holding weekly open studio hours and a number of portraiture sessions with his old circle of influence, Faulk explored such effects of place and time within his practice. In the tradition of a portrait studio, or a 18th century French salon, Faulk’s studio at FalseFront became a social space for dialogue and exchange. Back at the Crawdaddy showcases the end result of this month-long examination. The paintings on display reveal a fertile cross-pollination between his reunion with the Pacific Northwest and his resurrected Southern Bayou roots. Collectively, the work operates as a sort of autobiographic display—a reminder of what once was in preparation for a new journey.

Prior to studying at the San Francisco Art Institute, Jaik Faulk received his BA in Art from Portland State University in 2006. He has been the focus of several solo exhibitions at Nationale, his representative gallery, as well as other local galleries including FalseFront and Launch Pad Gallery. Faulk’s work has also been included in group shows at such establishments as The Lab, the San Francisco Art Institute, and The Old Mint, all in San Francisco; Littman Gallery in Portland, OR; and Gallery 549 in Lafayette, LA.

Special thanks to Amber Corneliuson and Jason Doize of FalseFront for making this show possible and for their warm welcome this December. This residency concludes a year of programing supported in part by the Precipice Fund administered by PICA with lead support from the Calligram Foundation and the Regional Regranting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Selected by John Motley as one of six shows not to miss this winter
Special OPB feature by contributor Kelsey Wallace


Please email the gallery for a price list of Jaik Faulk's work and for larger images (info@nationale.us)