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Jett Vincent Bailey originally hails from the city of Fort Worth, in the great state of Texas. With the exception of a year or so of college, several workshops, and a lifetime spent begging, borrowing and stealing tips and tricks from other artists, Jett is self-taught.
Jett had his first professional showing at the age of 17. Throughout the 1980s and into the early 90s, his work was exhibited prominently in galleries and public spaces throughout Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and California. Jett describes his early work as “...not very technically adept, unfocused, naïve; pretty typical angst-ridden ‘angry young man’ kinda stuff.”
Sometime in the early-to-mid 1990s, after years of working in jobs as diverse as a machine operator in a plastics factory, a restaurant cook, a class ring manufacturing plant worker, and convenience store clerk to support his art career, Jett began working in graphic design and illustration for the printing industry. Graphics proved a good fit for him, providing a steady income and the occasional opportunity to exercise his creativity. By 1993, Jett had all but abandoned the world of ‘fine’ art and most public displays of his artwork.
2000 found Jett leaving his home in Texas and relocating to the wilds of Charleston, South Carolina.
In 2003, after the birth of his son necessitated leaving his full-time graphics job, Jett tentatively picked up his acrylics and brushes again.
A showing of a few experimental canvases featuring bright, bold, colorful paintings of quasi-surrealist fish provided a starting point to Jett’s reintroduction to the art community. The public seemed to love the whimsical new work and Bailey garnered a wee bit of recognition along the Southeast coast of the United States and the fish paintings and printed reproductions continued to interest the public and sell well. In 2013 Jett found himself growing increasingly weary of producing the steady stream of colorful marine life paintings.
After much soul-searching, Jett decided to put the ‘bright, colorful, quasi-surrealist fish’ art on an indefinite hiatus and focus on a more personal, and less lucrative, creative expression.
Jett’s current work is mixed media, primarily sculptural/3D, and leans heavily into the conceptual and narrative side of the art spectrum. His sculptural work is as playful as it is profound, and serves as a visual interpretation of the sense of childlike wonder and awe in the face of the enigmatic.