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Sporadic thinker creates art

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

Jesse Clemente spoke with Lifestyles as he painted in his home in Milford. See the related photo gallery. Lifestyles photo by Katie Collins

By Katie Collins lifesnews51@gmail.com Follow Katie @Lifestyles51

MILFORD – Life and random ideas often inspire Jesse Clemente’s art. A neo-expressionist from Milford, Clemente who is 31, says his paintings develop from a “sporadic thought process,” often causing him to stop what he’s doing, to paint when ideas arise. Or, depending on the moment, Clemente may lay paint down, spread it out with a brush and “see where it goes” he laughs about.

The key to making good art, is just doing it Clemente says, because who’s to say what is good. Art, Clemente believes anyone can do, because it is often relatable and his own, he describes as “chaotic and sporadic.” Through his art, Clemente hopes people think about it, because there is reasoning behind the creations. But there are some components within several of the paintings, like the many faces, that he has no explanation for.

Discovery of art

Despite failing art in high school, Clemente’s interest in painting never diminished, instead he discovered street art, which he considers to be “raw” and “real” because it often shows the artist’s emotion he says. His paintings are like “poetry” because of the randomness and reflections on life; while he may paint on cardboard, a door or a traditional canvas, in the end they are mixed media collages with many shapes and sizes that may include pieces of glued paper. The process of painting, is “constant” he says, because he adds as ideas evolve.

A painting by Jesse Clemente


There was a time in Clemente’s life, when painting wasn’t his focus since “boredom and depression” led him to start smoking marijuana when he was 12 and later drinking cough medicine, ending up doing heroin by the age of 18 he says. This September will mark Clemente’s seventh year of being clean. The “root” of his addiction, Clemente credits to being young and bored, but also his struggle of dealing with his life. Considering his history, some, but not all of Clemente’s art reflects that period, because the attention is life overall. While Clemente says he will talk about his addiction, more than anything, he wants to be known as “the painter that survived” who has a “gift” to share with the world.

It is “everything” Clemente says, that inspires him and thus, determines what he’ll put on the canvas. As he paints, Clemente never has an ending for the piece in mind, instead he will step back and only then, he may determine if it is complete.

Having painted on such varying canvases, Clemente likes windows and when his focus was street art, he enjoyed painting on trains and the undersides of bridges, even though he acknowledges now, that wasn’t legal. Neither the shape nor the size of the canvas is an issue, instead it’s about whether his idea can fit the area.

Life representation

Derived from everyday life, Clemente says his paintings represent the world, because the images resonate to the fishing trips happening, the boy with a balloon or a person putting their foot in their mouth at any given time.

Currently, Clemente is showing in an exhibit in New York City and he has shown in Stroudsburg to the East Village, all around the Tri-State area. At the openings, Clemente finds it amusing, watching people and trying to explain his ideas because only “sometimes” he says his work is understood.

Art is hard

Being an artist isn’t easy though, because “art is hard” Clemente says, but recently his paintings have been selling. Since the sales aren’t consistent however, he does landscape work with friends and works in a kitchen when necessary. Clemente believes that, his ability to work in addition to paint is part of why he survived addiction, since it has allowed him to see his work evolve and others enjoy it.

By sharing his art, Clemente says his hope is to someday show around the world and “give a home for outsiders,” because he feels many artists are “outsiders” whose art comes from an “inner pain that commands them to paint or create.” In fact, he believes many artists don’t create out of “pure enjoyment,” but rather, they do so to “stay alive.” Aside from being “fun,” Clemente says painting is a passion and so, he will “paint until I die.”

Clemente shares his art on Instagram at @euphoric_blockbuster.

One of Jesse Clemente's paintings on an old window. Photo by Katie Collins.

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