Drawing on his past lives as a Museum Archivist and award-winning Costume Designer for theatre, Jordan Wieben’s paintings are inspired by a confluence of historical research and temporal whimsy. He is particularly interested in the narrative tension of a body inhabiting the ephemerality of fashion; using fantasy portraiture -reminiscent posed costume renderings- Jordan immortalizes images of a alternative past inhabited by shy robots, anxious critters, and neurotic dinosaurs, creating a codification of familiar social anxieties in the charming sandbox of nostalgic archetypes.
His latest series, entitled “The Fossil Follies,” is a collection of paintings presenting the foibles of a cast of dinosaurs set during the Victorian Era. It explores themes of social anxiety using a cast of dinosaur archetypes inhabiting a fictional historical urban environment, showcasing how characters of diverse statures contort themselves into the rigid social framework of the turn of the century. Through temporal dysphoria, Jordan captures both the manic optimism and rigid social protocols of that époque, using this playful combination of subjects to hint at the underlying anxiety of an unspecified, impending cataclysm.
Jordan works using a diverse combination of turn-of-the-century techniques, including crow quill ink pens and layered painting techniques alluding to an artistic lineage extending back to Arthur Tenniel and Beatrix Potter. Combined with a sardonic blend of contemporary influences, including “The Land Before Time” (1988) and “The Brave Little Toaster” (1987), Jordan completes many of his illustrations in a classically painted digital oil paint.
Instagram Account: @FossilFollies