Jesse Bransford

(Featured image: Magic Square: Mars (For Albertus Magus), Jesse Bransford, 2006. Latex, marker and graphite on wall at Galerie Schmidt Maczollek)

Jesse Bransford’s work is an interesting mixture of esoteric symbology, geometric (almost scientific) diagramatic imagery and ‘Pollokian’ organic paint and ink splatters. He is a Prof of Art at New York University and has exhibited internationally.

His work is particularly relevant to my research because of his extensive use of occulted symbology and it’s integration into diagrammatic or infographic art works.

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Sic Itur Ad Astra, 2009

He talks about the use of and understanding of symbols in a context where the viewer might understand the meaning, or think they understand the meaning, and the effect that has as opposed to the effect of creating the artwork on himself as the artist:

PG: “And when you’re making this work, are you conscious of the effect you hope to have on the viewer, or transformation you’re trying to manifest in them, magical or otherwise? Or is it more about having your own experience of making the work and communising with your own angels, as it were?”
JB: “I have had moments where understanding of the work was transparent, where people have been open and receptive to it. On the other hand I think a lot of people are unwilling to engage when they see certain signs or symbols they think they understand. That’s the blessing and the curse of symbols, they are only as open as the viewer seeing them … Right now there seems to be a real calibration going on in the work between my legibility to the viewer and the self-knowledge and understanding I get from the work.”
Abraxas Journal of Esoteric Studies – Issue 3 Spring 2013, Fulgur Esoterica pg 28, Interviewed by Pam Grossman.

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Transmission, III=260 (Mercurious) 2007

He also talks about another aspect of his work which is very interesting to me, and that is of movement in the creation of the work. Any work with a significant ritual aspect is influenced by the physicality of the ritual and the movements associated with that ritual:

JB: “I’ve made a very careful point to keep my practice moving, to use the way I make things as much as an exploration and experiment as the research I’ve done. It’s made me realise how much effect the trace of the body can project. For example most talismanic magic seems to want to happen at a desk, sitting down. I would guess it’s because the objects tend to be hand-held and more intimate. Other forms need more of the body involved, and some of the application processes I’ve used probably have more in common with dance than with painting.”
Abraxas Journal of Esoteric Studies – Issue 3 Spring 2013, Fulgur Esoterica pg 28, Interviewed by Pam Grossman.

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Radiance, 2005, Kevin Bruk Gallery

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Mercurious for Sol, 2007

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The Fourth Pyramid, 2013

Abraxas Journal of Esoteric Studies – Issue 3 Spring 2013, Fulgur Esoterica pg 15-31
Artist Interview, Kari Adelaide, Huffington Post Arts and Culture, March 6 2014

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