Jason Artiga was born in 1976, and was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. He grew up in a Puerto Rican and Salvadorian household, where his mother was his primary caretaker, and his father was a cab driver. When Jason was 3 years old, he went to his first art show. He was exposed to many opportunities to immerse himself into the arts, early on. His first taste of digital art was from watching a PBS program, featuring David Hockney using The Quantel Paintbox. In his teen years, Artiga explored different styles, ranging from graffiti to photography. He had an internship with Marion Griffin at Sculptures Center Gallery where he learned the importance of showcasing pieces, and explored 3D art and sculpture.
Inspiration and Influences
Artiga lived in an area where famous graffiti artists displayed their works. He watched Antonio “Chico” Garcia work on murals from his childhood home, which inspired his current methodology. At the age of 5, he met Keith Haring at Booster gallery in SoHo with his parents, and had a friendly conversation leading up to the realization that his dream was to become an artist. After discovering the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Arthur Fellig, and the late Roy DeCarava, photography became his passion. While attending Hunter college, Roy DeCarava became his mentor and Artiga later became his teaching assistant. From DeCarava, he learned to love life, and to approach photography in the most naturalistic state of mind.
Artiga’s style of artwork is heavily inspired by the 80’s. His photos look for a timeless preservation of an old New York that, as of late, has been occluded by gentrification and the constantly shifting landscape. He believes these remnants are important to capture as if they were sentient beings, bringing people together, instead of pulling them apart as we see in current times. In using airbrushing and colour pencil techniques, he preserves the graffiti influences of aerosol art with a more controlled and intimate experience. Recently, his art work has been political: from dealing with the social hysteria of terrorism, the sins of our past presidents, to the ugly side to development in New York City, his striking messages through canvas tend to be socially conscious.
Gaining Notice as an Artist
Jason Artiga has been a photographer and filmmaker for over 25 years. With his double major in Film and Art from Hunter College, he has directed several films and worked as a videographer on short films, commercials, and full length features. His current featured work is a horror film called, Robby. It has been submitted to ten different film festivals. His work in progress includes a David Lynch inspired burlesque show, In Dreams. He has photographed celebrities such as Martin Scorsese, Martha Stewart, Taimak and various hip hop artists featured in Hoodgrown Magazine.
Artiga Studios is located at 11-27 44th Rd. in Long Island City, NY 11101, where he spends his time shooting in digital and 35mm film. He continues to illustrate and paint with airbrush and acrylics.