The Connection between Life and Chess Symbolized by Artist Justin Michael Jenkins


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When we study the game of chess, we find many fascinating structures and complex mathematical laws that predominate the various pathways of movement between both sides of pieces. The game of chess is perhaps the closest microcosmic representation of life and the universe in game form. The game begins with two opposing sides of various pieces that mirror each other and have a unique ability to move around the board and attack. As the game begins, each individual pieces unique movement capability allows for numerous changes in the geometric and tactical structure, allowing for an infinite number of different combinations. These complex geometric counterplays and attacks manifest themselves from just one opening move. Like a single molecule that contains the seed of life and eventually forms organisms and the physical state of matter, chess also takes on this infinite exapnsion of growth as the game progresses. The game of chess is such a great metaphor for the structure and shape of life that it opens itself to be dissected and analyzed on many levels and has carried over into the field of art in many ways. Chess allows for a miriad of ideas and approaches that many artists have found suitable to their style of work and to clarify the grand messages of life in visual form.

Artist Justin Michael Jenkins, the artist we feature on this blog and our numerous websites and an avid chess player, was inspired so much by the beauty, complexity, and geometric structures the game provides on countless levels, he decided to begin a journey into extracting the underlying laws and elements of the game into visual form based on his unique style of art. As he continued playing and becoming a better and stronger player, he reveled in the fascinating ideas that could be generated onto paper from this magnificent game. The artist states, “Besides the fact that fact that i play chess religiously , these underlying foundations led me naturally to study and visually represent this game in my own unique style. " According to the artist, this collection of work started from a dream interpretation where the artist had a vision of an explosive and repetitive structure of form as it blossomed from the board in a fictitious chess match against Bobby Fischer. This first work of art, “The Birth of a Strategy" , was the beginning of this collection and came to him in his dream. The artist states, “All of a sudden the board took on a liquid like form as the pawn levitated above the baord on many spheres. " “The shapes and the culmination of the pawn rising and exploding was the growth of a tree like form from the top of the pawn as a bright yellow sky filled the background. "

This collection of pencil drawings by renowned artist Justin Michael Jenkins takes all the elements within the game of chess from the various pieces to the complex geometric structures and represents these in a surreal and abstract way that produces many hidden and visible symbolisms. The works are reminiscent of some of the works by Bosch and Escher but with his own individual twist on things. He uses color like the checkered patterns within the game, allowing them to dance around the works in repetition creating seperate but distinctive structures within the art composition. This fascinating drawing collection has been endorsed by the likes of olympic chess champion Susan Polgar and is a refreshing, intelligent, and cleverly constructed interplay of the game in unison with the artists unique approach. These works are sure to become some of the most prominent chess related drawings over the next century and the artist plans on doing a second collection of twelve works sometime in late 2006 or early 2007. Looking at past art with regard to the game of chess, it's hard to find many pieces that make use of the games structure in such a unique and vibrant way.

To view this collection click here:

Imaginative Pencil is a company founded in 2004 that specializes in the sale, distribution, and exhibition of the visionary and surreal pencil art of Justin Michael Jenkins.


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